The Magic of Graphika Manila

The Magic of Graphika Manila

This blog post is about my insight and experience on Graphika Manila.

Click the year you want to read on to skip to that section. 2010, 2011, 2017 & 2018.

Graphika Manila is a yearly conference in the Philippines that focuses on the latest techniques and strategies when it comes to design, illustration, animation, and brand identity from invited local speakers and abroad. – Statusmagonline

It is when aspiring and professional designers come together to get inspired and for me after joining this event 4 times already, I can say I never came out uninspired.

My first exposure to Graphika Manila was in 2010. In college as a Multimedia student we were encouraged to join Design talks, convention and conferences and our school as a premiere design college was sort of a sponsor for Graphika Manila or at least it was easy for us to get student discounted tickets.

Graphika Manila 2010

Graphika Manila 2010 Event Poster

Thank the heaven’s Graphika Manila Actually Archives their yearly website. It has helped me in writing this blog. for 2010 here is the official Graphika Manila website, although I think a lot of the codes are broken already due to archiving.

So the speakers during that year were Tara Mcpherson, Danny Yount, Phunk Studio, Underground Logic, Cynthia & Arnold ArreRocketsheep

I still remember I was so amazed with Tara’s illustrations they were so whimsical and it was the first time I was exposed to that kind of illustration. Danny Yount’s Video Production made me awestruck. Phunk Studio’s dynamic animations was very entertaining, Underground Logic had beautiful works that made me to like their FB page and they were local!  Cynthia and Arnold was a great example of team work and Rocketsheep was funny and his hard work and passion was inspiring. Avid and his team of volunteers was working on the film “Saving Sally“. Production was going on for years and it seems like the end was not in sight…Thankfully it was finally released in during Metro Manila Film Fest, December 2016. 6 years after his magical talk in Graphika Manila. Then Rocketsheep came back to Graphika Manila in 2017 and he tackles the full history of Saving Sally again and inspires that sometimes it really takes a lot of guts and passion to succeed.

Checking out their pages and websites now sad to say some of them did not make it to today. Underground Logic’s FB Page has tagged this business as permanently close.

Here is the title sequence for 2010

Some photos during the event credit to my friend Tresstine who did a great job documenting our college lives.

I think I have a hard copy of my certificate since it was the school who generated the certificates. It’s somewhere…hahahaha my things are all over the place since we had to change houses sometime in 2015

Overall the 2010 Graphika Manila was a great experience for a college art student like me. It gave me a glimpse of the things I could do upon Graduation. Sadly every year the price of this conference just keeps on increasing so I don’t know how affordable future Graphika Manila’s will be for student. From a P1500 student price from 2010 It is now P2600 for students in the year 2018.

Graphika Manila 2011

Graphika Manila 2011 Poster

The official 2011 Graphika Manila website is archived here

Funny enough 2011 was the second year I attended Graphika Manila and I was still in college but aside from my e-certificate which I’m hesitant to share here because I was kinda dumb to even include my full middle name there; I cannot find any other evidence that we attended the event. I do remember listening to Dan Matutina though, because I was so amazed with his works.

Thinking back to this year when I search my Facebook timeline I think I was so busy with everything school related that maybe I wasn’t able to absorb many things from the Graphika in 2011, or I don’t know maybe there just wasn’t enough impact? Well I can’t judge anymore because it’s been a lot of years since then.

So the full roster of speakers were: Weta Digital, Mike Friolo, Laundry, Dan Matutina, 27+20, Seph Mayol.

Reviewing this list now It seems like 27+20 has rebranded to Flux Design Labs, Seph Mayol is now the founder of it seems like an interesting app I should try it out since I love selfies so much might as well get a reward for it!   Weta Digital is almost consistent in becoming a speaker in Graphika Manila. They also show up during the recently concluded 2018 Graphika Manila.

Here is the title sequel for Graphika Manila 2011 and it looks like it was beautifully produced by Seph Mayol.

Graphika Manila 2011 from SephM on Vimeo.

Looking back in these 2 Graphika Manila 7 & 8 years ago respectively really makes me realize so many things and that so many change happens so much and maybe not everyone can adapt to this change.

It’s an eye opener for me to never be too relax and to keep on learning because you cannot predict the future unless you create it. I also can’t believe that personally it’s been 8 years since my first Graphika Manila experience. Time flies by so fast. It also reminds me how fleeting memories are without pictures. Ahh, I really should document my life better, and I hope to do it with this blog.

So after Graphika Manila 2011, I laid low from the Graphika Manila scene because I was graduating and there were so many things to take care of. Then 2013 to 2016 I was busy working luckily in 2017 my current company and employer StraightArrow Corporation sponsored us to join the conference.

Graphika Manila 2017

Graphika Manila 2017 Poster

So After laying low for a few years I embraced Graphika Manila back in the year 2017. The concept of 2017 felt instinctively Filipino because of the subject of the illustrations and reading about how they came up with the concept it was really amazing. You can view Genesis Motion Design’s Concept and behind the scene here. 

Searching the internet about Graphika Manila 2017 on the net has yet again made me realize how much the internet has changed from 2010- 2017. Graphika Manila 2010 and 2011 barely got any coverage but now Graphika Manila 2017 had so many blogs and vlogs covering this subject. Also there are notably more speakers and this was the first time I am coming to a 2 day Graphika Manila.

The speakers were:

ArtGerm , Gary Baseman , Industrial Light & Magic , Rizon Parein, Kerby Rosanes , State Design , Genesis Motion Design , John Ed de Vera , Rocketsheep Studio , Rare Volume  , Daryl Feril , Mr. Bingo

In a 2 day conference dedication is more emphasized for the visitors so you will get you’re money’s worth. In 2017 I missed some of the speaker on Day 2 because I had to attend a 1st birthday celebration, yeah I know choices are hard to make. I was very lucky Artgerm was the last speaker though. Other notable speakers whose talk I still remember now a year later was from Mr. Bingo, Gary Baseman and yes ARTGERM!! Industrial Light & Magic showed awesome Starwars behind the scenes and Kerby and Daryl showcased their beautiful illustrations and talks about how Social media and putting their work out there helped them get found and of course Artgerm and how he started by making a fanart for Dota and of course building a community in DeviantArt. Artgerm also emphasized sharing to the community and I totally agree. As someone with a passion in teaching and sharing knowledge there is nothing to fear in doing so because as long as you continue learning I don’t think things to learn in this lifetime will ever run out.

So Here is the opening Sequence for Graphika Manila 2017

Also here is a GIF a preview of the experience I wish I can put a more detailed video but alas, I’m really not very attentive when it comes to vlogging or taking photos. Which is pretty strange considering I want to document my life. Oh well I believe I will improve and learn someday. I just want to share with you a part of me in a way I can.

My E-certificate for Graphika Manila 2017

Graphika Manila 2018

Graphika Manila 2018 Poster

The roster for Graphika Manila 2018 were Chris Do , Luma Pictures,  Alex Trochut, Weta Digital, Adam J. Kurtz,  Golden Wolf, Abbey Sy,  Midnight Sherpa, Hungry Castle, Evan DeHaven, Stink Studios, Serious Studio

I don’t really know how to start this section of the post. In the 2010-2011 section I wonder if I was able to express enough how important being able to be exposed to a Design conference is for me as a Design student. For 2017-2018 me and my team mates we’re sponsored by my current company and employer StraightArrow Corporation. I am really thankful that they are very supportive of their employees growth. As a Graphic Designer sometimes tasks can seem so repetitive but every time I get to join a Design Conference I am reminded that design has an unbelievable amount of potential for growth and expansion.

This year’s Graphika Manila reminded me of many things such as it’s important to be human. Feelings are our asset when it comes to being creating and that sometimes being wrong is actually being right. It’s an eyeopener and of course it’s inspiring. In the sea of sameness do not be afraid to be different. Break some rules because sometimes the wrong design decisions can make the audience feel right.

Everyone really inspired me with their insight and it is my goal to someday be like these speakers. I want to learn more and someday I can be a speaker in a platform where I can touch people’s lives and have an impact on their perspectives.

Just sharing this short GIF as a preview of the event. It’s an exhilarating experience and I wish I can capture it for everyone to see and feel what I saw and felt.

 Hungry Castle’s Cool Shit made as draw our seat mate as a cool shit in 60 seconds. sharing my output I honestly like how it turned out




You can check out the hashtag #graphikamanila2018 in Instagram to see a glimpse of the event from other people’s perspective

This year’s opening animation seems to be unavailable yet but it was also amazing as always. Anyway Graphika Manila 2018 was a blast this year as well! Great job to the organizers!

Here is my e-certificate for this year



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About the Featured Photo: I just simple used the Graphika Manila Logo used my blog’s font and added fancy frames. The overlay image is a panorama inside the conference hall. I like how weird I made the layout it feels like I am putting into action the words: “Sometimes the wrong design decisions makes the viewer feel right.” Somehow I always felt it was hard for me to stand out with my own style but now I have the motivation to just do it. I cannot please everyone but as long as I do what I love I hope I can touch people’s lives.