Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the nightmare before christmas

Always, every year, I am compounded by one big nightmare and problem... designing our family Christmas card! If it's with clients, it will take me a breeze to think of a campaign or a design, whip up a shoot and voila! We have a strong pitch...

But family photos and cards are a different story.

One, it's quite a feat to handle the logistics... my wife's schedule is erratic (as well as mine!), it's a major effort (ala Mega Structures from National Geographic) thinking and doing our costumes for the shoot, and Freedom is such a tornado to be kept still for a click or two. Chocky, our labrador is also a formidable force to handle during shoots! That leaves me with only Nannie (my wife's aunt) to keep my sanity intact.


Our first christmas greeting shoot in 2005 was inspired by the turn-of-the-century sensibilities of Cambodia and it took us around the French colonial enclaves of Siem Reap - from the Raffles Gardens to the grounds of Victoria Angkor. Since I didn't have a car and a tripod at that time, our tuktuk driver was our photographer!


2006 was a rather easy shoot because we wanted everyone to be comfortable and casual... but since the temperatures here dropped as low as 9 degrees for a couple of weeks, comfortable means layering, sweaters and thick winter scarves! It was a perfect time to be playful and cool...


"The Golden Age of Travel" was our defining theme for last year's shoot... that meant rewinding ourselves back into the roaring decades of the 1930's. We bought some nice vintage leather luggage from Bali for this shoot while our clothes are an amalgam of vintage finds from around. We got Freedom's outfit from Chatuchak Market in Bangkok and I designed my wife's hat. I got my vintage bomber leather jacket from Hwang Yu - a second hand clothes shop in Makati and Faith's mink fur trim is from Don.



We did a second card last year for our clients. Our red square couch was the modern twist to this shoot... sort of an "advertisement" as well for my furniture design and interior design work! lol. Our outfits were mainly from Jasmine Boutique at the Aman shop.

Now this really gives me a headache thinking about this year's theme. To make matters worse, our friends are now expecting our greetings to be more and more elaborate year after year! I have been thinking from one end of the spectrum to another - from The Incredibles (us in superhero costumes! Too halloween, perhaps?) to full royal Khmer regalia or Filipino traditional outfits (too June 12?) or even something as crazy as an organically-themed, green shoot (too Inconvenient Truth?)... aaarrrggghhh! I'm losing my head already!

Any suggestions?

Help!

31 comments:

•♥•♥[V]♥•♥• said...

it's the red square one :D

i love it.

suggestion..hmm anything from neverland wil do ;D

take care

Luis Batchoy said...

hows about 80's retro
or maybe pop boom
or Americanas
or flower power hippie grunge
or broadway?
or maybe emo goth?
lol @ the last one!

Megan said...

What creativity! We don't even do a holiday card, but to receive on like yours would be so fun. You really must have to rack your brains, huh?

REDLAN said...

mahirap talaga mag isip lalo na kapag you feel and think pressured ka. ANo ba yung mga bagay na nagustuhan ng clients mo? Gawin mo silang inspirasyon para lalong maging creative ang kinalalabasan ng gawa mo.

bawat previous family portraitchristmas card nyo ay may storya kung titingnan lalo na yung 2005. so unique!yung 2007 maganda rin (first card). napakasaya yung 2006 at ang second card for 2007... i like the outfit and the red box! I know makagawa ka ng mas maganda sa nagawa mo na. ang art kasi paganda ng paganda ang ginagawa mo tulad ng wine na masarap kapag tumatagal. kaya goodluck!

ZJ said...

Oh wow!! Idol talaga kita. Sa lahat ng blessings ni Lord, nakatulog ako nung artistry/creativity na ang ipinamimigay *drat*

I love all of your designs - but the old colonial theme and the red box themes were my favorites!! For your next card, I would vote for the royal Khmer-regalia inspired card :)

eunice said...

I want to see you guys in superhero costumes!!! XD

alex said...

what about fantasy?!!!

xmas na gosh, uwi ba kayo dito sa pinas?

the spool artist said...

@rainboy: oh yeah! neverland sounds great! why didn't i think of that? thanks man!

@luis batchoy: my wife would love the broadway definitely! she just saw mamma mia and she's convincing us to do the abba look! hahaha. imagine that!

@megan: the process of making the card and the shoot is simply one of life's greatest joys and we really enjoy it... give me your email addy so we can send you one for christmas!

@redlan: tht's also ctually the problem because my clients also expect so much from me especially on the card concepts! well, i guess i just have to look around some more to get some ideas! thanks!

@ZJ: hahahaha... thanks po. We were thinking to be the Sihanouk family on our next card din... like the billboards you see on the Independence Monument na may giant frames! dont you think it'll be cool? :-)

@eunice: we have to work out some more for that! or else our guts will be showing off on the costumes! it'll be hard to photoshop as well! hehehe.

@alex: fantasy! yup, that's a great thought alex...

nope, we couldn't go home this christmas (haven't had a real christmas for 4 years already!) for the reason that it's super high season here... half of the US and Europe is probably here and we can't miss it with all our work! i would love to go home and have a filipino xmas again though!

RONeiluke, RN said...

waaaaaaaa!!! oh my gosh. talagang career pati ang mga greeting cards. ganun lang talaga siguro esp if the father is a very talented and artistic one. hope our family could some fun like this too... :)

ilove the one with you in the red square..really cool :)

and your son is really cute. i just love his name too. freedom! FREEDOM!
---

ahh..the 'pathophysiology of tetralogy of fallot'? hahaha! the answer is very complicated and very medical. it's a congenital heart disease of the newborn that causes 'blue babies'.pathophysiology of a disease entity includes the factors that caused the abnormality, the process, and the clinical manifestations... ang hirap tlaga ipaliwanag! hahaha!

the spool artist said...

hey ron! hahaha... oo nga eh, kina-career pati cards! but for me, this is one of life's greatest joys! sobrang nakakatuwa to look back and see what we were thinking before!

aray ko... nag nosebleed ulit ako with the definition... hirap ngang i absorb... how much more to explain... baka namatay na ako sa hemorrhage if i took a medical-related course! lol.

Blue Rose said...

OMG! you are so talented. kakainggit ka naman.

i like all the designs. pressured ka nga sa mga susunod mong gagawin kasi dapat mahigitan mo pa ung mga nagawa mo na.

and lahat ng makakareceive nito, for sure sobrang matutuwa. sana meron ding magpadala sa akin ng ganyan. hehehe

salingPUSA said...

Suggestions?/....hmmmm. oh, I can't think. I am very preoccupied with the whole idea of having a family Christmas card. Now, I can't wait to have my own family so that I could find an excuse to come up with one.keke

the spool artist said...

@blue rose: thanks... yeah, the pressure is whacking into my brains! hahaha... sige, pag nabuo na ang card for this year, padadalhan kita for sure!

@salingpusa: hahaha. nakakatawa ka naman, anton... hahaha, if you have a family of your own, mahihirapan ka rin to find the right themes year after year! :-)

Ar-wee-der-yet said...

I never tried making a personalized Christmas Card... This is a good idea.

the spool artist said...

you should! People wouln't throw them away knowing you went to an effort making it... I gave them to friends who still keep them on their bulletin boards! hahaha... how was the wedding in iloilo?

Patrick said...

okay lang na pre, basta halin sa imo tagipusuon, astig gd na imo card.

totomai said...

such an interesting practice you and your family are doing :-) love the photos as well.

hmm, as for the suggestions, maybe head shots? lol, i dont know hehe or from behind shots looking towards the horizon

advance happy holidays :-)

the spool artist said...

@patrick: salamt gid pre... pero mas maayo pa na king halin na sa tagipusuon, gin panumduman pa! hehehe.

@totomai: thanks... the headshots sound like a great idea! will try to consider that for a concept!

advance happy holidays to you too! cheers...

eDreGiN said...

OMG! wish ko lang I have a creative mind kaso waz laman sya talaga...Hmmmm....i'll go for Khmer Regalia card...hows that? I think cool sya, hehehe :=)

the spool artist said...

medyo two points na yung Khmer Regalia suggestion! I better start renting the costumes out! hahaha.

KRIS JASPER said...

nakakahiya namang mag suggest... ang galing naman kasi ng ideas mo.


Pero sana this year nasa Xmas list ako ng family mo. lol.

the spool artist said...

hhhhmmmm... you've been naughty this year kris, but we'll try to convince santa to still squeeze you in the list! :-)

The Zen Bitch said...

i won't suggest anything kasi i trust your artistic judgment... however, this post inspired to write a similar post in my blog... i've been making my own christmas cards also since i got here... my post will be inspired by this post!

Ar-wee-der-yet said...

Hi, the wedding in Iloilo is fun as what I expected... Anyway, I might go to Siem Reap next year to see the Angkor Wat. I hope you will be around so we can meet.

the spool artist said...

@zen bitch: thanks! will watch out for that post to see your cards! Cambodia is indeed a treasure trove for inspiration so you will definitely be inspired to do a whole load of things!

@ar-wee-der-yet: glad to know you had fun with the iloilo wedding... yes, we will still be here next year hopefully (we don't see any reason why not!) so give us a buzz about more details of your trip so we can help you out na rin. we have a couple of extra rooms here if you don't mind the mess here in the house! lol.

chezza said...

something designer like LV perhaps?

the spool artist said...

hhhhmmmmm.... now my wife would definitely dig in with that idea! hahahaha...

Although seriously, the campaigns that they have with Francis Ford & Sophia Coppola, Stefi Graf & Andre Agassi and the one with Mikhail Gorbachev are truly remarkable...

Now if only we can get Annie Leibovitz din to do the shoot! hahaha. It's wishing for the stars but that is indeed brilliant... thanks!

Anonymous said...

On LV thought... I love the "core values" series... Life is a journey campaign of LV..
That's my inspiration for our T+L Ad.. I still dont know what to wear tomorrow... anyways... Can we do the photoshoot in Tibet or Bhutan? Met a travel designer during ITB asia that does tailor tour for the himalayas.. hehehehe ok somewhere near... I like Luang Prabang or Kep... I like the theme to be "nomads" So Alexander McQueen.

the spool artist said...

Nomads is it!

KRIS JASPER said...

NAUGHTY??? me? NAUGHTY???!!!!

slight lang.

the spool artist said...

Kris, just talked to santa on the phone... he said he'll give you his reindeers, sleigh and all if you agree to say "I love London better than Birmingham" wholeheartedly... and add in "I love London so much that I want it to finger me".... agreed?