Independence Day heART at Abreeza Mall

Have you seen the big heART installed in every Ayala malls? If you haven’t noticed it yet, you’ll find it outside the malls and mostly in Manila. They had different artists painted over it and sometimes depends on the artist’s style or with a theme. When I saw it, I was hoping I’d have a chance to paint the one in Abreeza.

True enough, the universe will conspire in helping you achieve what your heart desires. All thanks to Shimee (Marketing Associate Manager of Abreeza) for getting in touch with me and for making that happen. She had a different project in mind but the heART was needed first in time for Independence Day.

When Shimee and I were discussing the project, I knew I’d needed some help and I knew right away who to call on. So, I went to see Paolo of Secret Garden (my super idol and guy version when it comes to design) to discussed the design for the heART. Luckily, we also have Ralph to help us with our drawing skills and mixing colours.

With only few days to conceptualised the design, it was a bit challenging. Gladly, Abreeza had a theme and they gave us the freedom to play with our creativity…

So the first design idea was merely Filipino theme. Me and Paolo are into florals, so we thought of doing a pattern of Philippine flowers such as: Gumamela, Sampaguita, Santan (the two flowers, we don’t know what it was called but we always see it everywhere). Then a dark blue base to highlight the colours of the flowers. In the middle, there’s an excerpt from song Lupang Hinirang. Then Ralph suggested to add doves as the sign of freedom.

The first draft was not approved as they wanted to have more concrete Independence Day feels but in a subtle way.

Then comes the second draft based from one of their pegs. This time, I like the concept better. It’s not just a pattern but a modern deconstructed flag, if I may call it. We used the colours of the flag; we just played with the shade and still with the flowers of Philippines.

And this was approved! Yay! I’ll share more how it was a deconstructed flag in a while.

First agenda on the day of painting… primed the heART with a white paint. We used a flat white latex to cover the entire heart.

On the second day, we are now ready to colour. So we started off with the background. That’s Paolo on the left and Ralph on the right.

Super glad, Ralph is an art teacher and he is so good in alignments and mixing colours. So that’s him in charge of the markings. While Paolo was eating on the next photo and I was taking photos and probably eating and changing the music, lol.

Enough with the dilly-dally and time to work…

Second day done! And we’re almost done with the background. Almost. Not quite yet. But this time around, we made some changes based from the second draft. As you can see on the paper, made some notes here and there. During this time, we had only few changes. But as the day ends, we kinda had a clearer concept.

Let me share the final draft and how the design was a deconstructed flag. The placement of the elements or even the colours were in resemblance to the flag. But since we’re painting on a heart instead of the usual rectangular shape, few adjustments were made. The black outline serves as the guide for the flag colours. The blues on the upper side while the reds at the buttom and 3 yellows in geometric patterns that serve as the stars. The Ylang-ylang as the sun that’s why it’s in the middle left. The doves as peace for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Third day of painting… few more geometric patterns and the elements. I finished some of the background and added some finishing touch while Paolo did the Ylang-ylang and Ralph was… well we don’t know, haha. He was somewhere making the birds.

After how many songs, few dance moves, a lot of retouched and sweat, Ralph was finally back looking fresh with the birds, haha. Ralph was insisting on making paper birds instead of painting it so he drew it inside the mall. Paolo and I were telling him beforehand to just paint it over but never argue with a teacher, because he’ll be persistent in a tricky way, haha.

Few more retouched and were almost done.

A closer look at the details…

And this is how we spent our Independence Day… our way of showing love to our beloved country through our artwork… may I present to you… “Watawat” (flag in english).

Meet my fellow artists… Paolo, me and Ralph.

If you’re in Abreeza, you can find this outside near Starbucks. We hope you’ll like it and if you take a photo of it, please do tag us – Paolo, April and Ralph. It will make our hard work so much worth it.

Thank you again, Abreeza Mall for letting us paint on your heART. Thank you, Shimee for making this happen.

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