Graphika Manila 2019
The 15th edition of the biggest creative gathering in the Philippines was such a blast! Since its inaugural run in 2006, Graphika Manila has emerged as the most prestigious event for design professionals and students. This year, an estimate of 3,000 attendees gathered at the SMX Convention Center in Manila. Luckily, on the two-day jam-packed event, we were able to grab seats near the front row (just a few rows away from where the speakers were seated)!
This year’s Graphika Manila was a showcase of multidisciplinary creative approaches in branding, art direction, animation, motion graphics, and installation, among others. It was truly inspiring!
As we can’t put into words our collective thoughts regarding the event, we decided to each share own takeaways regarding this incredible experience.
Speakers in this year's Graphika Manila
Going to Graphika has always been a yearly ritual for me. Being surrounded by creative people is the whole charm of it. I was extra excited this year because a lot of my college’s alumni and underclassmen came to share the experience with me. I kept myself optimistic to learn what the speakers have to offer to their young audiences, and I was not disappointed.
Graphika Manila this year was a blast! I had myself uncontrollably smiling as I listened to my favorite speakers: Aaron Draplin, Yeo Kaa, and James Sweigart (from Laundry).
I was even lucky enough to catch James Sweigart off stage to ask him a few questions. "Go where you are fed" He said. "Mentally, Creatively, Spiritually, etc." His words resonated. As a young creative, I am in perpetual hunger for more knowledge. Being with the people you love working and growing with has been my constant inspiration and main drive to do more. To create more.
Leaving with a brighter outlook and armed with igniting words, I look forward to push myself even more. Who knows, I may be the next Graphika speaker one day!
Graphika Manila 2019 was an insightful event. Every speaker inspired and told us about their processes in doing their craft. As early as Day 1, my views as a professional were changed. That is because of the speakers who, despite their successes, are still eager to learn new things to improve their work. Michael Parker of And A Half changed my view from “What do we aim to inspire?” to “What can you inspire?” because no matter what you are doing, someone will look up to you.
What I appreciated about Day 2 was the way the emphasized the value of work. They reminded us that by devaluing your own work, you are also setting the bar low for other artists. Thanks to Marvel Studios’ Anthony Francisco, I was also reminded of how being patient in the process can help your hard work pay off. The most memorable speaker for me would be Lauren Hom, who said, “Your idea doesn’t have to change the world in order to be successful,” and “the harder you work, the luckier you tend to get”.
Graphika Manila is really a HUGE thing. It’s amazing how this kind of event can gather a massive number of artists and designers regardless of their passion and style. I’ve seen some alumni from my college, and it’s kind of cool how Graphika connects and reconnects people within the creative industry.
All of the speakers are very much talented, passionate, and dedicated to their work. The way each of them spoke in front of the crowd about how they started, what projects they’ve worked on, how their skills have developed, and even their struggles and failures were the things I never knew I wanted and needed to hear. One thing that hit me the most was when Aaron Draplin, a graphic designer, said that design shouldn’t be a 9-5 job. And I couldn’t agree more. You don’t stop being a graphic designer when you get home from work, when it’s the weekend, or when you’re going through things. Art should be an outlet. Let art be part of who you are. Let your creative juices flow.
I’m just happy and grateful that I had the opportunity to be one of the thousands of attendees at Graphika. It’s something that has inspired me to be in constant hunger for growth, to start creating passion projects, and to embrace art and design as part of who I am.