Noteworthy Pieces of Advice

for Creatives we Picked

Up From Komura; Studio

by Jace Amodo, December 06, 2018 3:12pm


Noteworthy Pieces of Advice for Creatives we Picked Up From Komura; Studio

by Jace Amodo, December 06, 2018 3:12pm

If there's something better than learning from your mistakes, it is learning from other people’s mistakes. The same is true when it comes to earning experiences.

On November 24, La Fuerza's Warehouse Eight held its first standalone "Komura; Studio," an intimate conference for creative individuals who wish to learn the business side of their creative passion. The cozy co-working space was filled with aspiring and established artists, as well as pieces of wisdom shared by the panel.

Independent bookstore Kwago sells local zines and prints

On saying no to a collab

Collaborating with other artists or brands is one of the exciting parts of creative pursuit. Especially for beginners in the industry, working with minds other than your own is essential. It allows you to grow exponentially and improve your craft. What if the collab doesn't fit your values, beliefs, or branding?

For Diyalogo designer and co-founder Ian Quimbo, it's easily a no-go. "If we think na 'yung payoff is not worth it or it doesn't align with what our brand stands for, hindi namin siya gagawin." Keeping in mind the number of resources and amount of energy you'll be putting up for a partnership goes a long way.

So how do you know a collab is plunge-worthy? "As long as the content allows creative freedom and your input matters," Ian said.

On affirmations

"Be proud of your work. You should be your biggest fan." – Ian Quimbo

Participants ask for their long-sought-after answers during Q&A’s

On sticking with your core mission

Finding your niche and building a solid foundation is one thing, sticking with it is another. People who fail to achieve the latter are no strangers to changing winds and shifting sands, so to speak. The opposite is true in the case of Ringo Bunoan, founder of independent bookstore

"We really want to be just a quiet bookstore where you can come and read and have a coffee, maybe chat with someone and do research," Ringo said., according to Ringo, isn't and will never be too hybrid because "sometimes, that distracts you from your main thing."

On working with a small margin

"Our markup on books is very small. It's not like the way you markup artworks. I think it's good to keep the operations really low so that we can cover the expenses." – Ringo Bunoan

On putting your work out there

Getting recognized is no mean feat. The pressure to create a name for yourself, promoting your work indirectly, accepting blunt criticisms—it's a lot of work. And let's not get started with the many trappings of success. Trusting the process may prove to be difficult, but there's no process without first getting your foot out the door.

A portfolio is not the answer. A portfolio is a question and "yes" is the answer. One good tip we picked up from U.P. professor Rommel Joson is to do fanart, especially if you aim to become an international illustrator. "For example, you want to do book covers, illustrate covers of famous books but done in your style."

What happens is you build common ground with an art director upon seeing your portfolio. "Hunt down for opportunities. Don't wait," Rommel added.

Conference speakers Ian Quimbo and Neil Dagondon chat during a break

On multi-tasking

"On a given day, how many hours are you going to record? How are you going to promote it? Who should you talk to?" This is what spoken word artist and radio host Kooky Tuason said when asked about how she manages her time. It's a matter of scheduling, she said. However, in the pile of work to be done, it's easy to lose touch with your creativity.

Your weapon? Passion. "The reason why I keep creating is because these ideas don't let me sleep at night," Kooky said, "and so far it has paid off."

On getting inspiration

It has been said that inspiration is everywhere. Many artists live and breathe it—comic book creator Manix Abrera among them.

Manix is the man behind the popular Kikomachine comic book series. His strips feature slice-of-life stories embodied by characters with quirky, unique, and weird personalities. What many people don't know is that those strips were inspired by real-life events, only a bit exaggerated.

If he says inspiration is everywhere, it doesn't sound as cliche as it is before. His works and accomplishments can attest to that.

Comic book artist Manix Abrera gracing the event

Missed Komura; Studio? Park your own questions and watch out for the next one!

For more information, visit or follow Komura; on Facebook.


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