Graphika Manila 2017 (highlights)

Last January 21 and 22, one of the biggest conferences on creativity and design in the Philippines was held. The team behind Graphika Manila 2017 has invited an amazing set of speakers from different fields of design such as animation, visual effects, motion design, and web design.

This is my first Graphika Manila, and hopefully not the last.

The first day of the conference is already packed with not only surprises, but also people (literally). Tickets can be claimed as early as 10:30 in the morning at the booth right outside the venue on the 2nd floor of SMX Convention Center. The doors were set to open at 11:30 AM, but I think they opened it a bit earlier due to overcrowding.

I was one of those delegates who bought the ticket online so I have to claim my ticket at their booth. As I went there, I saw that there are a lot of limited edition merch on sale. This includes posters, illustrations, and tees (including the limited GM 2017 shirt which I was not able to buy…sad).

When I got inside the venue, I immediately looked for a seat near the front so I can clearly see the speakers. But I forgot that I have to get my conference kit. The booth for the conference kit was located at the front corners of the venue. The conference kit includes:

  • Black Flood 2 (a picture book containing B&W illustrations from different contributing artists)
  • The event leaflet
  • 2 stickers designed by GM team
  • Black scarf/handkerchief with illustrations
Black Flood 2, everyone who attended the 2-day conference receives one as part of the conference kit. (Photo by Graphika Manila)

When I went back, my seat was already taken! That’s how exciting the conference was. Since the program will not start until 1 PM, I decided to have lunch first since the event will consume the whole afternoon.

After having lunch, I am surprised that there were a lot of delegates on the event. And since I was alone, it was easy enough for me to look for another seat.

DAY 1 Speakers:

DAY 2 Speakers:

Gary Baseman signing autographs after the first day of the conference concluded.


It has always been my dream to become one of those people mentioned above. I love how each of them tells a story through animation or graphics. Although I didn’t end up taking a college course related to any of those, I realized that I can still make art in the future.

Another note I took is the importance of being unique or different. Like what Mark Ziul said, the competition is getting tougher and tougher. So you have to know what makes you ahead or unique among the others. What makes you special?

Mark noted something that’s really happening right now in the design industry. A lot of artists are competing for few positions. I kinda blame our country because of the lack of appreciation for art (in general), and to art-related careers. Filipinos are inherently talented and creative, but most don’t have the avenue to demonstrate or perform what they can do. Maybe that’s why many still have the notion that “there’s no future in art”.

Well, the list of people above is proof that there IS future in art.


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