Illustrator Sketchpad: Jomike Tejido’s Banig (Hand-woven Mat) Artwork

We are very privileged to have with us a multi-award-winning illustrator and author of Filipino children’s books, Mr. Jomike Tejido. Thank you so much, Jomike, for taking time out from your busy schedule to answer a few of our questions.

Do share with us how your collaboration with Noel Cabangon came about? What were your first thoughts upon being told of the project?

It was the publisher, Lampara books, that assigned me to Mr. Cabangon’s story. Ive been working with this publisher for the past 10 years and he has seen my full spectrum of styles, including my banig (hand woven mat) painting illustration style. Since it is very Filipino, it matched well with the theme of this book.

What made you decide to use banig paintings as your medium for this picture book?

The good Filipino values is very coherent with my vision of having a painting style that speaks of the Philippines’ products. The banig is an agricultural sub-product used for mats and bags. This can be a very good conversational piece as my mats travel the world and promote the country by its mere unconventional ground.

Original images provided by the illustrator. Copyright of Jomike Tejido.

Though pictures may show what they look like, it is best to see them live to appreciate the texture of the weavings, which are retained, but sealed in my paintings. I have done this for two other Lampara book titles: Alamat ng Bawang (by Segundo Matias Jr.), and Sa Tapat ng Tindahan ni Mang Teban (by Joaquin Antonio).

How long did it take you to complete the entire book?

It took around 2 months to do the actual painting. Figuring out the sketches took half a month I guess. It was a puzzle since I foresaw the planning of the exhibit beforehand. I wanted some diptych and triptych pieces, as well as fill an entire book with its appropriate pictures to corresponding text.

How is this different from other projects that you have done previously?

This picture book is like a roster of examples of how Filipinos of different ages and roles in the society act as good citizens. There isn’t a main character(s) that we follow all throughout the book. This gave me more freedom to create various characters per spread. It was more comfortable in the sense that I can do more character designs independent of previous pages.

What are some of your upcoming projects?

Two new books will be launched soon under the Foldabots brand: Foldabots Toy Book Volume 5 for November and the Foldabots Ultimate Guide for Christmas 2012. More info on this can be found in my website.

I am currently doing picturebooks for 3 publishers; one of which, I wrote myself and am very excited for it since Tahanan books gave me a good 4-month working period to really make it nice. Another one is a big book project which my wife, Haraya wrote. It is the second in our Think Big Series by Vibal Publishing. We are timing it with our toddler’s entry into the reading age. I also have my very first north American book deal in the works. All these will be under my newest “fixed” illustration style – the style I will be marking as my signature look starting mid 2012. So there’s a lot to look forward to in 2013!

Follow my illustration blog for the latest updates of my latest adventures.

Once again, many thanks, Jomike for being part of GatheringBooks this month.

1 comment

  1. Tabatha

    Fantastic! I love Jomike’s use of color and shapes and the expressions on his characters’ faces. Thanks for sharing his work with us!

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