My signed copies of Rebus and my favorite Umbrella Academy cover by James Jean. I keep staring at the drawing he added on Rebus. His lines are always so lovely.
It’s hard to process that it’s been two years since James Jean’s last visit to Manila. So much had changed since then, but hearing that he was coming here again pretty much had the same effect on me.
Yesterday I attended his artist talk in Ateneo. It was such an amazing, inspiring day. A pleasant surprise came in a form of an old friend come home to visit from studying in SVA. I managed to catch up with her and learn a bit about what it’s like over there. I also met a lot of wonderful new people while waiting for the talk to start. (Which was a while because I was actually really early this time.) It was really cool how we all seemed to ride on the same wavelengths and just immediately talked about so many things, starting with telling each other a bit about ourselves and our day to day lives. As the locally-based art student/freelance artist of the lot, I feel like I was the least interesting one, hahah. It was really fascinating hearing about the lives of med students and law students who are really into art and create some of their own. We even did a random doodle collab while waiting.
When the staff opened the auditorium doors and said we could go in, our bunch ran for the front. I got front row center! Hahaha!
AWW YEAH SUPER CREEPER SEAT. I promised my friends who were abroad or simply unable to attend the talk that I’d record it on video for them, and that I did. I hope Mr. Jean was not entirely creeped out by me.
James Jean’s artist talk was again, awe-inspiring. He was down-to-earth, witty, and modestly but remarkably eloquent. I apologize that I’m unable to describe this part of the day in more detail but really, my words are not enough. Dear reader, I wish you could have been there.
On a side note, I nearly dropped my camera when James started talking about working with Gerard Way for The Black Parade. A certain few of you are probably aware of why I look up to Gerard as a person. I figured that album art might come in as part of the talk but I didn’t see it coming at the moment that it did and was therefore deprived of the opportunity to brace my feelings. Hearing an artist I hold in such high regard talk about (however candidly) working with another person I greatly admire made my heart jump a little.
I would like to add that I am rather proud of myself for not being a verbally incapacitated idiot like during his last visit when I wasn’t able to say anything substantial to him. During the Q&A portion I worked up the guts to ask the questions I had in mind, which he answered extensively and articulately. Earlier during the talk, he had mentioned how he was intimidated by comic book artists who could draw so consistently and when he tried drawing the characters for his Fables covers, they would never come out the same and his style kept changing. After thanking him for answering my questions and having a little conversation with me, I told him that for what it’s worth, I think the way his covers looked so different all the time was what made them so beautiful. It might no longer be relevant to his fine art work now, but I was just really happy to be able to tell him that.
While he signed my books I thanked him again for coming back and doing another talk; he said a lot of things I just really needed to hear so I was extremely grateful. And somehow he remembered I was first in line that day, hahah.
Up to now I’m still beaming from the memory of that whole day. I can’t wait to work on my paintings again.