Local Artist Features Native Plants in Her Stationery Products

By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Photos from Cynthia Bauzon-Arre’s website

Nature leaves its mark on a person in different ways. For graphic designer Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, it means featuring indigenous plants and wildlife in her art. 

Cynthia Bauzon-Arre

A graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, Cynthia worked in the advertising industry before branching out on her own. Her art has appeared on album covers of local bands like the Eraserheads, Sandwich, Itchyworms, Imago, and more. 

Cynthia started to paint when she was about eight years old. Her parents noticed that she had a passion for the arts, so they provided her with the materials to encourage her.

It wasn’t until she was a teen when she received her “official” training in a summer art workshop under veteran artist Fernando Sena.

Growing up, Cynthia also liked to watch Bob Ross’ show which inspired her to emulate the way he painted different sceneries.

Going Local

Now, some of her drawings focus on different flora and fauna in the country. Just like the sceneries she makes, she also takes into account the different details of her subject.

At first, just the shapes and colors but while drawing them, I started noticing the different qualities that make each species unique—the way each flower petal curls inwards or outwards, even the way veins of the leaves are arranged,” Cynthia said.

In was only a year ago when she started to focus her attention on the different flora around her.

It started with me drawing the fruit I used to eat often as a child. We had duhat. mango, aratiles and kaimito trees; along with a calamansi shrub in our garden and I remember “harvesting” and consuming them so there was a personal bond,” Cynthia said.

She finds enjoyment in drawing them so she also explored the flowers she saw growing up by illustrating them as well. As she began to be more observant of nature, she also started to notice the birds and insects too.

Planned Out

Cynthia’s passion for painting and love for nature made her the perfect candidate to design a planner that will focus as well as advocate for the native trees in the country.

“FFP (Forest Foundation of the Philippines) approached me early this year to ask if I’d be open to collaborating on projects that could help promote native trees and their important role in forest conservation. A planner was one of the items they brought up so I made a project concept proposal which they approved,” Cynthia said. 

In collaboration with Forest Foundation Philippines, Cynthia’s 2019 planner will highlight native trees and how to spot them.

For each month in the year, there will be a corresponding tree that will be featured in the planner. In addition, it will also be equipped with information on how to identify them and where to find them.

“Basically it’s part planner part mini-field guide,” Cynthia said. “The foresters of FFP helped me gather data and check accuracy of the info we placed in the planner.”

According to Cynthia, the FFP gave her complete freedom to develop the look of the planner along with the rest of the materials for the advocacy campaign.

Other than the featured trees, the planner also has eco-tips for each month, spaces for setting green goals, tree-drawing instructions, and a spread for tree-spotting notes.

Cynthia is also known for making artworks that are connected to the Philippine’s flora and fauna. She shared that the vegetables, fruits, flowers, and animals that she draws come from her memories or personal experiences with them.

She also believes that if her art were to be paired with proper information, it could help encourage people support locally-grown produce.

At times, Cynthia uses some of her artworks as elements to make patterns that she print on notebooks and other stationery that she sells in her online store or through Common Room and Hey Kessy in UP Town Center.

Cynthia also makes pocket notebooks and stickers that feature local plants and animals. She explained that the stickers have info sheets at the back for educational purposes.

For more information, visit Cynthia B. Arre’s Art Shop and Creative Playground

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Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Patricia Taculao, or Patty as she likes to be called, is a content producer for Manila Bulletin Digital Lifestyle. She graduated from University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She loves to spend her free time, reading, painting, and watching old movies.

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