Andrea Cervantes is Beruna Girl, designer & illustrator from Laguna, Philippines.

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Some of you may not know that I don’t really have a proper training in graphic design. You see, I am an Industrial Design graduate, and although we share the same foundation classes with the VisCom students, we focused on different things – and we didn’t focus on graphic design. Back then I would watch my VisCom friends do their plates and think that I’d rather make those than my plates (which were mostly engineering drawings).

Also this was the early 00’s, when going online was a relatively new thing (Friendster, anyone?) and owning your blog or posting in LJ was supposed to be really cool. I had delusions that I could write really well, so I started a blog (it was full of angst, no, ANGST). I noticed that most users have very different layouts from the ones offered by LJ, and they were very popular. How did they do it? I wanted my blog to look as pretty as those!

So I studied HTML, Photoshop, and soon CSS by myself. I spent about half of my weekly allowance on computer rental every week, just to figure out how they worked. We didn’t have laptops or wifi back then. ( If you were staying in the dorms like me and you’d want to go online, you’d go to the University Shopping Center to rent a PC.) Pretty soon someone gave me a domain name (andreavenge.happy-dagger.net! I know, so cheesy!) and I started making websites from scratch.

Here are some samples of what I did in Livejournal, happy-dagger, and Multiply. I did so many in the span of 6 years (in 2010 I stopped blogging altogether). These are not examples of good design, lol. Some are even just trendy at the time and altogether really bad, but I’m posting them so you can see how I was back then.

web1 web2 web3 web4 web5

This was my last blog design. I am happiest with this, but then I stopped writing and pretty soon Multiply was replaced by Facebook.

And I guess I learned graphic design this way. I wasn’t even keen on being the Next Big Thing or even looking for work; I just wanted to have a pretty blog. I got to learn how to use these programs and codes this way, and this in turn helped me in making projects and presentations. What I learned from all of these, I applied in school, and soon, at work. I didn’t even think that all of these would land me a job, or lead me to pursue graphic design. Back then I wasn’t aware that I was learning at all – I just thought it was a hobby that I was really passionate about. And if you think about it, learning should be kind of like this.

Comments for this entry

nice to hear your story on how you discover how to make such thing related to designing. Naalala ko nga uso talaga ang iframes before! Hahaha but now talagang bibihira ka nalang makita eh. Ako before, super duper nagtiyaga rin ako para lang matutunan ang web and graphic designing. Self-study rin ako sa HTML and CSS, mas uso pa nga noon ung Paint Shop Pro haha, pero mas like ko parin ung Adobe Photoshop. I started it nung 2002 naman, ung blogs ko before sa xanga and blogdrive 🙂 Lols. Di pa afford noon makabili ng domains and oonte palang mga Pinoy bloggers noon, hirap makatagpo unlike ngayon.

on August 12, 2012 at 6:34 am
berunagirl

Yes, yung magtatyaga ka sa Paint Shop Pro kapag walang available PC with Photoshop! Also, so many serious HTML/CSS courses are offered now, when in our time we just did research to support our blog. I think young bloggers are so lucky now than before, when we weren’t even sure that people were reading us, much less na aasa kang may sponsors ka palang pwedeng makuha. XD I know people who’ve read my entry too and told me how they remembered the old days. 🙂

on August 12, 2012 at 8:37 pm

[…] hire me), and use it on Stacey. (It’s kind of a throwback to that time in my life when I made (really bad) websites, haha.) WordPress does lots of things for you and sometimes you can’t keep track of files you want […]

on August 14, 2013 at 3:12 pm

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