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

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A very long, overdue post, guys, but I finally made it! And with a new layout too! I AM SO HAPPY WITH IT.

During the start of the year, I was itching to blog about stuff that happened last year. I have a lot of backlog right after I got out of the hospital. But whenever I open the site, I can’t help but notice things and re-evaluate. Do I need an intro page like that? My About page is so long, lulz. I don’t feel like clicking the Portfolio page, eh. Internally, WordPress’s gallery was tiring to maintain – it was too cluttered and powerful for what I need.

Also, I was starting to use my logo into forms, invoices, and other media, and I noticed that the asymmetrical shape makes it hard to layout. I tried modifying it a bit… but it’s still not it.

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Also, it became too swirly! Hmm.

So I decided that I needed a complete overhaul, which was good but tiring. Pretty soon, instead of updating my blog, I just sit and nitpick about things I didn’t like about it. That’s it, blog layout, I love you but I need to move on.

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A last look – I’m listening to The Great Gatsby soundtrack while typing this, and I can imagine my blog singing to me: will you still love me, when I’m no longer young and beautiful. Of course bb I will, I’m just changing your layout, that’s all. 🙂

It took me a really long time to start, and to figure out what to do – it was what I was doing site-wise during that long downtime. I grabbed little bursts of free time to work on the things I wanted to change, mainly my logo, colors, and layout.

I modified my logo first. There were too many loops and elements in the old one, so I decided to tame it down a bit.

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Also, I’ve been reading more on grids in design, so I used grids FINALLY after forgetting all about it. GRIDS, THEY ARE IMPORTANT. Now this variation has the personality of the old one, but more structured. LOVE IT.

After the logo, I wanted to define elements I want to use around the blog. Initially, I just wanted to make do with my ribbons and make a pretty “inspiration board” post. But I found Braizen‘s branding boards and realized that I needed to sort out my site stuff with that kind of clarity.

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With all the keywords, fonts, new icons and everything! I changed Museo and Caslon into Tisa and Minion because they are better suited for web.

This got me really excited about diving in and doing a complete layout overhaul. I spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at various WordPress templates and themes, but I never found what I really wanted. I got overwhelmed while working on Em’s website too, so I developed this love-hate relationship with WordPress.

Fortunately, I found Stacey App CMS from Tin & Ed’s and Kara Villaseran‘s sites. Reading through it sounds complicated, but I figured out things by looking at templates. It’s easy! I found out that I can still churn out a decent website from scratch (still, please don’t 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 to modify – but with Stacey I know where all my files are going! Genius.

WordPress is still great at blogs though, so I chose the simplest theme to modify and made a seamless blog page.

I was so addicted to making my site from scratch, I spent my birthday doing it! No really: it was Election Day and I couldn’t go outside after voting, so I chose to do this instead.

I’ve still have lots of work to upload! But here’s the site for now. This means I can finally go on with my life, work properly, ship orders and watch Hannibal episodes on repeat do more productive things.

Check out the portfolio and about pages (the contact thing works!!!), and finally linked my shop and social networks on the menu. How do you like it so far? 🙂



Hey guys! I know, I’m pretty much delayed with updating this blog! Believe me when I say I really, really, REALLY want to update… but because I started out the year with fixing my friend’s site up, I’ve been itching to update this site. Plans have been at the back of my mind and I really want to sit down and do this well… and until I do, I just don’t want to see this old layout. I’m suddenly so impatient with this!

But really good things have happened these past few months, I’ve been bursting with stories to tell!

HOLIDAYS = HARD WORK

“Busy” is an understatement during those days. I’ve been designing giveaways and bundling them up by myself at work, we’ve been visiting relatives and it’s pretty hard to do while commuting, and I’ve been trying to start a small store.

Because of my former jobs in graphics, I get dibs on designing stuff for company events. When you think about it, internal company events can run with things designed in MS Powerpoint (I hate Powerpoint with a passion, guys) and get away with it. I tried so hard to go against it, even if I’m given a really short deadline and a last-minute brief. So I’ve been making event tarps, shirts, and what-have-you’s ever since I got this job.

Here are some things that we did during the holidays, minus the usual Christmas cards (I didn’t take a picture of those because once I was done I was SO TIRED):

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CAT CALENDAR. Bask in the cuteness of these felines, while keeping with the dates. I had SO MANY CLIENTS requesting for these when people were giving them out, which was good for the company… but I was the only one assembling the stuff so YAY ARMY OF CATS. :O

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Cut-out Christmas tree that we gave away with the cats. And… our only photo of the truck that we dressed up as Santa Claus for the annual CSR Christmas outreach program, because after we finished this we all passed out. This was A PAIN TO DECORATE, as it is a huge-ass 20-wheeler truck. Thankful that I didn’t have do this by myself ! *high-fives D&T team*

And… after this I just go directly to bed. Good times?

Jake and Joy’s Wedding Invites

Jake is one of my blockmates in engineering, and I’m pretty flattered when they remember that I design things, because these engineering people are not to be messed with. CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRIES, YO. Anyway, he got married last January so I’ve worked on his and his wife Joy’s wedding invitations.

I tried to design an invitation for another couple in the past, but I guess I didn’t capture the bride’s tastes, and I learned early on that it’s a very important thing; otherwise, let another artist do it. I was hesitant to make another one (“maybe I’m not really for weddings, huhuhuhuhu”), but I love how Joy sent me her inspiration board that I got into her state of mind pretty quickly!

At first they wanted to change the typefaces and add some accents to an existing design

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And then they told me that they like mine so much that I should consider a redesign!

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The final thing!

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Things were so hectic and problematic that day that I didn’t make it to their wedding (Who loses her stuff on a jeep? Me.) and I’ve yet to see the invite printed out, but I’m so glad I made two beautiful people happy!

Fandom Jots

I confess: I was eager to have this giveaway last October, partly because I wanted to know how to ship out stuff abroad to clients. The experiment turned out to be a success because I learned how to send stuff internationally!

I signed up for Etsy a long time ago, just in case my friends and I revive our accessory business. Seeing the demand and the feedback I got from the Tumblr community, I plucked out the courage to use that account and try selling stuff! And this is how my Etsy shop, Beruna Girl Papers was born!

Right now I’ve been thinking of expanding to other fandoms and geek-related activities, as well as putting out some badass quotes and drawings in the future, as well as new bindings and materials. Gonna experiment with cards, posters, and other stationery too! Right now, here are the new things! 🙂

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I’ve also added a small widget of my Etsy Store on the right side of the blog, check it out! 😀

Wired Feature! WOOT!

To celebrate Fringe’s final season, Gallery 1988 at LA held Fringe Benefits, a show featuring gorgeous Fringe-inspired artworks and posters. When Wired Underwire featured the exhibit, they went out of their way to feature Fringe fanart from around the world… and they picked one of mine!blog-inbetween2

Super thanks to Jon Ginn (who is probably one of the cutest guys in Tumblr, and check out his contribution as well) and Hugh Hart for discovering my work and featuring it on one of my favorite sites!

Em’s Site

My friend Em, who collaborated with me here, asked me to revive her portfolio site. Being Em, I know she loves minimalism and clean working spaces because her works are so colorful and playful, that they don’t need any additional accents.

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Now, here is a study in humility: I failed to deliver on time because I realized I couldn’t code fast enough. I am so glad that Em still accepted my work, and we’re still talking, but there should be no excuses. I realized that I am pretty rusty on coding, and that I should always have a backup when things go wrong! When things were going wrong, this piece by Jessica Hische came into mind. I stepped onto the challenge because Em had been a great friend and I thought  I could muster something as easily as I did some years ago, but I keep on forgetting that I chose to develop and enrich another talent – that I can’t do everything.

But I step back, and I thought I did pretty well!

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Lots of lessons learned, and I’m glad that things got to be better. Also folks, don’t give me coding jobs yet!

Well. This is a long post, it needs a part 2! Will come up shortly!



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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.

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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.



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