Sen Mendiola


My online journal filled with random musings on motherhood, life and my creative journey as an artist.

My Ongoing Creative Journey

Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life.
— Picasso

2015. A year into motherhood, I started feeling lost or seeking out for myself again. Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter beyond I could imagine I am capable of and motherhood is such a great honor and blessing. However, motherhood is also exhausting. Slowly, I thirst for a different routine outside work, pumping, breastfeeding and caring for everyone else. At some point, I feel like I'm losing myself or I'm giving too much and all I have is an empty glass. And like what I always do, I keep all of these thoughts and feelings to myself - believing that I can solve this on my own. I know that I could, I just need to decide that I will do something and make a huge effort of not staying too much on that boat.

Slowly, I started reconnecting to my inner child and I was reminded how I love making art. And so a light bulb moment! I picked up a few brush pens and tried to learn brush lettering. It was like a breath of fresh air and I started feeling better. It was fun but I have this feeling that it is not for me. 

I asked myself, "what else?" I tried looking at my old stuff and found my very old Speedball Textbook - which instantly reminds me of my fascination of lettering styles and how I love copying them using a good old gel pen! I didn't realize back then that I was already doing calligraphy or lettering. And I thought, so why not learn it properly now?

2016. Make It Happen. And so that's what I told myself and excitedly bought my first calligraphy kit. The moment I lay the nib to paper - it was love! It literally kicked off joy, curiosity and enthusiasm to learn and master something so traditional. I initially learned on my own, practicing and studying resources I could find online. Then later I joined in-person workshops with Anina Rubio and Fozzy because I want to experience learning first hand and hear tips directly from them (nah, I simply want to meet them!! #fangirling). 

Learning calligraphy is hard and frustrating. It is a skill that requires time, commitment, diligent study and intelligent practice. But the result is so rewarding and satisfying (at least for me). Calligraphy becomes by personal therapy, source of healing, my happy boat, my niche. As my hand and script improves, so do my soul. I am finally doing something different, just for myself.

Two years later, I am still in love with this art. And here we are, bravely carving our own creative space. To where will this lead me and my craft, I have absolutely no idea! All I know is, we are here to stay, ready whenever you are. :)