Hiyas De Guzman

Graphic Designer, Web Designer

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Metro Manila. I’ve been in the city all my life, except for summer vacations in my dad’s province when I was younger.

How about your schooling? Had you gone under any art training?
I graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts. I took up Visual Communication, which was more focused on graphic design than illustration.

How long have you been working professionally in graphic design?
For four years now. I started working for a graphic design firm a couple of months after graduating from college. For the first year or so of working professionally, I concentrated more on designing print collaterals but I was gradually given more web projects after that.

What things — both in art and otherwise — have you worked on, besides graphic design?
I’ve done background colors for two animated shorts. The first one, Flower Trail, was the thesis project of my friend, Titam, and it won several awards in local and international animation competitions. The second short film, Unang Araw (First Day), was a collaboration between me and Titam. I was in charge of the backgrounds and the over-all art direction of that one. We also submitted it to some animation competitions and the film won third prize in the 2007 ASEAN New Media Arts Competition.
I was also tapped by Nautilus Comics to color most of Cast Issue 4 and to help color one story from Siglo: Passion.

How did your parents take to the idea of working in graphic design?
My dad had suggested to me before to take up Architecture rather than enroll in Fine Arts but he seems proud of my accomplishments as a designer and artist so far. My mom, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be very fond of my choice, but it’s not something that she has openly discussed with me.

How would you describe your work space? Is it part of your home, or do you go “to the studio”?
My workspace is basically just a desk with my laptop and pen tablet. It used to include some space for sketching on paper but these days I work on the laptop almost exclusively.

What job are you the proudest of?
I’d have to say I’m proudest of my latest web project, which was the animation portfolio of my friend Titam. It’s pretty and also web standards-compliant.

What are you currently working on? Comments on that project?
I recently finished a book cover design for Elbert Or’s comics anthology. I’m pretty happy with how the cover came out and am excited to finally see it printed out.

What projects do you hope to work on in the future?
More book design projects! They’re fun. I want to try children’s book illustration some time in the future too.

Where do you see yourself in five years? ten?
Probably still designing print materials and websites and dabbling in animation and comics.

What’s 1 thing you’ll always find in your refrigerator?

What’s your favorite food?
Chocolate. The best way to placate me when I’m moody is to offer me chocolate.

What are your favorite interests –Movies? Music? TV? Any hobbies? Sports?
I’m an avid anime fan, except I haven’t been able to devote much time watching them since I started working. I also like to read and to listen to music. I’m not really into games and sports.

Have you ever thought of writing your own stories?
I’m not a good writer so I’d prefer to just collaborate with a writer I can trust to handle the story well.

What’s an average day in your life like?  Walk us through a typical day.
Wake up, grab some coffee, go online, work on projects, eat, work some more, drink more coffee, eat, read people’s blogs, sleep.

Do you have any great, unsold projects in your files that nobody’s gotten to see published?
The ones still germinating in my head, most likely.

If you weren’t a graphic designer today, what would you be?
I probably would have seriously pursued a job in animation.

The single thing you’d most like to be remembered for in your life is…?
More than being a good designer or artist, I’d prefer to be remembered as being a good friend.

Background Color for Flower Trail (April 2004)
Art Director and Background Artist for First Day/Unang Araw (December 2004)
Color for Cast Issue No.4 (August 2005, published by Nautilus Comics)
Color for SIGLO: Passion (December 2005, published by Nautilus Comics)
Book design for Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 2 (December 2006, published by Kestrel IMC)
Book cover design for The Kite of Stars and Other Stories (September 2007, published by Anvil Publishing)


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