March 27th, 2014

Design director Eugene Gauran represented The Mill at Southeast Asia’s "super bowl of creative conferences" - also known as Graphika Manila. He shares his experience inspiring and being inspired by Manila through: the passionate audience, the talented artists and the colorful culture.

Based out of LA, Eugene Gauran hails from Cebu City, Philippines, giving his experience a special personal relevance that can best be summed up as “a dream come true.”

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The Conference

The audience was made up of 4,000 incredibly welcoming members of the design community, with some eager attendees queuing up four hours before doors even opened. The crowd responded with enthusiasm and passion to the Eugene's presentation showcasing The Mill's work in design and concepting.

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And like design rock stars, the presenters spent two hours autographing programs and providing words of wisdom to eager fans. Eugene shares, “It was cool to experience that side of our profession – to know that beyond sitting behind a desk, you are impacting people. To meet those people was really humbling.”

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The Artists

The program included work by well-known local artists with a wide range of clientele. Local culture was an obvious influence on the artists' work through festive, colorful, and quirky approaches much like the very colorful and cheerful ‘Jeepney’ trucks.

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And like any good conference, there was the opportunity to connect directly with other talented artists. Several local artists that stood out include:

Dan Matutina

A designer and illustrator based in the Philippines. He loves mixing handmade & digital, clean & dirty, old & modern aesthetics, and combining colors with different textures & shapes to tell a story. Check out his Versus/Hearts project for a creative interpretation of rivalries.

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Rezaliando (4NDO)

A freelancer, art director & motion designer in Singapore. His passion is creating dynamic and beautiful moving graphics & typography. He has worked in motion industry for eight years with clients such as Ubisoft, Ministry of Sound, Nickelodeon, Disney, Razer and MTV.

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AJ Dimarucot

A graphic designer, entrepreneur and restaurateur. He is known for his iconic work on t-shirts, having designed for the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Michael Jackson and Jordan Brand; as well as crowd-sourced t-shirt designs for Threadless and Design by Humans. AJ also owns the hip baby clothing line googoo&gaga and co-owns the hit Filipino-Mexican restaurant MADECA.

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The Culture

Beyond the conference, the city of Manila provided a colorful bounty of inspiration. From the Spanish influence in Old Manila to the trinkets and "treats" sold at street vendors to the friendly faces, there is an overall sense of community in the city that conveys: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

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