How collaboration of 40 Filipino artists gave life to a baby pawikan

October 25, 2018 - 7:32 PM

An animated video of a baby pawikan created in 42 different artistic styles earned the praise of various social media users.

Several Filipino artists hailing from different advertising industries—most of them being freelancers—decided to collaborate and create a “passion project” in a span of six days.

According to Niccolo Anacleto, a freelance motion graphic designer and artist, they were originally inspired by an animated video created by different artists in Moscow. A friend sent him the link from Instagram.

The video showed a “maneki neko” or a Japanese fortune cat interpreted by artists who have their own distinctive styles.

“They’re artists in Moscow who made this short (video). One second each, 24 frame animation of a lucky cat in different styles and their own brands of humor,” Anacleto said in an interview with Interaksyon.

When he initially saw the video, he immediately thought that it would be fun to create a similar one.

“When I saw it, I thought it would be really, really fun, first of all! And madami din akong kilala na fun personalities, so (it’s) perfect!” he exclaimed.

“And I figured na, ‘Hey, we can do this!’ And I actually know a lot of people who are capable. That and making a group na tropa peeps (friends) would be fun too!”

Anacleto shared that it started with him and just eight of his friends. He admitted that they only expected 12 people to join the project.

Anacleto explained, “It kind of snowballed after the first few people. I was still non-stop (on) inviting all the artists I knew, (I was) going through my Facebook and Instagram friends.”

“Some of the people in the group (who) thought (that) it was a cool collaboration started inviting a few people too… and by Saturday (October 20), mga 40 na ‘yung nasa group.”

There were no strict rules on the baby pawikan interpretation, he noted. The artists were free to interpret it in “any shape, any style, any crazy idea.”

“Basta same first and last pose, para kabit-kabit sa edit,” Anacleto added.

He saw the Instagram on video on October 16, completed the group of artists by October 17 and simultaneously decided on a “soft deadline” by the night of October 21.

Anacleto admitted that it was challenging for them since they had to do the project in the midst of their freelance and corporate work.

“But to make a 40-person collaboration work, we had to streamline the process,” he said.

“We ended up finishing it on Monday night (October 22) so we could maybe post it on Tuesday morning (October 23),” the freelance artist continued.

According to him, more than 40 artists had originally signed up for the collaboration. Unfortunately, some of them couldn’t finish their own interpretations on time. Others unexpectedly became busy with their own projects.

Not the first choice 

Anacleto disclosed that the baby pawikan wasn’t even their first choice. He and his eight friends decided to suggest different subjects for the video and vote for the one they would like to interpret following their respective artistic styles.

“It was a funny vote from the start,” Anacleto revealed. “The choices were a cup of milk tea, taong grasa, Sto. Niño or a baby pawikan. I really wanted the baby pawikan to win because… hey, it’s a baby pawikan!”

‘Creative release’ 

The collaboration came from their shared desire to break free from their daily routine as freelance and corporate workers.

“(It was) mostly to break the cycle of just doing corporate and client works over and over again… and I think kaya ang dami din sumali, kasi this is sort of a creative release for most of us,” Anacleto explained.

“Looking back, it really worked and I think kita naman sa works nila that they all had fun. I guess ‘pag personal passion projects talaga, mas nakakatuwa gawin,” he shared.

Silhoutte of workers

In the midst of their corporate and freelance work, 40 Filipino artists managed to create their own interpretations of a baby pawikan. (Creative Commons/Stock photo)

Apart from passion, the freelance artist admitted that they also did it in order to share something on their social media accounts. It was also an opportunity for them to meet new people with shared interests and bond in what he considered a crazy manner.

“It kind of felt like something bigger than us when all of these other artists joined in, so talagang ginanahan kami na pagandahin ‘yung mga pawikan namin,” Anacleto said.

He added that they are not closing any doors for another opportunity to work together and create another passion project.

“The group is planning to do another project and everyone’s welcome to join!” Anacleto exclaimed.

A look at the state of pawikans 

Pawikans or marine turtles are considered globally endangered species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

World Wide Fund for Nature reports that different human activities for over 200 years have caused these species to become endangered.

Specific factors listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature are the following:

  • Coastal development: Shoreline and seafloor alterations (nesting beach degradation, seafloor dredging, vessel traffic, construction and alteration of vegetation) 
  • Ocean pollution: Proliferation of plastics, discarded fishing gears, spillage of petroleum by-products and other chemicals 
  • Climate change: Extreme weather patterns (loss of nesting beaches, alterations to habitats and basic oceanographic processes) 
  • Harvesting activities: Captured for food and commercial purposes
  • Fishing activities: Net entanglement, habitat destruction, food web changes 

The Philippines started to partake in pawikan conservation during the early 1980s. However, it was not until 1992 that an organization actively pursued efforts to protect the marine turtles.

The Pawikan Conservation Center in Morong, Bataan was created to protect the pawikans from poaching, egg gathering, slaughter, illegal fishing and pollution.

They are in charge of educating the local community about the creature’s endangered state, providing a hatchery and allowing volunteers to release pawikans into the sea. — Video and interview by Uela Altar-Badayos