MJ ROXAS

I AM A

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MJ Roxas

A full-time Project Manager in IT services with passion for arts and wanders. When she's not busy working on gantt charts and financials, she devours her time doing the basics: reading, writing, or crafting (but always over a cup of coffee). In 2014, she has discovered her obsession with papercutting and has been exploring her unique style ever since. From portraits to florals, geometric patterns to maps, her works are always a work of art out of love.

She hopes you find this little space a source of inspiration to do more art and honor the gift of The Ultimate Creative, our Most High.

Other interests: Books | Violin | Indie Films | Long Walks | Meaningful Conversations


Education
University of Asia and the Pacific

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

Ateneo Graduate School of Business

Master of Business Administration

September 2017 intake


Experience
Product Development and Delivery Manager

Voyager Innovations, Inc.

Part-time University Instructor

University of Asia and the Pacific - School of Management

Papercut Artist

Independent


My Skills
Florals and Geometric Papercutting
Portrait Papercutting
Creative Writing
Event Creatives Solutioning

CREATIVE SERVICES

Art Commissions

Custom-made papercut pieces perfect for personal emblem or celebratory presents.

Art Workshops

Learn the art of papercutting. Join the group schedule or book me for a private 3-hour class.

Event Creatives

Craft projects for event designs and creative needs.

PORTFOLIO
This is being updated. You may view my Instagram account in the meantime. :)

[In Retrospect] Papercutting x Hong Kong

"If your eyes could speak, what would they say?" I'm borrowing this line from one of my favorite novels, The Book Thief, as majority of this post would be inundated with words trying to picture that beautiful Saturday of Jan 20, 2018.

Before
Hong Kong is not totally new to me. Who would miss the enormous skyscraper flaunted in the movies, or the kiddie theme park most Asian children dreamt about? Without even having to go that far, my nearest and dearest would zealously share their travel stories over the usual beef jerky pasalubong. And a moment later, we'd find ourselves looking for the best Hong Kong milk tea imported in town. But I guess there's more to experience than just seeing what you've told right before your eyes. So alone, I booked a flight. Boldly, I took a leap of faith of sharing my craft to the locals. 
Right before my eyes. ;)

Espresso Alchemy in Kwai Fong happily accepted my proposal and our agreement was sealed quickly. Beginner's luck maybe? But was I on my right mind? Why would an outsider teach the locals about the craft they shared to the world? (China stemmed the art of papercutting where Hong Kong is part of. Colonized by United Kingdom until 1997 when HK sovereignty was turned over to China -- One Country, Two Systems. The rest is history.) Hence as soon as my mail buzzed me for the first registration, I dialed back and immediately closed the link. My heart felt at ease doing one-on-one session. 

Two days before my flight, another email came in from a sender who bore a Chinese family name, enquiring about the workshop. For this person to bother writing instead of closing a broken link must be something. And I was in no position to decline, given the circumstances.

The Day
Anxiety kept me from sleeping. While I have done workshops with total strangers before, this was the first I had to do overseas, with international audience, alone. The cold wind blowing harshly on my face as I navigate to an unfamiliar place far from the city center did not help either. But thanks to Google Maps and Hong Kong’s efficient train system, I made it there.

I met with two attendees, a man named Joe who speaks Chinese words the ones you read in classic literature (so I was told). The other, a lady, is an expat who grew up in the west side of the globe. The former drew with such precision that even basic shapes do come to life, while the latter is free-flowing, an impressionist attack on the subject. You could see things through her eyes!

Despite the differences in culture and languages, we were able to connect far beyond and deeper than I normally do with people back in Manila. So priceless to hear stories from different perspectives, and to see how they apply my papercut techniques very differently. I was even luckier to be given a hand-sewn pouch embroidered with my initials on it; and a pack of artisan tea from the café for free!
Photo taken by Lai

We may not have taken a photo altogether, but the memory remains in my heart.

After
The day after the workshop, Lai generously offered to spend her Sunday with me. We met at Diamond Hill MTR to visit Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens next door, ordered milk tea for the long ride going to Sai Kung, a not-so-touristy place at the south of Hong Kong. I was welcomed by salty air and local buskers, fat and furry dogs, and of course, the floating seafood market where I purchased dried fish for pasalubong. We were supposed to take a quick boat ride and visit Yim Tin Tsai, a quiet island with salt pan fields. But we arrived too late, and the only activity left was to dine at an al fresco Chinese restaurant, sharing food and stories about our lives back home.
Peace and quiet nunnery and garden against high-rises.
Sai Kung

What I wanted to just get done for the sake of doing so turned out to be one of the best memories I've had throughout my existence. Now I will remember Hong Kong more than just its skyscrapers and dimsum and milk tea and what everyone else's stories told me. For me, Hong Kong is now like a second home. Thank you for giving me the best start! It was definitely cold during my visit but I felt warm.
  See you again!

PS. Up to date, I'm still in touch with Joe and Lai. <3

Interview with ANC Shoptalk


Before the interview was a story I'd never forget. So let me please take you back to where it all started.

It was in the year of 2015 when I handled a Developmental Social Enterprise Awards - a volunteer work with BCY Foundation in partnership with ADB. I was acting as the Project Coordinator then, a sheer luck position entrusted to me provided I did not have the expertise in doing Project Management. (Take note, this was back in 2015, and I was still doing SAP technical work full-time). But the world was too kind and everything went smoothly: from securing partnership to gathering volunteers and executing the plan. To top it all up, I was even fortunate to get Ms. Lexi Schulze to be our host, pro bono!

That's when I first met her, the ANC host and TV personality. For her to do it pro bono made me exceptionally grateful that I wanted to offer something special and hopefully, equally extraordinary. Hence the birth of my first portrait papercut.

Two years after, I met again with Ms. Lexi. This time, she's wearing the host hat in her own program, Shoptalk, on ANC. Believe it or not, I was the guest interviewee for the segment Making Money out of Passion.

Ms. Lexi: Is this your first time?
Me: Yes.
Ms. Lexi: 'Cause you look nervous. Breathe. It's just like making kwento. Also, don't hide your face.
(Because my pretend-to-be fringe was all over my face haha)

Blinding lights flashed and the cameras started rolling. I could not remember how I managed to survive the longest 15 minutes of my life with everyone's eyes in the set staring at me, at us. But that's life, isn't it? We simply survive.
Some info they posted about me. Yes, now a full-time Project Manager, part-time university instructor, papercut artist, and an MBA student.

I was at a loss for words in telling the world about my craft. Do you know the feeling when the word seems to lose its meaning as soon as it leaves your mouth? That is. I wonder if I even made sense.

Again, let me put emphasis on what I said... Try different arts until you finally find that something you can call your craft. Find inspiration from your surroundings; but hopefully the way people receive and perceive your works would not define how you'd like to proceed. Do it for love and do it well. The rest just follows.

PS. I highly believe that I'm not the right person to say anything about this. For one, I am just starting. But if my humble beginnings would inspire people, then let this be an inspiration. Feel free to ask me any questions, I'd be happy to answer and provide guidance in any way I can. 

Full video aired on 17 Nov 2017 but is still available on iwantv.com.

Papercutting Workshop at Coffee Grounds, Davao City

Leisure travel turned something else when I decided to conduct a Papercutting Workshop in Davao under Wandering Craft PH team. 
Workshop Inclusions:
Craft kit
-cutting mat
-craft knife
-extra blades
-papers
-pencil
-eraser
Double-glass frame
Practice Sheets
Templates
Certificate of Completion
1 drink of your choice
Lots of fun and creative learning experience!

Had the whole room to ourselves at Coffee Grounds. The place is perfect for some alone time or catch-ups with friends!

Practice sheets

Participants enjoying their craft over a drink of their choice.

The Basics

The Intricate

No talking, guys? Hehe

Participants with their certificates.

We had an intimate group and was fortunate to be able to have such a wonderful crafternoon with them. Apart from talking about the craft, we had meaningful convos on life and Davao. Many thanks! See you around! <3

Address: Roxas Street, Purok 2, Barangay 31-D, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
Opens: 11AM to 12MN
Website: Coffee Grounds 

Want to learn, too? Book me here.

Exhibit Entry: True North

How ironic to entitle this piece "Find Your True North" then lose to an art exhibit? I am still not over it.

What is Love?


What is love? Don't get me started. Haha just kidding. Let's just define it the way the Holy Writ does.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

So the next time I develop a crush on someone, I'd replace love with the person's name and see if it still fits. 


Exhibit Entry: Explore

 
My First Art Exhibit
I was naively checking my personal email when I saw a subject in bold font, "All One Piece Exhibit Submission," from Katipunan Art Festival account.

As I wrote this, I couldn't remember exactly what I felt then. What I did remember though was that even after the event, I still found myself half unbelieving that the art fair, curated by famous local artisans, welcomed the work of my humble beginnings. Both overwhelmed and excited (plus some kilig), I conceptualized my piece, crafted and submitted, then eagerly attended the fair.

My exhibit piece was far from extraordinary. It's a simple world, literally, of a person who seeks adventure and experience more in life. As John Green says in one of his books, go to seek the Great Perhaps.


A bit of souvenir - yes, I'm the Mary Roxas referred to in the photo. 


Silhouette Games


One of the perks of doing papercut pieces is to play with them in silhouette or shadow effects. Inspired by Wolf Children, an anime that surely made me weep. Simple yet classy. Do you agree? ❤

Collaborate With Me

Contact
MJ Roxas
+63935 9496942
Manila, Philippines
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