DesignTalks x Dan Matutina at The Ayala Museum: An Art Aficionado’s Dream Talk
Last March 31, 2014 in the heart of Makati, various art appreciators and enthusiasts attended the Ayala Museum’s Design Talks to listen to the most amazing, talented, and quirkily charismatic Dan Matutina who shared his insights, learnings and tips about his colorful and passion-driven career.
Dan Matutina is one of the most recognized and prominent designers and illustrators of the Philippines with blue chip clients up his sleeve, including Coca-Cola, Wall Street Journal, Google and Nike, to name a few. A lecturer in the University of the Philippines, Dan Matutina is also titled as one of the Art Directors Club’s Young Guns of 2013 in New York. Alongside this, he has also participated in international fine art exhibitions and has been a judge for various design competitions. He even created limited edition Havaianas flip flops last year. Read more about that here: MYOH 2013: The Ultimate Make Your Own Havaianas Experience
After arriving at the Ayala Museum and registering at the Ground Floor, a huge paper was given to us with useful tips and words to live by (along with creative graphic design, of course). Dan Matutina’s presentation was outlined in these tips, which I found very helpful and easy to follow.
1. Always Do Your Best.
As most tips about life goes, Dan Matutina starts of his talk by reminding us to always do our best in everything that we do. Albeit how cliche this may sound, he reminds us that, “Doing the thing you love doesn’t always mean that you’re doing good work.”
It’s a reminder to be realistic and not overly optimistic in whatever you are doing. Know that you’ve got what it takes and continue developing your skills, so that you are confident that you are able to do the best in what you’re doing. Improving a skill takes a lot of passion, so if you want to excel at something, make sure that you keep on learning with a vehement eagerness.
But keep in mind that the goal here is to not mainly impress other people, such as clients, group mates and the like, but to impress ourselves firsthand, so that we will always be satisfied with our work and content in the end. As a well-known and successful illustrator and designer, it’s always important for Dan Matutina to do his very best so that he may be proud of his work because quality is king.
2. Remember Your Dreams.
Protecting Our Waters – Natural Resources Defense Council
If you ever start doubting yourself in whatever you are doing, always ask yourself, “Am I doing this for the right reasons?” Your life should not be a manifestation of what other people expect from you or what other people find to be ideal. Your life should be controlled by you. Don’t let any outside noise influence what you really want to do in life. Remain unwavering, remember your dreams and go after them with a persistent force.
Such as Dan Matutina’s passion for art, creativity and excellent design, following these passions and pursuing them enabled him to create masterpieces and works that he is truly proud of. It’s also a plus when his creative work is used for an advocacy or any other greater cause, such as his work on Protecting Our Waters of NRDC.
3. Work Harder.
A for effort!
If you do your best and work harder than you usually expect yourself to, chances are, you’ll be proud and satisfied with your work despite anyone else’s disapproval. What matters is that you do not regret slacking off or working on something sloppily. You want to live life being able to say that your work has always had plenty of heart in it.
Korra Opening Sequence
Being skilful is all about working on it passionately. Keep working hard and continue learning and you’ll see yourself (and your work) growing. Work hard and have fun doing it, no matter how hard your tasks may be. Loving what you do will make it ten times more bearable.
4. Take Risks.
Coke’s Space Ahhdyssey Digital Campaign
Grab all kinds of opportunities that you’re interested in and see which area you excel in! Even if you don’t excel in it, you’ll learn from the experience and it will drive you into specifically knowing what it is that you really want to do.
Dan Matutina has worked for various ad agencies despite not having an initial interest in working in the advertising industry. With hard work and a passion for creativity, he was able to work for big name clients, such as Coke.
Dan Matutina also had collaboration work with the editorial team of Rogue, a literary luxury magazine. A lesson from here is that your limitations are endless as long as you are brave! Dan Matutina is known for doing everything and anything – such as making sculptures, making lamps, making maps, co-directing commercials, design short films (and even food)!
5. Be Nice.
Do not forget to be nice to everyone!
Don’t think you’re better than anyone else and don’t be mean and reject other people’s ideas. A skilled brainstormer doesn’t downright reject ideas, but pinpoints what can be improved and creates something better out of them instead.
Plus 63 DesignCo.
Dan Matutina is also the co-founder of Plus63 DesignCo., a design studio that he runs with his friends. Some of their clients include Craft Coffee Revolution, Your Local and Back Alley Barbershop. Build relationships with people who share the same passion and vision as you. When you collaborate with people who share your dreams, you create something more diverse and more powerful.
6. Explore and Experiment.
Explore and experiment with different styles! They say a good idea is a manifestation of a number of good ideas, so go ahead and be inspired by other people’s works and celebrate creativity. There is no harm in doing it. Dan Matutina himself stated that he enjoys being inspired by other people’s work. What’s important is that you be confident and brave in showing your personal style and try things that not many have tried before. This will surely make your individuality shine through.
When in Manila, be cultured and attend the Ayala Museum Design Talks (and check out their museum, as well!). Learn from creatives and be inspired by their mindsets. No matter what field of work you’re situated in or however different your walk of life may be from these creative geniuses, there is always room to appreciate art at the Ayala Museum.