Behind the Site |

Pixelbureau, June 2004 issue

Freelance Illustrator/designer, comic book writer and artist Arnold Arre recognized his passion for the art when he was 6 years old. He remembered borrowing his older brother's comic books and study paneling and figure drawing. He even did his book report in comic book form when he was in high school. Since then, he has been telling stories in sequential art. Fast forward to present, Arnold is one of the most respected comic book artist who published award-winning comic books. He got his degree at the University of the Philippines. "I studied in UP Fine Arts, took up Visual Communication in Advertising." he said. He was in the ad world, hopping through 4 agencies in a span of 2 years when he finally decided to go freelance. He said that it gave him more time to work on comic books which was his passion ever since he was a child." He added "Now, I juggle design illustration projects with my comic book work."
Arnold's works are inspired by the people and events around him and the sheer enjoyment of drawing/writing and sharing his stories to everyone. He shared that he used to have a style that greatly resembles manga when he discovered Jean "Moebius" Giraud's work in the 80's. He also said that he like the styles of Bill Sienkewicz, Syd Mead, H.R. Giger, to name a few but he greatly considers Moebius as his biggest influence. He said that although he was influenced by this great artist, his art evolved through the years in which the result is what we have to day which he describes as a fusion of asian and european art styles.

He published 3 successful graphic novels namely: The Mythology Class, Trip to Tagaytay and After Eden, which was widely recognized. Arnold shared that The Mythology Class was a 4 part mini series which he created in 1997 and released in 1999. "I created The Mythology Class because there were no comic books on Philippine Mythology at that time. It is about a group of students like you and me who stumble upon time travellers -- strange folk who were sent to this world to capture engkantos and other worldly creatures based on Philippine Myth and folklore." he shared.
Trip to Tagaytay is a future fiction piece which according to Arnold began as a love letter to his wife Cynthia, also a multi-awarded and talented designer), who was on a month long vacation. This graphic novel is a future fiction piece which is also a commentary on the social changes happening in our country.
After Eden, on the other hand, is a contemporary love story that hinges on the premise: "What happens to man and woman after they leave Eden?"
Do check out these excellent graphic novels and see for yourselves the passion of Arnold Arre.
On the lighter side, Arnold shared that a typical day for him and his wife, both freelancers, that they can shift between work and leisure with ease. They have set up one of the rooms as their home office. According to him, work start right before lunch unless one has to run off on a client call. He said that "in any case, we usually start working in the afternoon, take a break in the evening and spend quality time with Cynthia and then work again." He added that his peak hours of creativity are from midnight to 1:30 in the morning when, according to Arnold, "the world is still and you can imagine you are the only one awake. Though I am planning to change this habit."

Currently, he is working on several design projects. His latest work was the cover illustration for the Eraserhead's Anthology CD. He also shared that he will be working on some personal comic book project late this year. We asked what he would rather be if he was not a graphic novelist and he said "a filmmaker. I have always wanted to tell my stories through film."
He revealed that there has been little progress in the Philippine Art in terms of design. "The only true breakthrough I know of now is digital art and web design. It is a fresh new medium -- practically virgin territory for every artist to explore so I guess there is a glimmer of hope for the future."
He concludes by sharing his word of advise to your aspiring artist:
"All I can say is that, if you are planning to be a comic book creator, just go out there and do your thing. Anyone interested enough should pitch in. The most important thing you should develop is your own style. Be original. Write stories that no one has ever heard of. In comic books, it is not how well you draw or writee that counts, it is how well you tell a story."
- Errol Villavieja