Pau: I remember having my first iPod and I was stressing about the blank album covers on the cover flow. Out of frustration, I began creating my own album covers for the tracks I downloaded on Limewire! I was doing it on MS Paint before. I would crop the artist’s photo and add a text layer of the song title. It was very simple and most of the covers I made looked dumb. I just didn’t want the album covers to be empty and I think that was my earliest memory of dabbling with design (if you can call it that haha!)
Dyam: My earliest artistic interests were films, comics, and gig posters. Back in high school, I wanted to wear shirts with these kind of visuals so I ended up exploring computer graphics and silkscreen printing. From then, it expanded into DIY merchandise and book-making.
Pau: I took up Fine Arts in the University of the Philippines. Some of my first jobs are contributing artworks to local magazines and newspapers and designing gig posters and albums for local artists.
Dyam: Pau and I were batchmates in college, Fine Arts in UP Diliman! Some of my first jobs include mural painting, production design, and running our other brand, Polly.
Bad Student is a Risograph Art Press and design studio in Manila. It is the first and only risograph art press here in the Philippines. The studio was started with the desire to empower and support the local DIY publishing community. Additionally, it encourages and explores different printmaking practices in the Philippines and serves as a platform for both artists and designers to showcase their works both locally and internationally.
We actually have an on-going Risograph Master Class program in our studio. It’s a 3-part workshop that’s open to everyone who wants to learn about Risograph printing. We try our best to share our knowledge to as many people as possible. It’s a very collaborative program where we learn alongside the artists who participate in our workshops and it also helps us expand our knowledge about our practice along the way.
Pau: Stay in school. I know it gets hard! You’ll be tempted by a lot of work opportunities that will make you want to drop out and just go for it. Your peers will graduate ahead of you and you will feel left out and defeated. But trust me, don’t get discouraged and see it through. Life is not a race and soon enough you too, will also graduate. Remember that failing is always an option, but giving up is not. :)
Dyam: For the sake of your mind and body, get a few more hours of sleep! Kidding aside, go on and explore — take time to pursue all of your interests. All the hoardings of blank notepads, pirated dvds, and secondhand books will eventually pay off. Also, go to events, don’t be shy to get to know people, learn to collaborate, and make new things. :)
Bad Student’s matra is “In order to be good at something, you have to be bad at it at first.” Being bad can sometimes be good, it just means that there is a room for you to grow and improve. Believe in your potential to be good and embrace the fact that you will inevitably start out bad (haha!)