Read How a Filipina Crafter Travels the World Through Watercolor Workshops
Almost everyone wants to fastrack everything—coffee, breakfast, career. And because everyone’s in some perpetual rush, we tend to miss out on experiences that nurture the soul in a slow and lasting way.
No one’s to blame for it. It’s nobody’s fault (except maybe Mark Zuckerberg? Just kidding). We’re all a little guilty of letting social media and the internet in general invade our personal space, but it is our responsibility to reclaim that.
Digital has been the direction everyone seems to be headed, but that doesn’t mean you disconnect from the ‘analog’ way of doing things to stay relevant. There’s always been a question on what that would mean for art or artists that are more on the traditional side of things. But from what I’ve seen from artists nowadays, they’ve learned how to evolve their craft to be present in the digital sphere without compromising the art they’ve studied or dedicated their relentless passion to for many years. One such artist is Alessandra Lanot of Life After Breakfast
Alessandra Lanot, Life After Breakfast
Alessa is a surface pattern designer and watercolor teacher who started small in the year 2000 (seems so long ago) by running a mobile arts and crafts corner for kids, but now her passion for her craft has blossomed into a full-time passion project that has yielded partnerships with brands like Havaianas, Sanicare, Canon, and most recently, Toblerone, just to name a few. She’s been invited to exhibit at various places including IFEX Philippines and Design Week Philippines as well.
Clockwise from top left – Toblerone PH Let Love Grow, Wanderskye luggage cover, Mari Mari clothing line, and Sanicare tissue box pattern (all designed by Alessa Lanot)
But in between brand partnerships and displays, she conducts pocket workshops in her restaurants (co-owned by her husband, PJ Lanot and the rest of the Pino Group) PIPINO Veg, Pi Breakfast & Pies, and HILLSIDE Cafe & Juice Bar, in which she teaches curious beginners or hobbyists on how to watercolor succulents, write their life’s mantras in calligraphy, or just how to de-stress and slow down the way we all need to once in a while.
Busy bodies such as celebrities like Kris Aquino, Tweetie de Leon, Daphne Osena-Paez, and Bianca Gonzalez-Intal have taken her workshops as well.
Calligraphy lessons from me, life lessons from @krisaquino ?? New on the blog: Kris Learns Calligraphy on the first episode of #TheKrisList ?? We used Dr. Ph Martins calligraphy inks from @craftcarrot. Also, signup link for the next modern calligraphy workshop is at the bottom of the blog post! Link in profile ????
In recent years, she’s found a way to incorporate family, her love for travel, and her passion for teaching art by taking her workshops abroad, hosting in hip places in San Francisco, L.A., New York, and London. Pending a dream come true, she’ll also eventually (hopefully) hold some classes in Canada and Australia too!
Little Paper Planes, San Francisco
Poketo, Los Angeles
When asked what she’s learned in holding workshops internationally, she said “It’s really such an honour for me to teach in other countries and say that I am a Filipina. Teaching workshops in other countries has only affirmed that creativity is universal.
I teach my watercolor workshops to give people an opportunity to de-stress, to take time for themselves, to put the phone away for a few hours, and to of course help them learn a new skill. You don’t have to be a professional artist to add a little bit of creativity in your life.”
Right. That also means there’s no such thing as ‘too busy’ or ‘too old’ to learn something new or rekindle a long-forgotten passion. It’s only a matter of finding our child-like wonder in the adult world we’re moving in and making time. Which of course is the challenge.
Alessa’s wall collage
Speaking of challenges, for other artists who are still starting out, finding their voice and their niche in the creative world, Alessa has this to say,
“Find what is common between the things that you are good at, and the things that you love do to. Make sure that you are pursuing something because your heart is in it and not just because everyone else is doing it. Pull from your own experiences, tell your own stories, carve your own path, and everything you do will be more meaningful.”
To check out and sign up for her workshops, please go to Life After Breakfast. She has workshops lined up for the months of February and March already! If you’re interested to partner with her or to arrange for a private workshop, you can also contact her through the site.
Photos from Alessa Lanot