NMP Bohol holds workshop on illustrating for children’s books

Mago-Miguel with workshop participants at the National Museum of the Philippines-Bohol. | Photographs courtesy of National Museum of the Philippines-Bohol

As a premier institution and repository of heritage, and an exciting place to visit, the National Museum of the Philippines-Bohol celebrated National Arts Month with a free, three-day workshop, “Illustrating Children’s Books,” from 20 to 22 February, in collaboration with the provincial government of Bohol through the Center for Culture and the Arts Development and the Bohol Arts and Cultural Heritage Council.

Conducted by Felix Mago-Miguel, this workshop hoped to inspire participants by encouraging them to read books and to create visuals that bring stories to life for young readers.

Workshop participants came from different age groups.

Design is a magical realm where imagination takes flight. In literature, book design and illustrations are gateways for readers to connect with the story on visual and emotional levels. Each stroke of a brush or pencil contributes to the wonder and depth experienced by the readers as they delve into the pages of a book.

It must be destiny that Mago-Miguel, a renowned artist and book designer, and his wife Amelia Zubiri, a notable author, decided to relocate their family to Bohol 19 years ago. The natural beauty and heritage must be enough to compel the multi-awarded artist to choose the island province.

During the workshop, Mago-Miguel aimed not just to teach artistic techniques but to empower participants to become storytellers through their craft to impact children’s hearts and minds. As a professional illustrator, he also discussed the relevance and essentials of storyboarding, basic book structure and format, character development and style. He also imparted how to effectively work with partners in the literary world and publishing industry. The workshop did not only tackle traditional forms but also modern and digital means.

Artist and book designer Felix Mago-Miguel.

Participants belonged to different generations. They were challenged to create a 15-page storyboard, using illustrations, for readers 14 years old and below. Despite time constraints, everyone was able to deliver and their outputs were put on exhibit at the second floor of NMP Bohol until the end of February.

This workshop marked the beginning of an ongoing journey. The director of the Visayas National Museums, Maria Cecilia U. Tirol, said that NMP, along with the provincial government, Felix Mago-Miguel and Amelia Zubiri, is excited in coming up with more projects and activities for Bohol. The National Museum will remain to be a place that inspires people to learn about culture, arts and heritage helping shape a better future.