If you’ve been hanging out at coffee shops and at the art district you might have seen Chris Juricich, an elderly American scribbling away in a notebook. But he’s not taking notes. Mr. ‘cich, as we fondly call him – is busily sketching away.
His favourite subjects to draw are scenes from the amazing architecture of Silay and Talisay – his home town. He works with a ball point pen and a sketch notebook, capturing remarkable images of the world around him.
Mr. ‘cich retired to the Philippines several years ago with his wife, Angela. He’s led a colorful life and he has had several jobs including a stint in Japan creating a music video for a rockstar and teaching English. But what is especially dear to Chris’ heart is the time he spent as a comic bookstore manager and working for Viz Comics – which was an early publisher of Manga titles in the USA.
Chris loves comics. His sketchbook is full of comics about his life here in the Philippines. He draws situations both real and imagined that he encounters daily as he tries to adapt and assimilate into Filipino society and culture.
Drawn with just a pen, Mr. Cich’s drawings are simple yet manage to evoke an openness and vulnerability in his subjects. As an expat, Chris is forever the outsider, looking into the lives of his subjects and yet he manages to capture instantly recognizable images.
It is the outsider status that enables Chris to put such detail into his work. Mundane everyday Filipino objects and people are a source of fascination to this expat who views Filipino life as a daily adventure.
Chris usually draws a comic a day. Most of his inspiration comes from the interactions with his friends, neighbors and actual events that have happened.
It is well known to Mr. ‘cich’s friends that they will be the subjects for his comic if they unwittingly say or do something funny.
Mr ‘cich’s work involves a quick Croquis of his subject before filling in the details and adding ink lines for cross hatching.
A Croquis is briefly drawing something in a short period of time. The method consists of reducing the complicated details of the human body into the simplest elements in order to quickly capture the essential elements (proportion, balance, mood) of the pose.
Occasionally when he is working with colors, Chris will forego adding ink lines and color directly on his sketch.
The resulting effect is a striking, work of art.
So what’s new for this old ink-slinger? Chris is currently working on his daily comics and enjoying his retired life. You can catch his artwork on exhibit at the Orange Gallery and in the Art district where he recently completed a mural in Tribute to Peque Gallaga – an acclaimed local Philippine Director.
You can see the series of delightful comics that Chris Juricich made of Peque Gallaga. Chris manages to capture some of the humor and passion of the acclaimed director as a young man.
You can take a peek into Chris’ Sketchbook and read his fascinating comics on Life in the Philippines by visiting his Instagram account