Louise Ramos | 2017 Year in Review: Discovery
Hello, I'm Louise! And I like to make things. I’m an illustrator and all-around-creative based in sunny Manila.
Louise, Ramos, Caffeine Rush, blog, portfolio
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2017 Year in Review: Discovery

I keep on contemplating whether I’ll be posting this Year in Review as it’s been sitting in my drafts (along with several other posts, sorry) for some days now. It might be hefty and a little too close to home, but I want to end 2017 on a good note, leave all the drama that ensued within said time frame behind; not to start fresh, but to continue on with a better mindset.

2017 is a year of discomfort. It’s the year I went out of my safe box and did things the little girl inside me dreamt but wouldn’t in her straight mind even think of possibly doing. I’m beyond glad though for choosing to do so. It is a year of discovery: dabbling into things and interests, albeit uncomfortable, because the Type A in me is screaming “This is unconventional and impractical!” But sometimes, you just gotta let yourself loose and trust the process (and the universe)


First quarter be like a little bird learning to fly! January was fun when me and my college friends be thinking that passing the Civil Engineering boards last month was the biggest hurdle we had to jump over. Well hun were we wrong!
So here we are screaming our hurrahs with a kick-off trip to Singapore/Malaysia, cheering our self-proclaimed “adulthood”, never expecting said adulthood to punch us in the face a month after. (I should’ve taken my own words as a premonition. I made a zine during the lag period between graduation and boards, and printed it come new year. In it are all my ~feels~ of uncertainty, growing, and becoming. Because while squeezing a bajillion mathematical equations in my head can be a distraction from my thoughts, I still needed a creative outlet to settle all of ’em.)

February, I got my first job, everyday was a 7-5 routine, questioning my life decisions. (Don’t we all?) I found refuge in sacrificing sleep for sound of the sewing machine. Despite being a graduate, friends asked if I could still make our home org’s costume for this yearly competition we do in university. I used to do it every year as a student, so why not? Market trips were the weekly thing I look forward to the most! It almost distracted me from the nightly breakdowns I’ve been having. March was my birthday month, and we had a family trip to Vista Tala.


Q2, your little bird realized she just pushed herself off the goddamn high tree when apparently, she’s a chicken and her wings be flappin’ for nothin’. The fall was quite brutal, but necessary. I didn’t have a single photo on my phone for April, I was too busy on my world withdrawal and hibernation, but I did manage to read so many books during that time. Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun pulled me through.

May, I got to meet Abbey and be part of her team. She is such an inspiration to all creatives! I owe her much of the motivation I have now. I also enrolled in #15DaysofWritingTrue workshop by Sofia Cope & Camille Pilar. That got me writing and making art again. It got me back to dreaming! And weeks later, I got in as one of Common Room’s craftpreneurship interns. By June, I was juggling the 7 to 5 + all the passion projects, including producing my own merch, but hell, I never felt more alive.

June, I sent in my resignation. The cubicle life ain’t for me (and how I hate collared shirts for crying out loud). It was the most daunting thing I’ve done! The instability! Who would’ve thought I’ll be starting over in the middle of the year?


July be my happiest month yet. Little chicken made peace to herself that she can’t fly, but she can score a seat sale and ride a plane, and I think that’s even better! I want to say I did a sabbatical in Taiwan, but your girl also has bills to pay. This trip was more of my “What now?”, trying to plan out my life and sucking in inspiration. But despite all the laying out of things, life is never as organized as your Bujo. You kind of figure out to just keep working hard and then keep fingers crossed that things do work out. I got to design three websites, including helping out with Abbey’s webshop which I enjoyed the most, and developed two. I also got sucked into the blackhole that is Wanna One and became K-pop trash (which I said would never happen, saying I just like dramas and variety shows, but look who’s had too many plot twists this year?!)

August’s highlight was Common Room’s new branch opening in Alabang Town Center. I still can’t believe I’m selling my art and making my own merch! This north girl doesn’t even care that Alabang commute takes longer than my going home to the province drive. What’s best is gaining a new family in this community! September, I’m all over the internet for After Effects tutorials. I made an animation for a save the date video. And I kinda hear Niall Horan’s Slow Hands in my sleep from that time on because I watched the lyric video too much with it being our peg. In between were a lot of product and styled shoots, and a bigger lot of time spent in front of the computer.


October was my first bazaar — Katipunan Art Festival. In my turf! Also, my new merch finished production just in time! I painted two wall murals in November and am so so thankful for the opportunity. (And also thankful to my dad for driving me on most days)
Despite December being supposedly the most hectic month of the year for almost everyone, I kind of laid low that season (I didn’t even post a single thing here for the quarter, I’m so sorry). Might be another slump or a wave of emotions, but I tried to do what I could to deliver (literally to stockists and figuratively to myself). I just took this time to drink good coffee without deadlines, meet up with lifelong friends, came home to family (because I’m so lucky to have ’em have my back), do personal art, and thank the universe for the year that has been. 2017 has been a hell of a ride, and I’m glad to have jumped in, nonetheless.

Y’ol damn bird may not have flown, but she spread her wings and that’s what matters. (I’m cringing at all the chicken reference but I’m also writing this half-ass drunk at 3am and craving fried food so idk forgive me)

While 2017 is a year of discomfort — a year where at one point I may have been a complete wreck of a person — it is also a year of discovery. Discovering new things, skills, inspiration, and in the process, discovering myself (be it a new girl, or just an old one awakening from a freakishly long slumber).
I won’t likely be starting fresh this time ’round, but I’ll be leaving all the negatives (and emotions, i cri at myself) of the past year behind me, taking just the lesson of the pain, the dream, and the thrive to be better.


Here’s to another round of crazy this 2018!



Stay Gold Lou

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