HONG KONG - Bestseller ang librong 100 Filipinos ng award-winning Filipino art director at illustrator na si Noel De Guzman, 55 taong gulang na naninirahan na sa Hong Kong simula pa taong 1993.
Naglalaman ang libro ng isandaang katangi-tanging Pilipino tulad ng mga bayaning nagbuwis ng buhay para sa Pilipinas, founder ng Girl Scouts Philippines, imbentor ng banana ketchup, computer genius ng Silicon Valley at iba pa. Si De Guzman ang publisher, writer at illustrator ng nasabing libro na lumabas taong 2020.
“The book became a bestseller at the biggest chain of bookshops in Hong Kong for 2 months. To date, the book still manages to sell regularly from both online platforms and bookstores, and maintains a 5-star rating from readers. I have also received several emails thanking me for publishing such a wonderful book, and some have bought books in dozens to give out as gifts to the family and friends,” sabi ni De Guzman sa TFC News.
Tubong Manila si De Guzman at nagtapos ng Fine Arts major in Visual Communications sa University of the Philippines. Dumaan sa matinding research ang libro at inabot ng isang taon bago ito nabuo.
“Upon realizing that I don’t know much about Filipinos who were outstanding in their respective fields, I started to search. I eventually created a list and came up with 500 names. I decided to self-publish the book in 2020 with the objective to share these amazing and inspiring stories to our countrymen.
For 12 months, I researched and trimmed down the list, read various sources, reached out to people who were included in the list, most of them happily complied to confirm the facts I have written about them.
I drew digital portraits of each one in various styles, providing a challenge on my part. I reached out to book editors to tidy up my writing and asked a historian to double-check all the facts that I have written. I met up with printers, bookshops, distributors and learned about online platforms, e-commerce and digital marketing to assure the success of the book.
After a year of hard work, I launched the book, even landing me several newspaper features, including a full-page interview at the leading English language newspaper in Hong Kong, interviews on radio and a TV feature at a leading Philippine network,” pagbabahagi ni De Guzman.
Kasalukuyan siyang freelance graphic designer at publisher sa HK at founder at creative director ng isang publishing at design firm sa syudad na kanyang itinaguyod noong 2010.
Pero tulad ng ibang Pilipinong nakikipagsapalaran sa ibang bansa, dumaan din sa pagsubok si De Guzman at ang pagtatayo niya ng sariling publishing company ay bunga na rin ng pagkakatanggal niya sa trabaho. Pero imbes na sumuko, ito ang pinaghugutan niya ng lakas para maabot ang kanyang kinatatayuan ngayon.
“In 2010, the company we helped grew ten-fold was acquired by an international publisher. The company had to go thru a restructuring, replacing all department heads, hence, I was laid off.
The following week, I decided to go freelance by establishing Artmazing!, a design consultancy firm. It was a difficult period for me as I tried to grow the business, sending email pitches, calling all relevant people in my telephone directory and even cold calling several clients.
I had the opportunity to work freelance and meet new people in the industry, including Roger Black, the famed New York art director of Rolling Stones magazine and author of design books and Henry Steiner, hailed as 'Father of Hong Kong graphical design.'
I also had a chance to art direct Hong Kong celebrities including top action star Donnie Yen and famous singer Eason Chan. Slowly, the client base grew from 1 to a dozen clients, where Artmazing! provide magazine, posters, newsletter, logo and web designs.
Ngayon bukod sa Hong Kong, may mga kliyente na rin si De Guzman mula Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, New York, London at Los Angeles.
Aktibong miyembro ng Filipino community si De Guzman sa Hong Kong at nangunguna sa maraming proyekto para sa mga kababayan tulad ng blood donation drives, clean up drives, livelihood seminars, sports events at charity work.