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carpe diem: designing for left turn magazine

10 Sep

About a month ago, I was invited by Vasudha Desikan of Left Turn Magazine to create the cover for their upcoming issue (which should be out sometime this month) focusing on Asia, migrant labor, & the economy. Of course, I was ecstatic that I was asked to do such a thing. “My first magazine cover,” I thought, “how exciting!”

I knew that the task would be new and therefore, also, artistically stimulating. Prior to the news, I had wanted to be challenged in my creative endeavors….and challenged I was….

 In the process of creating the piece, I had to create many drafts and revisions until coming to the final piece. I give props to every graphic designer I know because the revision process can be tedious.

 Here are some pictures of my first draft and some revisions….

First Draft

First Draft




the winner!

the winner!

In the end, this is what the piece ended up looking like (see above)…

Included are images of the rice terraces in the Philippines, overseas domestic workers, and migrant laborers. The whole piece was created by hand and then texturized and cleaned up in photoshop. But, in the end, overall photoshop use was pretty minimal.

I am extremely proud of this project. I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given and I look forward to what the future has to bring.

I love life!

holleratchagirl!…lookbook cover “reverie in rapture” posted on

27 Jul

hey now! check out to see the lookbook cover i created. i think you just might like it cuz i really do. 🙂 hurry! i don’t know how long they are gonna leave it up. but just in case it comes down, i am gonna paste a copyof  it. hehe. see below.

bella maven look book cover on landing page

to be honest, this was the first time i was commissioned to do a piece for a fashion lookbook, but i really enjoyed the process and the challenge of it all. connecting to the essence of bella maven definately took work. i mean, never did i try to understand the deeper meaning behind a retail company  & their products before, you know what i mean? it was sort of an awkward thing to engage in or so i thought it would be.

before i could start creating, i had to ask myself, what does this company stand for? how does bm relate to women and try to empower them (and yes, i think that fashion can be empowering…if u want details hit me up and we can have a convo over coffee or something :)). the bm saying “something beautiful everyday” resonated with me as i took to the task.  i believe every woman wants to feel beautiful. but what is beauty? what makes something or someone beautiful? these are the questions i focused on as i attempted to tap into the essence of bm.

to me the definiton of beauty is boundless because everyone has a different take on what is beautiful. but, speaking of beauty as a inner quality that is radiated outward through one’s temperament, disposition, and shared energy i feel there is a certain raw-ness and real-ness that is associated with the beauty of one’s persona. this real and raw quality is what i tried to capture in the piece above, entitled reverie in rapture. i feel that there is a certain honesty and vulnerability within the image (perhaps negotiated in the facial expression and body positioning of the female character & the overall free and floating quality of the work) that is representative of my feelings on the subject…there is no official standard of beauty that women should be measured against. every woman sets her own standard. all i know is that true beauty is, like i said, honest and vulnerable.

when i read/ hear the bm mantra “something beautiful everyday” i think of all the beauty that i see within the folks who have touched my life and inspire me to be the best me at all times. i think of all the strong women who hold it down for social justice, for their families, for their communities. i think of all the women who seek out truth in this life, who speak their truth and let their hearts be heard.

to all the fierce women who are beautiful on the inside and outside, this piece is dedicated to you because you are strong and beautiful. to me you all represent beauty at its core. you are what i see as the  face of bella maven.

overdue heART updates

8 Jun

So, I just wanted to give an update on what has been going on.

First of all, I started a FAN PAGE on facebook. I will be posting updates on art shows, community work, and all things new related to my work here SO, ADD ME, please!  🙂

Also, my good friend and aspiring film maker Ryan Gabriel just made a short film titled, “Pursuit of HeART”. It is about everything this title alludes to. You can catch myself and my art in this short clip. ENJOY!


One more thing, just wanted to say thank you to the Berkeley Women of Color Collective for choosing to use an adapted version of my piece, “She is Extradordinary” for your org tees. A pix of the tees can be found below & at, which is on FB, so all the more reason to become a fan!

Hope everyone is doing well. I send you all my love and good energy.

Let me leave you all with a quote/ question that I think about everyday and which inspires me in regards to all the decisions I make, ” What is the rest of your life was the best of your life?”

Think about it.

Live it up.


the passion of el hulk hogancito by jason magabo perez

29 Apr

Folks, this show is not to be missed. If you know what is good for you, you will go out and support. This is a once in a lifetime chance to learn and be awed.

Contact: Nancy Magpusao and Joseph Ramirez Phone: 858.534.9689 E-mail:; Website:


 University of California, San Diego Cross-Cultural Center presents THE PASSION OF EL HULK HOGANCITO

SAN DIEGO, California—April 29, 2009—

The University of California, San Diego Cross-Cultural Center presents, as part of the launching of its new and developing residency program for faculty, artists and alumni, Jason Magabo Perez’s THE PASSION OF EL HULK HOGANCITO, a heartbreakingly hilarious staged multimedia literary performance. Reading chapters from his novel-in-progress, and using newspaper clippings, family photographs, film, and other visual illustrations as backdrop, Perez wrestles with authorship and manic obsession, pays homage to childhood heroes, and highlights the FBI’s 1970s racist criminalization of two Filipina nurses (one of whom is Perez’s mother) as deeply traumatic and inescapably personal.

Co-sponsored by the APIA Planning Committee, UCSD Literature Department, the Pan-Asian Staff Association, Kamalayan Kollective, and Kaibigang Pilipino.


Time and Date:

Monday, May 18, 2009, 7:00PM


UCSD Cross-Cultural Center, 9500 Gilman Drive (Second Floor of Price Center East), La Jolla, CA 92093

Admission: FREE

Info: 858.534.9689

THE PASSION OF EL HULK HOGANCITO by Jason Magabo Perez was first produced by Kularts and premiered at the Bayanihan Community Center in San Francisco in March 2009 and received critical acclaim.

Part literary reading, part multimedia lecture, part performative historiography, The Passion wrestles with authorship and manic obsession, pays homage to childhood heroes, and highlights the story of two Filipina nurses (who in 1976 were framed by the FBI and eventually were convicted of poisoning and conspiracy) as deeply traumatic and inescapably personal.

 In June of 1976, two recently-immigrated Filipina nurses, Filipina Narciso and Leonora Perez (the artist’s mother), were arrested and accused of murdering ten patients at the Ann Arbor Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After an extensive trial, guided by racist accusations, and manipulated by the FBI, the two nurses, referred to as slant-eyed bitches during the process, were convicted of poisoning and conspiracy. Eventually, at the appeal of the defense, and based on the FBI’s gross misconduct, the decision was overturned and the nurses were freed.

U.S. v. Narciso-Perez serves as a critical point in the history of the United States, demonstrating that post-1965 immigrants—professionals full of hope and wonder for the land of milk and honey—continue to dream despite overt racism and xenophobia. Bravos for Jason Magabo Perez and The Passion:

“Perez is wit on wheels: sharp, funny, brilliant, torquing toward grit and pathos. To see his work is to believe in the hunger of his cause.” – Edie Meidav, Bard Fiction Prize-winning author of Crawl Space

 “As horrifying, deeply American, kinda maybe David-Lynch-meets-hip-hop narratives go, this one is a doozy.” – SF Weekly

“[The Passion] is a fast-paced fresh and witty, smart and funny literary performance gem…It turns the typical all-American, Hulk Hogan, coming-of-age, male rite of passage on its psychological head, exploring the iconography of American pop culture as a mixed psychological saga for a Pilipino youth…raised by an immigrant mother nurse…A fierce performer, [Perez] moves through his narrative…a kind of virtual home movie that never lets up until the audience becomes as breathless and absorbed in the excavation process of he.” – Genny Lim, poet, playwright, and author of Paper Angels

 JASON MAGABO PEREZ, writer and performer, youngest son of Leonora Magabo Perez, and alumnus of the University of California, San Diego, received his M.F.A. in Writing & Consciousness from the New College of California. His short fiction has been selected as a Finalist for Narrative Magazine’s 30 Below Story Contest and Fiction Contest, and for Glimmer Train’s Family Matters Contest, and is forthcoming in Witness: Issue XXIII.

A VONA Summer Voices Writing Workshop alumnus and a featured artist for the New Americans Museum and the AjA Project, he also has read and performed at several university campuses and at various venues such as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the La Jolla Playhouse.

Currently, he is writing a novel and teaches for the Ethnic Studies Program at the University of San Diego. Established in 1995, the UCSD CROSS-CULTURAL CENTER aims to empower UCSD to recognize, challenge, and take proactive approaches to diversity for the campus and the San Diego community at large. 2009 is the first year the Center will invite community artists, faculty and alumni as part of its developing residency program.



sister fierce speaks

20 Apr

A short writing to go with the Sister Fierce art piece. 🙂


Sister Fierce




I am the one who’s burnt orange eyes pierce

Strongly into yours

Boldly I stand before you

Loving myself and all my imperfections

Stronger than ever before

I recognize the fierceness within me

And I wear my rebirthed persona proudly


No longer a prisoner to my own misguided power

I fly free above the purple tinted nightscape

Streams of gold dusted dreams flutter

Around me and I smile as the moon

Reflects a new dawn within my eyes

No longer will I hide

The sacred beauty that

I am

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