Artist Felix Mago Miguel inspires next gen illustrators in workshop on children’s books

With the theme, “Ani ng Sining, Bayan ng Malikhain,” he hopes to spark the creativity of the young participants by encouraging them to create captivating book illustrations. 

As this year’s Arts Month celebrations wind down, the National Museum of the Philippines-Bohol held a free three-day workshop on iIllustrating children’s books conducted by award-winning artist Felix Mago Miguel on Feb. 20 to 22. 

Felix Mago Miguel is an award-winning artist, designer, and illustrator based in Bohol.
Photos from the National Museum-Bohol

Carrying the theme, “Ani ng Sining, Bayan ng Malikhain,” the workshop hoped to encourage and spark the creativity of the participating children by encouraging them to create book illustrations that bring stories to life. 

The workshop was made possible through the museum’s partnership with the Provincial Government of Bohol through the office of the Center for Culture and the Arts Development (CCAD) and the Bohol Arts and Cultural Heritage Council (BACH).

A serendipitous move to Bohol

Felix, a renowned artist and book designer, his wife Amelia “Amel” Zubiri, a respected author, and their children relocated to Bohol 19 years ago. 

The simplicity of provincial life and being in proximity to nature compelled the acclaimed book artist to choose to start life anew with his family in the provincial capital Tagbilaran. 

Felix, his wife Amelia (left), and their five children relocated to Tagbilaran, Bohol 19 years ago. 

According to his profile on the Agam Agenda website, Felix “draws much inspiration and encouragement from his family and the beautiful environment surrounding him.” 

With Bohol’s magnificent nature, from its famed shores to its verdant mountains, there’s no better place to call home for Felix and his family, a haven that also allows them to weave new connections with people who share the same passion. 

Felix and Amel’s five children—Ulan, Ulap, Angin, Araw, and Langit—are also into the arts. 

The 52-year-old designer finished his Fine Arts degree, cum laude, at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is also a graduate of the Philippine Normal College and the Philippine High School for the Arts.

After graduating from college, he worked freelance as a designer and illustrator and soon became part of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang InK), with fellow artists helping launch him into books and other print media. 

The three-day workshop was held in the bright, spacious, and airy National Museum of the Philippines-Bohol.

The last 25 years has seen him do commissioned works, print design projects, picture books, and design more than 170 books for local and foreign publishers, some of which have been conferred citations from the National Book Awards and the Gintong Aklat Awards. 

His latest picture books are Ang Tinola ni Nanay (OMF-Hiyas), The Case of Tata Oskie’s Broken Bed (First Philippine Holdings), and Ang Baul ni Emil (Room to Read).

After a hiatus, he is now active again in the art exhibition space.

Inspiring a new breed of Boholano storytellers

The past few years has also seen Felix sharing his artistic gifts by conducting workshops, and teaching design and illustrating for children’s books.

During the recent “Ani ng Sining, Bayan ng Malikhain” workshop, Felix emphasized full and active participation, aiming not just to teach artistic techniques but to empower participants to become storytellers through their craft, hoping to impact children’s hearts and minds. 

The NMP-Bohol is the perfect venue for such an immersive and interactive workshop, with its bright, spacious, and airy hallways.

Participants come from different generations, with the execution including both traditional form and modern/digital art.

As a professional illustrator, he discussed the relevance and essentials of storyboarding, basic book structure and format, character development, and style. He also shared his ethical standards to effectively work with partners in the literary and publishing industry.

The participants come from different generations, with the execution including both traditional form and modern/digital art. Everyone was tasked to come up with a 15-page storyboard, using illustrations to connect with readers up to 14 years old. 

Despite time constraints, everyone was able to finish a cover page of their book, as well as a depiction of the climax.

Felix and Amelia (center, standing) with the 50 workshop participants

Outputs are on exhibit on the second floor of the NMP-Bohol until the end of February. 

The workshop marks the beginning of a journey. Atty. Ma. Cecilia U. Tirol, director of the Visayas National Museums, said the National Museum of the Philippines, along with the provincial government, Felix and Amelia, are all excited to collaborate with the 50 participants and even more Boholanos “in coming up with something beautiful for Bohol and its people.”

She added that the National Museum will always be a place that inspires people to learn from our country’s culture, arts, and heritage.

The new lifestyle.