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Goodbye, 2020: Tish Valenzuela

Tish Valenzuela is the superstar artist behind @tish.draws, one of the cutest doodle pages there is on Instagram. The Philippines-based artist did a live drawing session as part of The Alipore Post Online back in March, 2020, and has created hundreds of doodles since.

Here's her Goodbye, 2020 interview on the year that was, with adorable original illustrations for many of her answers:

How has this year been for you?

Maaaan. Where do I begin? Despite being stuck within the four corners of my room for months on end, (The Philippines has had the world’s longest lockdown.) one thing I can say about this year is that– it feels like a reset.

Since you simply can’t get away from it all as per usual, I realized I had to face everything head on. Either wallow in self pity or actually do something about what I was feeling. Anything to help me pass the time or get my mind off things.

Did you learn anything new this year?

Since graduating and pursuing advertising 5 years ago, I never really had much time for myself, save for weekends. But now that ‘going to work’ means flipping my laptop screen open, I’ve had more time to exercise and go on morning runs. I also picked up a bunch of new hobbies, like ikebana (I post my arrangements on @tish.blooms), resin crafting, cooking, baking, makeovers, hosting live discussions, film club and roller skating!

What was your routine like during the pandemic?

I’ve been a night owl for most of my life. But then I suppose it would have to take a freaking pandemic to change that, huh? I now wake up at 7am everyday (I like hearing the birds chirp and feel the sunlight on my face while sipping coffee) then exercise. (a rotation of HIIT, dance cardio, 30-minute runs and yoga) This is followed by work from 10am onwards, with lunch, Instagramming and some daydreaming. Then I try to sneak in some doodling for tish.draws or a little hobby before gaming, more yoga and then winding down before I sleep.

This routine has been keeping me sane– by tracking my progress while exercising, (I’ve never felt more confident!) I can take note of certain milestones and I notice small differences the more I do it. (The endorphin boost is no joke too!)

What dish did you cook the most in 2020?

I experimented a lot with baking, if that counts, and tried to learn new dishes like veg dumplings, shrimp tempura and pita from scratch. But I’m most proud of my kesong puti or goat cheese tarts with honey and crushed pistachio. So good! (And the phyllo dough is ready to use, so all you have to do is arrange and bake.)

What's the biggest obstacle you've overcome this year?

I had to deal with a breakup, my aunt’s death, my pet bird’s death, adjusting to WFH agency life and so much more within the span of three months.

Honestly, I was a total wreck because I usually just travel the blues away, but I’ve got to say– I’ve done a lot of reflecting and growing during this time and realized how lucky and privileged I am to have what I have, as well as having the support of my dear friends and family who love me no matter what. They got me through. I’m very very very grateful.

What was one of the moments you were most proud of this year?

When I realized that I cared a little less about things that didn’t really matter, and cared a lot more about the things that do.

Who really enriched your life this year in a big way?

Shout out to my mom and sis for sticking it with me despite all the drama! Also, my friends who were always game to hear me out with late night video calls, weekly film clubs, sanity checks, spontaneous coffee runs and everything in between.

The nicest thing you did for someone in 2020?

Well I like to bake right? So when I see that my friends are sad or lonely in their Instagram stories, I like to send them treats to help them feel a little better. Also, one time, I found out my friend hasn’t been sleeping well, so I sent her an “insomnia package” with earplugs, lavender tea and some sleep aid. lol.

The book that helped you the most in 2020?

I never really got around to finishing a book, unfortunately. But here are some YouTube channels that I watch while I eat lunch: The Take, Wisecrack, The Economist, Screenprism, Watch Mojo, The Daily Show, The School of Life, Cooking with Babish and Studio Binder.

The song you heard on loop this year?

Definitely Positions by Ariana Grande. I don’t know why but I am just in love with the song and the vintage-inspired art direction of the music video. Also, more running meant more pop music that fuelled me through the blood, sweat and tears!

Favorite film/TV show of 2020? I might sound super basic but The Queen’s Gambit and The Umbrella Academy Season 2 definitely struck a chord with me since they were set within my favorite time period– the 60s! (I’m a huge history geek) Also, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs was soooo good! Each story had an unexpected twist, the characters were so fascinating to watch and the cinematography was *chef’s kiss*.

What's a lesson that this lockdown has taught you?

“Take your time and be patient.” I’ve always been rather impulsive. I like rushing into things head on with little to no thought. But this time, I’ve learned to be more mindful and trust in the process– which works in pretty much everything like relationships, fitness, goals, career. Honestly I sound like a douchebag but it really works wonders in how I see things now. Life changing!

What is one question that you found yourself asking over and over again this year?

“How can I make this situation a little bit better?”

A recent epiphany you've had?

See number 6.

What’s your number one bucket list item for 2021?

Wear a vintage-style bikini and pose like those girls in the vintage magazines hehehe.

Follow @tish.draws on Instagram.


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