Sakuragi is Back

It’s been a long while since I drew Slam Dunk again. I’ve been real busy with a lot of things, writing, talk commitments, regular work, a lot! There are times I upload artworks in my IG for my new comics and other stuff — and some followers tell me they want Slam Dunk. It’s kind of a mixed emotion for me.

Hi, guys, I missed drawing SD too

and I know that most people follow me for this. But I’m an artist —and a fictionist, a writer too– I believe I can draw anything or write anything I want as long as I don’t harm anything. Make that anything.

There are actually many times that when I draw SD, I get more followers—flooding the numbers up. And when I post NBA illustrations, some unfollow me. It’s funny, really. I got nothing to say about that, but I just want to thank those who stayed with me even at times I don’t post anything.

Truth is I gained friends—a lot of them—since having my artist IG account. And these “friends” aren’t just regular followers who comment every now and then, we connect. We chat when we have time. We share thoughts. We wish each other good things. We ARE friends, despite not seeing each other, despite miles apart.

Posting this image of a simple Hanamichi Sakuragi in casual clothing got me a lot of “welcome back” greetings. It may just be words, but I truly appreciate it. It was very warm and welcoming, reassuring I might add. Making me want to make more —not just SD of course. I draw what I want. I know my friends will always be here.

Born To Be Wild

My other title card design need to wait. I’m doing my Born to be Wild portfolio first.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, BTBW is my favorite account. Not just because we went places for some adventurous shoots. Not just because we got great animal and nature footages. The brand itself is so fun to play with, in a creative’s (the person) perspective. Best of all, great people to work with. Yes, it is a commercial show, but the advocacy is real.

Enough with reminiscing. Just sharing here my favorite designs.

A sample storyboard for the animation.

Time flies… we’re at the 9th year!

The following three are billboard designs, the only ones I found available in my hard drive 😦

And… back to title cards. The era of 4K.

Some more studies…

Let’s try something moving…


I know I have more, I just need to find them. So, I guess there’d be an update or a newer post. Well, I guess I’ll just see you guys around. You can leave a message here for me, for fun. Thanks for your time!

Title Art – Part 1

Right now, I’m just compiling some of my old works for an updated portfolio. And so I thought of creating blog entries too, about it. But I have just so much, and really not possible for me to put them all here. I decided to just choose the ones I love most and maybe the most memorable too! Also, I will create separate posts of them, hence “Part 1,” “Part 2,” etc. Maybe by category or by account, or by any theme I come up with.

In this post, I will be showcasing title arts where I used a 3D software and Photoshop, combined. Some are approved and some are left as “studies” —which most of the times, I love more.

I handled UH for more than a decade. Can’t say I missed it. This is the only one left in my files, sadly.

The following are Tonight with Arnold Clavio tcard studies in 3D. I loved the freedom of color use! But none of them were approved. T.T

These 2 were the ones approved. Through the years, we constantly changed title cards. Me being the art director, tried something new or radical here and there. Most of the times, we still come up with something closely derived from the previous style. So I myself couldn’t if it was for 2017, 18, or 19… if weren’t for the filenames.

Yeah… NOT 3D. Approved.

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Now, here’s my favorite account. Design and art directed for more than 10 years. What a run!

Doc Ferds and Doc Nielsen, real good guys to work with!

With so much design I created for Born To Be Wild, I think I’ll create a separate post for it.

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And more title cards! In 3 and D! And… P and S.

For Wagas, these last two are not 3D. So, forgive me, okay? Well I have a lot more coming in Part 2. I just don’t like posting long entries. See you again, guys.

Garapitik v Okpusit!

Episode 4

This episode was originally done in 2004. This one is but a remake, in 2014. Oh how time flies.

As years passed, Junior continued haunting me. Today is the day I will share to world that he’s fine and he’ll be back.

Hold Your Horses Especially When Your Client is Tikbalang

It’s hard to be funny in a corporate world full of serious people who won’t stop for a bit of laugh—when it won’t benefit them. I’m just your regular crazy guy, the type who finds something to chuckle at almost everything. At most, I win friends; and I’m happy that this could describe the bigger part of my life—fun-loving people for friends! But the world is not perfect, unfortunately for us good guys. Some people just won’t appreciate it. Some people would choose to throw in hate, if it meant display of their power or authority. Whew, tough life! For them.

Well, I am just glad that from time to time I could still squeeze-in some fun at work, and get away with it! Here are some of my favorites in my past works. Not the best I could do, but certainly some of my most loved creations. 20 years in the business. I. Am. Still. Alive.

A back-to-school season plug I made for GMA Network. Yeah… I had fun.

This was a seasonal plug I art directed (and illustrated!) for GMA Network, a back-to-school-college-edition-greetings plug—really can’t say PSA. It’s not as funny as me and my writer-partner could have done or originally imagined, thanks to client comments and the legendary deities of MTRCB, but it’s one of my favorite works.

One does not simply caricature and animate his officemates—invert a friend—and get it aired. Much more, win an Ad of the Quarter Award for such mischief.

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The story was this: most of my senior peers were out in a vacation leave, I chose to be the “taong-bahay” (let’s say, the office caretaker of the week). Not much is left at work, we (they) kinda finished everything before they went out of town. I’m the only senior personnel in the unit.

This was supposed to be a regular episodic, the type of plug that just aired for a week. With not much to do (because we finished most things in advance), I poured my heart and bile for this. Who signed to approve this? Told ya, it was just me around. He. He. He.

What a shame, I couldn’t find the animated one. I’ll update this post when I have it.

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^Great guy, believe me!

Let’s get this straight early on, I’m not a guy who watches soap operas and there were only a few Filipino sitcoms that I could say I really liked! Most of my career, I worked with GMA’s News & Public Affairs accounts, not much with the Entertainment Group. But art directing Love You Two was something, I loved it. Gabby Concepcion, Shaira Diaz, and Gerald Napoles were particularly very professional and great to work with. I didn’t write the script here, so don’t you judge me! Haha. I enjoyed doodling over the videos, I admit.

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Well, this has been a long post. I’ll just end it with another favorite, in terms of theme and artistic reasons. Artistic, huh? Nah, I just love drawing and getting paid for drawing.

Holloween! Every year… er… of the year(!) I look forward to creating Halloween plugs! I’ll just leave it here in my blog, so I can remember it when I’m way past my Tito-ness.

It wasn’t funny, but it wasn’t scary either. Maybe the joke’s on me, but I enjoyed drawing, so who cares?

Thanks, guys. Fun shall prevail!

Tandang Iskong Basahan — A New Version

This is a retelling of the award-winning short story of the same title by the Palanca Hall of Famer and premier writer Jun Cruz Reyes. I’m planning on having it translated very soon, so wait for it.

Mula Kay Tandang Iskong Basahan: Mga Tagpi-tagping Alaala graphic short story was selected and published in Likhaan (Volume) 14 in late 2020, but as of now, we’re still waiting for the printed volume. I had to keep it short—within 10 pages to be exact, to be accepted in the call for entries of the said journal. Also, the technical/printing requirements kept me limited in shading the art. Thus, panels and overall appearance were heavily affected. It’s still okay though, yet in my opinion, I could have done better. This version is the one that I could say I have told the story I was trying to convey without restraints. No deadlines, no page limits, no printing capability restrictions—and I’m really happy with the way it was finished. I believe I updated the story with some current issues yet still tried hard not to veer away from the beauty of the sorrow of the original material. So if you can find the original short story, you really should read it—much recommended.

For the Filipino-speaking readers, enjoy. For those not, I’ll get back to you. Translators are actually welcome. Have fun, all.

Mula Kay Tandang Iskong Basahan: Mga Tagpi-tagping Alaala
Original Story by Jun Cruz Reyes
Retelling and Art by Erik Guzman Pingol

Go Pack Go!

I have always wanted to illustrate NFL athletes. So here they are now. And yes of course, it’s gotta be the Green Bay Packers for me (at least the first ones)

Slam (Dunk) Covers 2

More (fanfic) Slam covers for Slam Dunk ballers!

Fan favorite Akira Sendoh on Slam by Erik Pingol
Believed as the GOAT of Japanese High School Basketball—Eiji Sawakita on Slam by Erik Pingol
Main man Hanamichi Sakuragi on Slam by Erik Pingol
Another Eiji Sawakita on the special Kobe issue by Erik Pingol

Mamba Week

KOBE BRYANT illustrated by Erik Pingol

Did this for the Mamba Week. I will repost here an article I wrote before.

This story is personal.

I was a Shaq fan. My earliest NBA memory was Shaq’s Magic versus MJ’s Bulls. When Shaq moved from Orlando to LA, I “moved” too. It was great. I also liked the Lakers. Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy… and the amazing franchise. And then there was Kobe Bryant.

The young Kobe Bryant was something. You gotta give him credit for his heart. His courage. A brave young man. But man, I hated him. There were times he was throwing airballs. There were times he wasn’t passing and making selfish decisions. I loved Eddie Jones. I loved Nick Van Exel. But Kobe wasn’t passing, he had to drive and dunk it on someone else because he had to be a legend NOW!

Jones, Van Exel, Campbell were traded, that was a bit sad. The Lakers had a rebuild. Finally they went to the finals and won three championships. Kobe was a lot better a player now. He was dunking on everyone’s head. He was tough. His energy went through the roof. Though I believed, Shaq was the key, you can not deny Kobe of his contribution—he killed it when Shaq was out. The young Kobe was ripe and dunked it hard when the need rose. And they won it in fashion, 3 shiny rings.

And then there were some issues and Shaq left for Miami. I was broken, I hated that LA “sided” with Kobe, Shaq had to leave. But I remained a Laker fan. Though I cheered Shaq for his success with DWade, I remained a Laker fan not cheering for Kobe.

Years came by, frustrations, losses and all, I started drifting away from NBA. I had almost forgotten my love for basketball, and focused on being an artist. Soon after, the rise of Kobe Bryant once again. He was still dunking on people. He’s back. He never lost his heart. I just couldn’t deny him. He was bleeding himself dry to win for my Lakers. His Lakers.

Kobe lost to the Celtics—and as a Laker, losing to Celtics is crazy big deal. Be it the finals or a regular season game, no, you don’t fall to the Celtics! But he did. Yet, this guy didn’t stop. He took Paul Pierce’s image as fuel to his inner fire.

Next year he was dunking again. His jumpers are sharper. You can see how he trained his body to finally cope up with his spirit. Kobe was taking his throne without Shaq. And he did! He won the finals and dunked on anyone in front of him—hi, Dwight. The next year he faced the Celtics again and got back what he lost. What a time to be a Laker fan!

Calmer time followed. Lebron James’s rise to power took the spotlight. Injuries followed. Kobe wasn’t the young number 8 anymore. He was the number 24 with torn achilles tendon. He made the free throws and walked away. The next seasons, he returned. He was different. He was throwing airballs again and the media had a circus. Criticized. To some he was disrespected. Kevin Durant didn’t like how the media treated him. Then KB announced his retirement—his last season—he said had nothing left to give.

His last season was a tour. But his LAST GAME against the rival Utah Jazz… man… was the best last game a legendary baller, or any athlete, could ever have—60 points and a W—in a jaw-dropping fashion. He left the court with a big smile. His body could have gotten older, but his spirit was as young as that rookie who dunked on people no matter what.

Until one morning, I woke up with the saddest news of the decade.

When Kobe died, I couldn’t take it. All of us, couldn’t believe it. But that’s just life, and maybe, that’s just what death is too. But Kobe Bryant, he and his winning shots, he and his devastating dunks, it would echo for the whole time he represented. He just wouldn’t let anyone outshine him on his watch. He just wouldn’t let anyone hold him down for long. His Mamba Mentality created a generation of winners. His life was truly a legendary story.

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The first images of Kobe in purple uniform are available for digital download for a very low price on my shop at etsy. While the following Kobe digital arts will be available upon request.

Thanks