Rituals is an interview series which highlights the different ways of boosting productivity.
Rizal (CNN Philippines Life) — Resin is a product of nature, an organic substance prized for its utilitarian function. It can be found in some plants and insects, often secreted as a response to injury, and is harvested for varnishes or adhesives. Its synthetic counterpart is often used in small-scale industrial production and even dentistry.
But in the hands of product designer Jill Baniqued, resin takes on an entirely new form and function. Baniqued molds the substance into everyday objects, which as she says, were borne out of her love of “colors, florals and especially to the material, resin.” It’s a fairly new practice for her, having only started a year ago.
“I saw this clear glass ring and I was just really fascinated with it, so I tried searching how to make jewelry made of glass,” Baniqued explains on her website. “It was just really refreshing to me since I have been working digitally ever since. And I just fell in love with the process in a short time.”
While her practice is still growing, Baniqued has already amassed a following through her small business studiojil-b, where she creates catchalls, ashtrays, and coasters that come in iridescent colors and sometimes, even dried flowers. (She says that although resin may discolor overtime, especially exposed to direct sunlight, the flowers will never rot.) She also wants to push her design sensibilities further with Furiku, in which she says is an exploration of “objects that are weird, yet functional.” Under Furiku, Baniqued and her design partner, Gerone Perez create 3D printed vases, molded oranges that look like gummy bears, and other eccentric curiosities.
For Baniqued, the challenge now is to make sure that she creates something that not only reflects her view as an artist, but one that sets itself apart from the growing community of acrylic and resin artists.
“I think for me, the most unlikely inspiration, is that, during the quarantine, there were more resin artists showing up online,” she says. “Back then, when I started, it was hard for me to find local resin artists here, there were very few. But now, almost everyone is doing resin. And with that, I was motivated to create more unique pieces that hopefully won’t look similar to others.”
In an interview with CNN Life, the multidisciplinary designer talks about reserving the mornings for “non-productive” tasks, letting distractions distract her, and how giving a structure to her day keeps her from being overwhelmed.
What’s the first thing you do each morning? How does that affect the rest of your day?
To be honest, I’m really not a morning person. I usually wake up around 11 a.m. (Laughs) And the very first thing I do is check my phone, play [with my] Switch. I usually start my day officially after brunch. And I guess, whatever I do in the morning doesn’t really affect the rest of my day? I feel like I’m the type of person that has to be productive everyday, no matter what.
What time of day do you feel most productive? Why do you think that works for you?
After lunch! I feel like I have done nothing productive in the morning already, so afternoon ‘til night is the time for me to do all my work that needs to be done in a day.
What do you enjoy most about your job, and what do you find most challenging about it?
The freedom and flexibility. With studiojil-b, I get to do and experiment with whatever I feel like doing on a specific day. And also, with client works, I love the creative freedom they also give to me. And with flexibility, I get to work whenever I feel like. The challenging part for me though, is managing my time. I also have to juggle my daytime job and personal work.
How has the pandemic/social distancing changed the way you work?
I think the silver lining for me during this pandemic is that it gave me more time to do my work, experiment, especially during the early lockdown. Nothing really changed. It’s just that before, I got to meet my clients before going forward on a project, but now since we can meet online naman, it didn’t really affect my work, thankfully.
How do you deal with distractions?
Most of the time, I just let distractions distract me until I’m over it., since distractions for me are just food, a game, or my socials (Laughs). It’s hard for me to just ignore them because the more I stop myself from being distracted, the more I lose my focus on what I'm doing.
With regard to day-to-day challenges, do you have a ritual that helps you through it?
Hmm. I don’t really have a ritual. The challenge for me is managing my time working on my day job and my personal work. So sometimes, before I go to bed (or start my day), I just list down the things I need to do the next day, on my head, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming at times.
I used to get super anxious when work gets super overwhelming. It was hard for me to concentrate, to focus, because I was feeling stressed. Thankfully, I learned how to deal with things one at a time, because I knew what my priorities were.
Are you always able to accomplish this ritual? What do you do if you aren't able to do it?
Knowing my priorities day-to-day makes it easier for me to manage my time and be more productive. Without clear priorities, it’s harder for me to make progress, so I always make sure to take breaks from time to time.
Would you recommend this ritual to other people? Why or why not?
Of course! Having a structure to your day, knowing what to do ahead of time, can give you a sense of control and focus on your day-to-day tasks.
Do you rely on apps to stay productive?
Not really. For me, I just need to balance my work and in-between breaks to be able to get more work done.
How do you unwind after a busy day?
I take breaks from time to time in between work so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. I either play a game, watch a movie, or call my family.
What would you say has been the most significant lesson that 2020 taught you?
2020 has been a year that all of us will surely never forget, but it has also given me a tremendous opportunity to slow down, appreciate the small things, the things I often take for granted. This year was a great reminder for me to always be grateful for the things I overlook, and also has made me reevaluate my life and priorities.