As more Filipinos are connected online during the quarantine, editorial cartoons become evidently prominent in conveying issues about the coronavirus crisis and increasing social engagement, turning dreaded wall of text into a visual experience.
“Mayroon na tayong karanasan doon sa mismong kalagayan, kaya kung gagawa man tayo ng editorial cartoon, kakayanin natin kasi mayroon na tayong panghuhugutan,” he said during “Cartooning sa Panahon ng Diktadurya”, an online cartooning workshop held on September 19.
In the workshop spearheaded by UGATLahi, an organization of artists who use visual art to resist against the “existing oppressive social order,” Almuena shared some tips and tricks on how to create strong messages using cartoons.
He said that anyone can create editorial cartoons as long as “it’s rooted in clear concepts and an understanding of social issues.”
Almuena added that technical skills can be practiced but good cartoons are those that are easily understood by and are relatable to the viewers.
Being satirical by nature, editorial cartoons, Almuena believes, can be "easy to create given the current situation."
As Almuena puts it, editorial cartoons and art in general are “‘secondliners’ na pwedeng maghayag ng katotohanan.”
Almuena shared that he incorporates metaphors, hyperboles, and synecdoches in his works and emphasized the important role of symbolism in editorial cartoons. To stress the message of each piece, he said that cartoons should use objects that relate to the issue it tackles.
Some of Almuena’s cartoons are colored, animated, and even drawn digitally, a far-cry from traditional black and white sketches.
You can watch the workshop below: