How to Gain a Loyal Customer the Jackson’s Art Way

This post can also be entitled as “How not to go crazy with the Philippine Post Office”.

I am always on a hunt for online stores where I can buy my art supplies. I live in the province and my sources for art supply are in the bigger cities. I bought my watercolor materials from Fullybooked in Manila, Art Friend and Straits Art Co in Singapore. There is Art Nebula which I have already ordered items twice before and the transactions were seamless. But I am hoping for a wider range of products to try. Shout out to Art Bar! Please open your online shop already.

So imagine my excitement when I learned from an artist I follow on Instagram that the art supplies she ordered from Jackson’s Art in UK arrived at her doorstep in just a few days; I wanted to try it for myself. Jackson’s Art has a droolworthy selection of products for artists. I have a limited budget so I picked only what I immediately needed- brushes! I needed brushes for oil painting. I got an oil paint set as a gift from a friend. I also got two blank canvases as Christmas gift from another friend. Yes, I am lucky to have friends who understood my love for art.

So I immediately found myself browsing for brushes and learned that they offer free shipping for brush orders worth more than £20. I availed of the free shipping by ordering 5 brushes. The package was sent via regular post. It was estimated to arrive in 2 to 3 weeks. This was ordered on December 2, 2017. When I did not receive any notice 2 weeks after, I went to the post office on December 20, 2017. The person assigned there tried to check their records and found nothing. She told me to ask for the tracking number so she can look for it in their system. I told them I do not have a tracking number. I did not want to bother Jackson’s Art. I went home empty-handed and decided to go back a week after.

I went back on December 29, 2017. I still did not get my package. The person there told me to get the tracking number because it is easier to look for a package with a tracking number. I decided to email Jackson’s Art to ask for a tracking number. They replied immediately. I was told there was no tracking number because it was sent using regular mail. They were reassuring. They told me that the package may be delayed due to the holidays.

I was patient and I was persistent, too. So I went to the post office again on January 5, 2018. The person there again told me about getting a tracking number. I told her that it was sent through regular mail. She said that they have not gotten through their regular mails. I asked her that if it would be easier if I have a picture of what the package looks like. She said yes. So I emailed Jackson’s Art again about the possibility of showing me a photo what the package looks. They replied that all they can tell me is that it is in a regular padded mailing envelope and they did not have a photo since the package was processed in their warehouse. Carla of Jackson’s Art also told me to inform them if I still do not have the package by January 12.

At that moment, I was too disappointed with the Philippine post that I just decided to wait it out because that is what they are supposed to do. They are supposed to deliver the package (or at least a notice) to my doorstep and not me going to the post office. That is why there is an address written on the parcel! So I went digital, I know there is a Facebook page of the Philippine Post so I sent a message on the possible timeline for regular mail packages because the person in our post office seemed to treat them as last priority. So I got this reply.


It is already the 4th week of January and more than 35 working days since December 2, 2018. No package.

I have accepted the idea that I cannot trust the Philippines Post Office anymore. This is not the first time I have issues with them. The first time happened some years ago, I was expecting a dress from China. It was a blogger mail in exchange for a blog post. A month after it was sent, the sender emailed me if I received the package since it was already sent a month before so I went to the post office to check. I was just lucky that when I went there the package on the table in front of me was my package. It was already marked that they were unable to deliver it twice. It baffles me why they were not able to locate my house when utility companies and LBC are able deliver bills and packages successfully. The second incident was in the early 2015 when I joined a mailing exchange to practice calligraphy. I was supposed to receive 10 to 12 mails every month and I only received 3. So when I went for a vacation in Bacolod that year, I sent myself a post card through a post office there. I never received that post card. My friend, Gail, who sent herself a postcard, too, received hers in Davao City. My city’s post office needs to step up.

This was the postcard I should have received through mail.  This was my Instagram post  in 2015.

I was sad but Jackson’s Art is awesome. Since Carla said that I should email them if I have not received my package, I sent them an email on January 18, 2018.

And this is what I got in reply!

They refunded my payment! No questions asked. In my country, if you want a refund, you need certification that the mail did not arrive and a lot more paperwork. Jackson’s Art is awesome, people!

This prompted me to just reorder my brushes and order the watercolor papers I wanted to try. I picked DHL for mail this time. And I got the package today! Just 5 working days after I ordered them.

Happy mail!! Good job, DHL!

I got my brushes and watercolor pads!


This made me realize how we crave good customer service when it should not be something we beg from businesses. It is should be a standard. When their customers are treated well, businesses will surely get much better returns. I ordered more that what I planned to spend initially after I got the refund. Hurray for Jackson’s Art! You definitely gained one loyal customer.

I have a YouTube Channel!

Three weeks ago, I decided to set up my YouTube Channel.  Clicking on the YouTube icon above will direct you to my channel.

So what do I have there? For now, I have three painting videos which you can follow to learn some of my techniques. This is my way of sharing what I know. This is also my way of giving back.  It was through a YouTube video that triggered my renewed interest in painting. I know that videos can be very helpful to others in pursuing their interests.  I know how videos helped me improve in painting.

In the future, I plan to include travel videos, recipe videos and just  about anything I want to share. I am still new to this and I hope I will be able to improve my videos as I go along.  Oh, there is so much to learn about making my videos better and I am excited to try them!  Please subscribe to my channel and let me know what you think of them.

These are the first three videos up on the channel. Enjoy!

How I Continue to Learn Painting Using Watercolors

I am often asked what websites to visit when learning how to paint.  I would immediately reply, “Youtube!”

My watercolor art journey started two years ago and I have learned a lot since then. I still continue to learn. Albert Einstein said that once you stop learning, you start dying. So I chose to learn unceasingly  (Well, with leisure on the side).

I often refer to Anna Mason’s tutorials when it comes to botanicals. I love to paint flowers. Here is her tutorial in painting a rose:

Here is my version using one of her watercolor painting of a rose as a model.
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Two years ago, I came across a tutorial on how to draw a realistic eye.

I think I have improved the technique since then.
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I continue to practice. I think it is the best way to learn.  Put on the 10,000 hours of work and eventually, I get better than the last time. Here are my recent original botanical paintings.

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peonies-katrina centeno

I also follow a lot of watercolor artists on Instagram.  I am currently part of the @wgcollab on instagram, where different watercolor artists share their painting techniques every day. Follow us there to learn more techniques. Use #wgcollab16 hashtag to find the videos.  The videos are also  posted on Facebook via Watercolour Gallery’s page.  Here is my painting video I made for this month.

Flower by Katrina“Here is my process: I try to draw my subject as detailed as possible so that I know where to put the darker tones and the lighter tones. I use a lot of water when I want lighter colors and lots of paint when I want darker colors. I paint starting with the lighter tones and I pile up my pigments as I go. I go from light to dark until I am satisfied with the outcome.This way, it is easy to correct mistakes. I usually paint with a picture as an inspiration. For this video, I had a photo of tulips in a flower garden I recently visited. ” by Katrina Karen made for #WGcollab16

Posted by Watercolour Gallery on Sunday, June 26, 2016

 

July is also the World Watercolor Month. Find inspiration using the hashtag ‪#‎WorldWatercolorMonth‬ on Facebook and Instagram.
Follow my instagram page: @katrinacenteno
Like my Facebook page: Katrina Karen Art

 

 

Transitioning

I was walking the dogs early this morning and I already saw a number of kids carrying their bags to school. Summer vacation is definitely over. Since the end of May, I have slowly gone back to my routine.  I am back to working out regularly. Although you can see me crossing out rest days more often than crossing out the scheduled workout, I am happy that I still get to exercise at least three times a week.  It is better than nothing.

My erudite uncle left all these books since he finished reading all these before he left. I have finished one book and I plan to start a new one.  I also caught up with some TV shows I have missed.

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I have cleaned my closet and have done some laundry. I have a lot more to tackle but I am taking baby steps. We are still experiencing El Niño. Weather is hot and every simple movement  I make leaves me sweating so I work slow to minimize the sweating. Sweat and I are not a good mix.

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I have done most of the errands and obligations I need to finish.

I had the time to do some art.

This is for the Watercolour Gallery collab I am doing. Follow @wgcollab and @watercolour_gallery on Instagram.

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I also bought pearlescent watercolor from itrydiy.com so I tried them on this painting. Can you see the sheen on the petals?

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My friend, Jasmin, requested me to paint this jasmine for her.

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I was also able to insert some practice. The rose is not perfect. I will try again to make it look better. Hopefully.

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I am doing art and I love it!

More Art, A Poem and A New Craft

I am still not done with my friends’ requests for an artwork (which also doubles as my Christmas gift). My friend, Ernelyn, wanted a bamboo painting with a bird.  I thought this was an easy task since the first watercolor lesson we were  taught in high school was painting a bamboo. However, the artwork I took inspiration from was a thicker bamboo. I used to be able to paint the trunk with one  stroke using a thick brush. Now, I had to use multiple strokes and it required a certain amount of water to make the strokes unnoticeable.  It was challenging. This is the final artwork.

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My friend liked it and that matters most.  (Or she had no choice! hahaha I did my best with this one.)

My friend, Wela, wanted a lighthouse with a sea and some rocks. I let her choose from different pegs. I had trouble with making the rocks look like real rocks but I have to settle with a ‘cartoonish’ version.  I’ll practice more. This is the final artwork.

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She was happy with the artwork that she made me a poem.  My friend (who happens to be a cousin also) writes beautiful poems. She often does this when someone close to her celebrates a birthday.  I requested for a poem on my next birthday and, in exchange, I’ll record a song for her.  No, I am not a good singer. I do not sing when we gather together for a night of karaoke.  I have stage fright. I sing averagely okay when I am alone but put someone to listen to my voice and  no sound would come out.  Thus, I will just send a recording.  Hehe  But when we gathered for breakfast early this January, they urged me to sing which I obliged because a friend who is a very good singer sang with me.

This is the poem she made for me:

A song to sing,
A joy you bring,
To this morning gathering,
Of friends who are truly caring.

A friend since nineteen eighty six,
A gal who’s a wonderful mix,
Of talents and wit,
Of a genius that’s only fit.

Grateful to God for having met you,
A friend who is loving and true,
May you never be blue,
For in His perfect timing your prince
charming will be due! 

Yes, your parents may have gone ahead,
And left you longing instead,
But always remember, in this life there
are no accidents,
Things happen for a reason and not just by mere
coincidence.

So as you welcome the year two thousand fifteen,
Whatever may happen in between,
Stand still and be strong,
For with the Lord by your side, nothing can go
wrong.

What a nice gift! I really have sweet friends.  Thank you, God!

Now back to more painting. These are three different cherry blossoms-like painting which I will ask my friend to choose (if she likes any) since she wanted something similar to what I previously did for another friend.

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Yesterday, I finally tried my pastel dye.  I bought this last Christmas as gifts for my godchildren and I bought one for myself.   When I painted bougainvillea last year, my friend, Mau, wanted the artwork but she is a wanderlust. I told her she would just leave behind the painting in her house which she only visits a few times a year.  I told her I’ll put it in a t-shirt.

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I thought of printing the artwork on an iron-on sheet but I cannot find a sheet here. I asked about t-shirt printing and it was a little expensive which I was willing to pay for but when I asked about it, they cannot deliver at the time when Mau is in town. I have totally forgotten about t-shirt until I saw the pastels in a store.

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This is what  I did. I drew the design using a marker on a white sheet. I taped the sketch on an illustration board which I inserted inside the t-shirt. Then, I began tracing the design.

This is the finished work.

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I really enjoy creating something with my hands.  I am off to do more. I still have some requests to fulfill.  Bye for now!

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