Be warned. I get terribly meandering when it comes to writing stuff.

ANYWAY,I can't even recall exactly when Paraluman as Paraluman (my studio/personal press) began. If I were to take an an equivocal attitude towards the issue, though, then it began ever since I took up a pencil/crayon/pen/pastel/etc. and doodled my way out of boredom. My best estimate would be that it began some time between '00 and '05, with '05 being the "official" year since it was the year when the Tarot of the Lepidopteran People and les Adorables Tarot - the first decks of Paraluman - got published.

So what exactly is Paraluman? It began as my vanity press years ago, and in many ways it still is that. It's basically the receptacle and output-processor of my card-related art ideas. It's where I do art experiments regarding card-related ideas (like themes, card orientation, dimensions, lamination, etc).

I've also produced a moderate amount of book-related ephemera (ex libris and bookmarks) under Paraluman.

Over the years, my works in this particular field have become too scattered and all over the place, figuratively speaking, and I created this website to organize, categorize as well as showcase the various works which have been produced under Paraluman (and some other card-related art produced for other publishers) over the years (as well as those both currently being produced and will be produced in the future).

The Name and the Logo

Paraluman is a Tagalog (Filipino) word which isn't used much in its original context nowadays. It roughly translates to muse (artistic inspiration), goddess, and even "magnetic needle" (as in a navigational compass). There was also a famous Filipino actress during the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema, renowned for her beauty, who went by the screen name of Paraluman.

I chose the name because I found it appealing (which is the reason why most people choose things anyway haha). It has an old Filipino thing going; it's something related to mythology (which is one of my interests); and it sounds good: it rolls off the tongue nicely - something Tolkien would have found beautiful (I had a brief, albeit meaningful, dalliance with linguistics and orthography because of Tolkien's books).

And because I also like to invent false histories and etymologies: paraluman is from the roots para and lumen, and when taken in this context, can be interpreted as "beyond light" and by extension, "beyond wisdom". Three cheers for the intellectual poser in me!

The logo is just the result of me having fun back in the day. I created it as a cheeky nod to the logo of a seedy love motel franchise in the Philippines which has since then turned its operations towards more wholesome ends. Their logo featured the head of a woman in a cloche hat with her index finger on her lips, doing a shushing gesture. The woman in Paraluman's logo, meanwhile, wears a beehive hat which has a double "p" on it, making them look like scissors - this represents both my interest in arts and crafts as well as emphasizes the handmade-ness in most of the works I produce for Paraluman. It also has hints (which hopefully show) of Art Deco and Art Nouveau in it.

Anyway, thank you for visiting my website - and if you've gotten up to this point, for reading this!

Lynyrd-Jym Narciso
The Artist

PS Apologies in advance for the informal writing style. I chose this (first-person perspective, and a tone that had more candor in it) because I felt that as an artist, it would be much better to represent my works from my own perspective, in a less formal and more intimate writing style. That, and the fact that my writing in third-person perspective sucks.


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