My name is Zach Johnsen. I run Zenvironments Studio in Portland, Oregon. I have been a visual artist for 15 years or basically all of my adult professional life. Over the course of the last decade and a half I have created all manner of art: 2D works on paper and canvas; graphic and computer generated illustrations for tshirts, prints, hard goods and merchandise; 3D works with wood and found object and even costume design. The common thread that has run throughout all my work, regardless of medium has been the fact that I always start in a sketchbook. I'm 36 years old, but a sketchbook is something that I still carry with me every day. It is the place where I rough out ideas, make notes, develop characters and rough compositions and sometimes just doodle.
I have been drawing since I was young, well before I started doing it for a living and for commercial projects. Drawing has been the starting point of my creative career and has continued to be the most fun and satisfying part of my daily workings. Sometimes the drawing process is a means to and end, such as the development of a drawing for commercial project. And sometimes drawing has no end and is simply an ongoing narrative, yet to be fully realized and with many possible outcomes. The latter is my favorite part about drawing.. the endlessness of it. In my mind, drawing can never end. A drawing can end, but the process of drawing never can.. And so it stretches on and on, telling a larger story than we can see at any given time.
I have always wanted to publish a book. I have created art prints and licensed my work for a variety of apparel and goods. I have seen my art show up in any number of ways out in the world, but not yet in book form. So when brainstorming for the project, I wanted the way I presented my work and this book to be unique. I run a website called Zenvironments where I showcase select projects, keep a blog and have a store front for some of my art prints. One of my most popular sections on that website is my sketch section, whereby I have compiled one long page of years worths of overlayed sketch material. To see it visit www.zenvironments.com/sketch. This section has become quite long and it became my inspiration for the style of book I will be releasing...
Thus... I have started a Kickstarter to help me raise funds to self publish a book of my sketches. It is called Sketchbook. The book will be presented exactly as your standard A4 size blackbook and will look exactly as a blackbook looks: bumpy black cover, 216 pages, white paper stock, case bound.. The difference is that this book will be filled with sketches! Basically, I'm publishing a filled sketchbook. It will look as if flipping through my actual sketchbook - full of doodles, notes, character development, rough sketches for bigger work as well as more realized, stand-alone drawings. The sketch will be the star of this book and will feature nothing but. You will not find any finished work, no prologue or artist statement or glossary.. This is not a polished coffee table book with gloss pages and spot varnish printing.. It will be a sketchbook and I'm hoping will be treated as one. It is meant to get carried around, beat up, stickers put on it, marks made in it. I want people to feel free to draw in the book, alongside my drawings.. to make notes or add their own characters and ideas. I want Sketchbook to be a conversation between me and my ideas and you. To me, a sketchbook is the place to be loose and have fun and I want the book to to be fun. And at the same time, I want the book to be a story.. A story of lots of other stories that all mix together to make an entirely new story!
So please, if you can, help me to publish this unique book. Contribute today and become part of this ongoing narrative.
Zach Johnsen - Zenvironments Studio
My stretch goal of $13,500 has been met! I have successfully raised enough money to introduce color to Sketchbook and I have YOU to thank! At the VERY mimimum, 1 signature (16 pages), will be printed in color although I am planning on 4 signatures (64 pages). I am in the process of getting a revised manufacturing quote based on these multiple extra signatures printed in color as well as a quote for the WHOLE book printed in color! I will have that quote back next week.. So why stop now?
I still have another 5 days left of my Kickstarter campaign so I've decided to set another stretch goal... an ambitious goal of $18,000! Why not shoot for the moon? I am going to try and get the whole of Sketchbook printed in color!
I have been working on the layout of Sketchbook throughout this whole campaign and now that I have introduced color, it's hard to look back to plain ol' black and white. Lots of my drawings have splattering of watercolor that only add depth and energy to the sketches.. The addition of color has also opened up a whole new dimension for layout, allowing some really interesting things to happen when overlaying color sketch material.
Your support and enthusiasm has gotten me this far. Why not all the way! THANK YOU to everyone that has contributed and has shown support for this book. Because of you, this bundle of sketches is really going to sing!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
**Here are some examples of how I will use color for Sketchbook**
Risks and challenges
I have successfully sourced a manufacturer for the production of Sketchbook, so the main challenge is getting the entire book designed, then printed and bound and shipped to me by August. There is the potential for the ship date of Sketchbooks to contributors getting pushed back by 3 weeks, so please bear with me in this instance. I will do my very best to speed along production but invariably bumps arise in the process. All other prizes will be shipped fairly immediately after successful funding of the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)