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Finally, a compact hardbound sketchbook that is filled with Artist-Grade 100% cotton paper, value chart and "18% photography grey" Read more

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This project was successfully funded on August 21, 2014.

Finally, a compact hardbound sketchbook that is filled with Artist-Grade 100% cotton paper, value chart and "18% photography grey"

About this project

WE DID IT !! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE SUPPORT GUYS !!!

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The Perfect Sketchbook
(60 pages of Artist Grade 100% Cotton, watercolor paper) 
by Erwin lian & Bynd Artisan

The Story
Over the past 14 months or so, I have been traveling around the world and sketching... France, Germany, Spain, Italy, across Asia and the list continues to grow. The term "sketch-hunter", coined by Robert Henri, describes me best. I sketch almost daily, noting down everything from interesting people to the places I have visited. Whether it is in a moving subway cabin, a car, a bus or on a Tut-Tut, I sketch.
http://cherngzhi.tumblr.com/

me, my sketchbook and world travels
me, my sketchbook and world travels


My passion has led me to try out numerous sketchbooks and I have tried using everything available in the market. With the need to perfect my watercolor sketches, I began to search for that perfect sketchbook. One that should be hardbound, compact, binds well, opens flat, and filled with  Artist Grade 100% cotton paper (makes it strong but pliable). Unfortunately, I couldn't find such a sketchbook out there... so, I decided to make one.

I went on and searched for quality sketchbooks manufacturers and discovered Bynd Artisan®; a premium leather and paper label in Singapore. The people behind this brand have been in the book-making business for more than 70 years, and were very receptive of my ideas on a sketchbook. They agreed to collaborate on this project, and their sincerity & earnestness to create the Perfect Sketchbook moved me beyond words.


The Perfect Sketchbook is a top-of-the-line sketchbook made with quality materials sourced from around the world.

Stay updated with our Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/theperfectsketchbook

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photography by Erwin Lian
photography by Erwin Lian

The ability to assess + establish correct values are two of the most important skills required in painting. Chroma inherits values and this is why many painters will first complete an under-painting (with only values) before applying chroma. Having a value chart with you, allows for you to place it against the subject to properly assess values.

Most artists hold their sketchbook in a certain way to keep it flat. The value chart was designed for ease of use for both left- and right-handed Artists. So if you are a left holder, you may flip to the left for the value chart and if you are a right holder, you may flip to the right for it. While this could be more user-friendly with a portrait- format book. The decision for a landscape-format was strictly based off reliable data which informs us that users who use a book of this size would prefer the landscape-format. Of course, given a chance in the future, I will release a series of different sizes and formats

Locating the right value with a value chart
Locating the right value with a value chart

You may be able to upgrade the existing value chart by punching holes on each step. As seen in the image above, I managed to pick the right value for the grass by hovering my value chart over it. Squinting your eyes helps a little with the assessment process. However, this would entail that your sketchbook be less aesthetically pleasing, and this is why The Perfect Sketchbook that you will receive will not come with these punched holes.

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GRAIN DIRECTION IN PAPER.

The Perfect Sketchbook requires up to 3 full sheets of watercolor paper. Why so many for such a small book? Well, that’s due to proper grain direction.  

Why paper grain is important?
If the grain is wrong, many undesirable things will happen:
1) The book will not open very well. 
2) The paper will crease and buckle (due to paper expansion)
3) Stress is put on the stitching and could even break it; 

An illustration to the utilization of paper with proper grain direction:

As there would be more paper wastage when we consider grain direction, 
I am working on possibly re-cutting the waste to create paper swatches that can be inserted into The Perfect Sketchbook's inner pocket. The Artist can make use of these inserts to test their colors prior to actual application. This suggestion has yet been finalized, and I will keep everyone updated.

Many sketchbook-makers may not consider the grain direction in order to reduce cost of production. However, this will result in poor quality.

                                                         

Please note that Singapore-based backers will also enjoy the free shipping offered to America-based backers. Simply back the reward at the amount without international shipping charges. Free shipment is ONLY for Singapore and U.S. based backers. Thank You
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The Team
Erwin Lian | Artist / Educator/ Designer

Me, sketching in the kingdom of Bhutan
Me, sketching in the kingdom of Bhutan

My name is Erwin and I am an Artist from Singapore. I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Time-Based Media Studies from the Columbus College of Art (2004) and completed my Master of Arts in Design Development from The Ohio State University (2009).  I lecture at the Film Media Studies department in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore.

I travel extensively with my sketchbooks, recording the visages of the people who I meet, places I have been to and cultures that I have personally experienced. Through my craft, I hope to inspire and share the peace and joy I feel whenever I create and paint.

I painted all the paintings,shot all the photographs and did part of the computer animation featured in this kick starter project. The entire project was completed by me and two students, Jason Yong and Jacon Lim from DVFX, Ngee Ann Polytechnic

(www.cherngzhi.com)

BYND ARTISTAN | Partner & Manufacturer

The Goy Liang Book-Making Company had its first true home in 1945 when it was set up in a little shop house along Mohamed Sultan Road. It was a family-run business that served a genuine need and it gradually grew beyond the boundaries of Singapore and Malaysia.

Through the intervening years, the business of book-binding has moved inexorably with the progress of technology. Yet at its heart, each and every book had its beginning much like in the days of old - hand-designed and prototyped by a small band of craftsmen who grew up in the trade.

Bynd Artisan was conceptualized to celebrate the joy of traditional paper and leather making.  Bynd Artisan hopes to write its own history through the remarkable output of Singapore’s greatest practicing craftsmen.

The Company has manufacturing facilities both in Singapore & Malaysia.
(http://www.byndartisan.com)

Grandluxe is the parent company of the Label Bynd Artisan

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Estimated Time Schedule

The thicker the arrow = more funds goes there
The thicker the arrow = more funds goes there


This really is a project derived through an impulse based on personal need. Due to the requirement of new materials that was unavailable at the manufacturer, the cost of materials would be very high if I only made enough for personal consumption, so I decided to open up the availability of this pet project so that supporters may enjoy the same high quality that I personally demand while driving costs down for all of us. Kindly note that funds are subjected to 5% commission from Kickstarter and 5% from Amazon for credit card transaction fees. I have made most of the graphics and shot the photographs myself. The computer animation was completed with help from two students of mine (Jason & Jacob) and a stipend was paid to them.

Risks and challenges

Risk:
1)Since this book is constructed with quality materials from all over the world, shipment may run into delays. Prices and availability of raw materials may also fluctuate. We have cushioned our budget with a modest amount to account for such events. In the event that raw materials have to be replaced, I will update everyone accordingly (very unlikely).

2) Bynd Artistan has more than 70 years of experience in book-making. I have visited their manufacturing facility and am confident that we can produce this sketchbook. I will update the manufacturing progress accordingly.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • With proper grain flow, quality material sourced from all over the world. We arrived at this sketchbook that really isn't the cheapest in the market. This is a genuine kick-start to build a quality sketchbook. I lacked the Economy of Scale but I am willing to start the ball rolling. If demand rises, the cost of manufacturing will fall.

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  • This sketchbook is made in Malaysia & Singapore

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  • Grandluxe is the parent company of Bynd Artistan. They are my partners and have been in the book-making business for more than 70 years. (http://www.grandluxe.com)

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  • If you have a mailing address in Singapore. You also qualify for the free shipment. Unfortunately I am unable to input two countries on kickstarter platform. Free shipment is ONLY offered to U.S mailing address and Singapore mailing addresses . If you are from Singapore and you are facing problem with the check out? Simply complete transaction as U.S backers and send me an email to notify me that you are from Singapore.

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  • I was very fortunate to have visited the kingdom of Bhutan, twice. My second trip was fully sponsored by Drukasia (http://www.drukasia.com/). They commissioned me to work on a series of paintings for their calendar. I found Bhutan to be very inspiring.
    http://sketchpacker.blogspot.sg/2014/08/artist-feature-erwin-lian.html

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  • Very unlikely. Unless this project takes off in scale that is way beyond my imagination. I am merely starting and I am not sure if there would be demand. If there is demand, we can do more.

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  • Kickstarter is a U.S only platform and I was unable to create a free shipping option for two countries. If you are from Singapore, simply back as US citizen on kickstarter.com and send me a message to notify me that you are from Singapore. Please note that you will have to input your Singapore billing information when you are prompted to amazon.com for transaction details. When the project gets funded, I will be send out a survey to gather your Singapore mailing address. Thank you.

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  • Perfection is a constant. I am aware that many actually prefer a larger sketchbook. However, without a start, there is no way to get to perfection. This is a start of a journey towards perfection. Its not the end. For a lack of a better name, I titled this 'The Perfect Sketchbook'. I know it may sound cheesy but I am sure everyone recalls this project by now.

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  • Ask any artists who loves to sketch. Ask if they are willing to part their sketchbook. Chances are good that they will rather sell their full-sheet paintings than their sketchbooks. This is the irony. Most of us actually cherish our sketchbooks more. Therefore, we should invest in our sketchbooks.

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  • Good art materials reduces the variables that hinder progress. This is a decision one has to make. When I was an Art student, I can never afford good art material. It took me years to actually realize that Artist-grade pigments made the difference. Yes, skills matter but quality of materials too

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  • No. Mr Chong merely help make the prototype. Machines will be involved in the actual making.

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  • Honestly, I have no clue how many of these kickstarter projects do that. Some of these project may have been developed, funded and they may have only used kickstarter as a launch pad. The Perfect Sketchbook is a genuine Kick-start.

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  • Yes, there is .Please check this video on youtube out.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch…
    Any professional watercolorist will tell that rag paper (100 % cotton paper) makes it strong and pliable. If you care about permanence or plan on using lots of scrubbing, scraping, taping, and masking techniques you should use 100% cotton paper, which can take a lot of abuse.

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  • An Airbus and a Boeing has the same shape but they are not the same ..The main feature of The Perfect Sketchbook isn’t the grey or the value chart. It is the bulk of the meat; the paper. The Artist Grade 100% cotton paper is endorsed by the Royal Watercolor society and made by St.Cuthberts Mill. in England. Let me quote you what Richard Schmid the famous Alla Prima Painter has to say about watercolor “My experience with watercolor has taught me the right paper is one of the essential factors, because everything depends upon keeping the paint in a manipulative state for as long as possible. I recommend working with a paper that retains moisture and resist staining - one which allows for removal of colors without damaging its surface”- Richard Schmid page 175 edition 2 of alla prima

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  • The only way is to go to the Art supply stores that sell this. Plenty of Art supply stores have this in stock.. Saunders Waterford. Don't forget to check the prices.

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  • All pledges will be refunded and no one will be charged. Backers of painting rewards from A to E will still receive their paintings from me. Thank you for your support :)

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  • There is merely a slight margin to buffer for production and fulfillment.
    This margin can ONLY change if fund raised vastly exceeded the targeted fund of $50,000.

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  • Of course ! Because everyone has a friend who is an Artist. He/She will have a darn good sketchbook :) Don't forget that you are backing a vision :)

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Rewards

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    A million thanks for your contribution! Every dollar counts and I'm thankful for your support.

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    A gazillion thanks for your contribution!
    I appreciate your support and will be sending you a thank-you postcard. Postcard features
    painting of the Black Necked Cranes. These rare birds migrate to Bhutan’s Phobhjikha Valley every year during late October to mid February.
    Painting was featured in Drukasia's 2014 Calendar.

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    Early Birds* | One “Perfect sketchbook”
    Thank you for your support !
    Landscape ( 9 X 14 cm) | (3.5 in X 5.50 in)
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    One Autographed A4 Giclée print.(Gallery Quality)
    A4 Print (210mm X 297mm) with 0.5 inch white border. (FRAME NOT INCLUDED)
    Painting of Takstang Monastery of Bhutan by myself. (Autographed print)
    Painting was featured in the Drukasia & Drukair
    (Royal Bhutanese Airline) 2014 Calendar.
    (US Shipping included)

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    One Perfect Sketchbook PLUS One Postcard.
    Postcard features painting of the Black Necked Cranes. These rare birds migrate to Bhutan’s Phobhjikha Valley every year during late October to mid February. Add $6 USD to ship outside the US and Singapore

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    Two “Perfect sketchbooks” Landscape ( 9 X 14 cm) | (3.5 in X 5.50 in) (Free delivery for US & Singapore)

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    Painting L1 + 5 sketchbooks.
    Limited Edition (Only 10 available) Gallery Quality Giclée print. Print will have an offset border all around Signed, numbered and stamped. This comes with letter of authenticity. FRAME NOT INCLUDED. TITLE: Sketch of Yoaka and Pana Villages in Sopsokha. Ink & Wash. (410mm X 126mm) . painting was featured in Drukasia 2014 Calendar. Free International delivery

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    Painting L2 + 5 sketchbooks.
    Limited Edition (Only 10 available) Gallery Quality Giclée print. Print will have an offset border all around.Signed, numbered and stamped. This comes with letter of authenticity.
    FRAME NOT INCLUDED. Title: Sketch of Cheri Zampa. Ink & Wash. (410mm X 126mm) | painting was featured in Drukasia 2014 Calendar.Free International delivery

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    Painting L3 + 5 sketchbooks.Limited Edition (Only 10 available) Gallery Quality Giclée print.Print will have an offset border all around
    Signed, numbered and stamped. This comes with letter of authenticity.FRAME NOT INCLUDED.TITLE: Sketch of Punakha Dzong . Ink & Wash. (410mm X 126mm) painting was featured in Drukasia 2014 Calendar.Free International delivery

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    Painting L4 + 8 sketchbooks. Limited Edition .Gallery Quality Giclée print. Print will have an offset border all around.Signed, numbered and stamped. This comes with letter of authenticity. FRAME NOT INCLUDED. TITLE: Sketch of Kyichu Lhakhang in Bhutan Ink & watercolor wash. (420mm X 148mm) Free International delivery

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    Painting L5 + 8 sketchbooks.
    Limited Edition (Only 10 available) Gallery Quality Giclée print.Print will have an offset border all around Signed, numbered and stamped. This comes with letter of authenticity.
    FRAME NOT INCLUDED. TITLE: Sketch of Yoaka and Pana Villages in Sopsokha from afar
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    $500
    Painting L6 + 8 sketchbooks. Limited Edition (Only 9 available) Gallery Quality Giclée print. Print will have an offset border all around Signed, numbered and stamped. This comes with letter of authenticity. FRAME NOT INCLUDED. Sketch of Lobesa Hotel. Ink & watercolor wash. (420mm X 148mm) Free International delivery

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    Painting L7 + 10sketchbooks.Limited Edition (Only 10 available) Gallery Quality Giclée print.Print will have an offset border all around Signed, numbered and stamped. This comes with letter of authenticity.FRAME NOT INCLUDED.TITLE: View of Tashichho Dzong (En Plein Air).Watercolor (420mm X 148mm) .Free International delivery

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    Painting L8 + 10sketchbooks.Limited Edition (Only 10 available) Gallery Quality Giclée print.Print will have an offset border all around. Signed, numbered and stamped. This comes with letter of authenticity.
    FRAME NOT INCLUDED.TITLE: View of Punakha Dzong (En Plein Air). Watercolor (500mm X 270mm) Free International delivery

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    1 Original watercolor Painting + 1 Autographed "Perfect Sketchbooks" (Painting A) Original small test painting on Saunders Waterford® 100 % cotton paper |190SM (NO FRAME) Painting of Trongsa Dzong in Bhutan. (Autographed) Size: 21 cm X 14.7 cm Painting was folded to simulate fold in sketchbook. (FREE INTERNATIONAL DELIVERY)

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    Original watercolor painting of “The Black Hat Dance”. (Painting B) Painting featured in Drukasia 2014 Calendar. Framed: Size: 200 mm X 140 mm (autographed) Free International Shipping

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    Original watercolor painting of a Bhutanese Man Spinning Prayer Wheels. (Painting C): Painting featured in Drukasia 2014 Calendar. Framed: size: 210mm X 125mm (autographed) Free International Shipping

    Estimated delivery: Dec 2014

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    Original Painting + 3 Autographed Sketchbooks. Original Painting (Painting D) of Takstang Monastery in Bhutan. (FRAMED) Size : A4 (210mm x 297 mm) Painting was featured in Drukasia's 2014 Calendar. FREE INTERNATIONAL DELIVERY

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    Meet me + Original Painting + 10 Sketchbooks. Meet me in Singapore and I will bring you around sketching. I will provide you with valuable tips to sketching & painting. (exclude flights, accommodations and other expenses) (Painting E) Original Painting of the black necked cranes (Framed) size: A4 (210mm X 297mm) 10 copies of the perfect sketchbooks. (Autographed) Free International Delivery

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Funding period

- (45 days)