Thursday, September 4, 2014

Last Major Trip for 2014

Twenty-fourteen is probably the year I travelled most. I've gone for 3 trips so far (Siem Reap, church camp, and Sketching George Town 2), and the last one is coming up in just a few days' time. Several of these trips were not originally planned for, such the last one to Penang and the coming one. They just happened to come up and I couldn't miss the opportunity. Where am I going next? I'm headed to England.

I've been to England - 13 years ago. The last time I went, I brought my sketchbook, but it wasn't used for sketch-journaling (actually I did go to the UK another time within those 13 years, but it wasn't for holiday). In fact, though I had been drawing all my life, and had the habit of carrying a sketchbook everywhere, it was used as a travelogue where I wrote down my experiences along the way and later added printouts of photos I took. I resisted drawing in the book during the trip because I didn't want to interrupt the flow of the travelogue. Back then I had not taken up urban sketching.

Copyright © Favian Ee  May 2001

Copyright © Favian Ee  May 2001

Copyright © Favian Ee  May 2001

Copyright © Favian Ee  May 2001

Copyright © Favian Ee  May 2001

Copyright © Favian Ee  May 2001

Copyright © Favian Ee  May 2001


I wasn't planning to go to the UK this year. In fact I was planning to go to Australia and visit my friends in Melbourne and Sydney. But as circumstances would have it, my aunt from Cambridge came to visit earlier this year and invited me over.

So here I am, preparing for my trip, and right after finishing the layout and formatting for my book of the last trip (it took me more than a month to complete!).

I just might bring this old sketchbook along for my trip to show my friends and relatives who I met up with in England some 13 years ago. I am much older now, and wiser (I certainly hope so!); and my writing style has changed much. My love for writing, taking photos, and drawing, however, remain the same. The only thing is now I don't have to ration my film (thank God for digital photography!).

The photographs are full of memories - some filled with fondness and nostalgia, others full of heartache. Much has happened in those last 13 years - people have moved on, fallen ill, or even passed on. Little did I imagine then that today I would be working for a British company that was just 3 years-old when I first set foot in England.

My itinerary is packed. I will not be retracing my steps - only some. There are many people to meet, and perhaps, tears to be shed. Thirteen years ago I went in spring. This time I will go in early autumn. The exchange rate has moved in my favour, but England is still an expensive place to visit.

As usual, I will post about my trip, but only upon my return. I am restricting myself to 1 sketchbook this time round and one spare. The tools I've packed are somewhat different from previous trips (I will be using a thinner fountain pen primarily, if I stick to my plan). Of course, that doesn't mean I won't be buying more art materials in England (how could I go all the way there and not buy stuff I can't find here?). I'd like to think I've trimmed my kit down a bit, though. Maybe I'll do a separate post on my toolkit if I have time.

All the photos in my sketchbook above were taken with my trusty Canon EOS 300. It still works! I think I spent some 12 rolls of film or so on that trip. As I read through the entries, I realised I used to be a much more leisurely traveler. I seem to be much more compulsive now (I want to see everything!). After all, I'm spending all that money to travel so far, and who knows when I will get to go again, if at all? Added to that, I want to sketch-journal. It is a very hard balance to strike. If only I had all the time in the world...

This trip has been on my mind for the most part of this year. In fact I'm already tired after all the planning and thinking. I'm sure things will change after a 14-hour flight which hopefully will be restful (or maybe not, since I'm planning to catch up on some neglected projects and readings) and after I touch down in good old England. We will see how it goes. I am thankful for the opportunity to travel, and more so when I realise there are so many who cannot in their entire lives leave their countries - even to flee.

Each trip is an education: from the dark and shady past of Down Under, to the rapid urbanization of the Middle Kingdom, to the poverty and desperation of Cambodia, and now to the rich history and culture of England, to whom my country owes its present prosperity in no small part. My ties to England are not few, and I look forward to seeing the country again.

Our itinerary from 2011

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sketching George Town II: A Sketchpacker's Diary

It's been more than a month since I returned from Penang and Sketching George Town 2. I've finally finished my sketchpacker diary, scanned the pages, cleaned them up, put them together, and put it up for print at Lulu.com. I'm also uploading a copy of the drawings in the sketchbook here with a watermark. They are pretty raw, but there is some colour in the tags/tickets/etc. pasted in the book. The actual book is fully in greyscale, since the drawings are in greyscale. Besides, it doesn't make sense to incur higher costs if only a few pages have a little bit of colour.

You may order the book here. It's print-on-demand, so they only print when you order. I would suggest consolidating orders with your friends so you can save on shipping and enjoy bulk discounts. The price of the book is $5.62 USD (excluding shipping, which is $8.99 USD to Singapore). Why such an odd number? Because 562 = SG2. It's just a little memento. I'm pricing it (very) low so people who want a copy can afford one, and because even a few dollars more can be a lot of difference depending on what country you are from. I'm not putting this up for profit, otherwise I would've priced it higher. It's mainly for those who attended Sketching George Town 2 and would like to own a hard copy as a memento or souvenir. As such, I am not expecting a huge circulation, since only about 200 sketchers attended the event.

One may ask what's the benefit of ordering the book if the sketches are here on the blog. Well, it's entirely up to you. It's mainly so you can have a hard copy. I've cleaned up the scans for the book somewhat (not entirely, since I wanted it to still have a little bit of sketchbook feel) and excluded the watermarks on each page. There are also a few extra bits including photos of 3 other pieces I did during the event, which I didn't put up here. There are also a couple other photos and a short write-up, and acknowledgements to those whose photos I sketched. Those are just some of the extra bits in the book for those who are spending the $5.62 to get it. Otherwise, all of the sketches done in this sketchbook have been scanned and posted here.

So without further ado, I present to you Sketching George Town II: A Sketchpacker's Diary.

All pictures here are Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014.

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Copyright © Favian Ee, 2014

Hope you enjoyed this post! You can order the book at:
https://www.lulu.com/shop/favian-ee/sketching-george-town-2-a-sketchpackers-diary/paperback/product-21787410.html.

Disclaimer: I haven't ordered a proof copy for myself, so I don't know what the actual physical copy looks like. If you are ordering, please be aware of this.