It feels like so long since I’ve taken the time to write out my thoughts - to figure out a way to take all the confusion from my brain and present in a way that can be communicated and understood. I hope you will be understanding if there are any errors!
At the tail end of 2020, I decided to make the decision to move my store, posts, etc. away from a platform, and take the time to build up a place for myself on the web; i.e a website. After trying out trials for 2-3 different websites that gave promise to all three - a website/portfolio, a storefront, and a blog, I decided to settle here; while still in progress, I’m pretty happy with what I could build so far despite the limitations.
So far I have only updated a few pages (my about page!) and moved over some of my Patreon posts as an archive. This might slow down my updates but makes each one despite sporadic, something to look forward to. I’ve set up a comment system so feedback on posts can also be given instead of reaching out via DMs on twitter and I will adding a contact page on my website soon too. I’m also working to set up an email list/newsletter, which you can also sign up on via my homepage (design subject to change soon).
In the upcoming little while I’m hoping to update an entire archive of a most of my projects, in respective categories, that can be used as a reference and/or a place of inspiration for those who want to use them!
I’m most excited now though - after just over a week of burning the midnight oil, to finally update my store. With the way this website is built, there is some limitations with what I can present on here, but should I take the time to continually provide updates and maintenance, I feel like I could really enjoy using this platform.
Like previously on my old website provider, I decided to keep to having three categories (possibly a 4th, for decluttering in the future). I created a Store Home page which just allows for a full page which explains each of the categories.
- Artist Merchandise
Handmade and custom-printed merchandise/prints featuring original (and sometimes fanart) designs. All artwork unless otherwise noted is drawn by @eecks.
- Supply Shop
Art supplies and other curated picks. I love each and every one of these materials and I hope you will too!
Pieces of my sketchbook and other illustrations. Some may be double-sided and drawn in mixed media, but generally ink and watercolour.
Some new highlights of items and merch I’ve made since my last store opening.
I had decided buy some new pigments to make colours that were of more interest to me and ones I would gravitate towards using and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out! Each pan, because I took more time to make each colour, has 3-4 layers this time, so some pans may be more filled than others. I also played around with the re-wet-ability of some pigments so there are varying amounts of binder/humectant for each colour!
I decided this will be my last batch of watercolours that I make and am probably going to look to sell all my materials in the near future. As much as I love getting my hands dirty and learning a lot about the tools I use, I want to be able to use my time to draw more instead of making materials. I will probably document everything I learned in a post in the near future - thank you for all those who have supported my venture into making paint and for those who enjoy using them as well!
This time I tried to do a more minimal kind of packaging which highlights more of the colours. My dad (retired) also helped me since I wanted each bag to be heat sealed - it was so cute when I asked him how he was doing and he had his head down “I’m busy working hard”.
Whenever I think about sketchbooks, I get really excited (if that wasn’t evident enough from my previous posts about making sketchbooks). During my break away from making things, I spent a lot of time about the best approaches to making handmade sketchbooks. As complicated and daunting as they can be.. all books are essentially built from 3 pieces - a spine, inner paper, and covers. It’s quite amazing how many different variations and add-ons that have since been adopted and popularized.
Acouple hours of browsing in the journaling community (these passionate people are pretty amazing at making customized materials for their own use), I came across the use of discs to bind your books.
The idea of these sketchbooks.. I tried my best to explain it with a couple of drawings. The books are bound using these small discs, however the simple button shape in addition to the way the paper is punched (mushroom-shape) offers a few special features that are not otherwise offered in traditional sketchbooks.
I decided to do small/thinner notebooks to my usual featured sketchbooks in the PU leather. They’re offered in two sizes - in A5 size or 4”x6” size. I had previously bought a stock of paper from my notebook vendor, so the paper is the same quality - 180gsm, white blank. It’s my favourite to use for mixed media, with not too much tooth, and it’s not too heavy to carry around!
I decided to have fun with the idea of thinner sketchbooks. I wanted to put in a “monthly” challenge aspect so they can be used short-term and without so much pressure to make everything perfect.
The hope for these sketchbooks is that they will be less stressful to use (less pages) and cheaper (made by hand to be more cost-feasible since labour + shipping costs have all risen from covid). It took me many weeks to punch each sheet, cut down paper to size, round corners (for the 4x6 size), and attach them all in the discs. Since there is no ribbon, I added in a plastic insert, very similar to the ones you would get in your school agendas in the past! I do hope many like the end result!
I want to spend more time thinking about these discs since the simplicity of this ring/disc design opens the door for a lot of modularity and customization options. Even as a method of binding and offering it as a packaging option is really interesting (I’m imagining re-bound zines/postcard sets, etc). Please look forward to some updates in the future!
Tracker Challenge Sketchbooks
This is the only product I’ve made recently via a vendor was yes - a sketchbook. This one is of the larger A4 square size.
This is a very simple design, however it’s meant to have the same sort of modularity of the sketchbooks from above.
For those who want to treat drawing more consistently as a goal they hope to achieve - the cover is meant to either be used as a reminder (or even used by writing on it) to draw as a habit, or for those who feel guilty to see how much realistically they have drawn. The backside is to write down prompts for monthly challenge for those who partake! I left it undated for users to make symbols or colours to keep track.
The idea to write on the covers came from the fact we are all still in lockdown, so the usability of the cover is higher due to the less wear it may have when being taken out and about. I was thinking of offering large stickers so they can be added in the inner covers, but I wanted to check the interest in these books before I invested more into these sketchbooks haha.
I decided to offer a few more of my originals up for sale, since I know a couple people have asked about other drawings I may put up in the near future. I hope those who decide to adopt these pieces of my sketchbook will enjoy them!
And finally, a small personal update for those who were interested.
Since deciding to take the year more slow, I’ve been trying to take more time to embrace my thoughts, emotions, and well.. person. Rather than being obsessed with progress and to keep up by doing, taking the time to process meant gave me a chance to look at my current projection, appreciate what I’ve done, and if needed, pivot. This isn’t the same as just writing everything down and seeing it on some sort of journal page, then making some sort of rational decision on the next step forward - be kind to yourself is cheap advice. The hard work is to spend a lot of time just thinking, pondering, getting angry, crying, feeling pain, maybe regret, being stuck; and however unproductive that may feel at the time, your emotions are a great guide to understanding your own morals and help understand yourself.
The alignment of your feelings, thinking and reactions making sense with one another.. is so powerful. It makes you have such a strong sense of self, and subsequently your self efficacy - how much you think you are capable of, and how much you really depend on other’s validation to do what you ultimately want to do. I feel like I’ve reignited my interests, give myself reasons without any jarring feelings of hypocrisy (i.e. never taking my own advice, busy being too busy).. I’m sure it’s susceptible to the ebbs and flows of life, but it’s a comforting place to be at, despite how long it’s taken for me to process all that’s been thus far.
Thank you so much for everyone who has stuck around and is still around. I really appreciate all the support and your patience.