CCAD alumni show perfect sketchbook work during Singapore Design Week

Life at CCAD, Erwin Lian, spread of overlapping open sketchbooks

Erwin Lian (Media Studies Time-Based, 2004), a cadre of CCAD alumni, and other world-renowned international artists are part of an exhibition titled INTERLACE, on view in Singapore March 8 – 18 during Singapore Design Week.

The show commemorates the journey of Lian’s creation, The Perfect Sketchbook, a project driven by the mission to create the finest quality sketchbook for artists and inspired by his world travels. The work in INTERLACE has been created on The Perfect Sketchbook’s archival-standard watercolor paper.

“I am super excited and much honored to be given such an opportunity to organize this show,” Lian says. “For me, a sketchbook can only be made ’perfect’ by great artists and good art.”

Life at CCAD, Erwin Lian

The Perfect Sketchbook was first introduced on the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter in August 2014. Following the fulfilment of the first project, backers were impressed with the quality of the book and the project escalated quickly, garnering immense support from backers all over the world.

But it didn’t start out that way.

“When I first launched our Kickstarter, I struggled to find sufficient support here in Singapore,” Lian says. “Many of my CCAD friends and professors came to my rescue early and provided me with the much-needed motivation and advice.”

The project was then funded on Indiegogo and The Perfect Sketchbook’s own platform in the ensuing runs, raising a total of $150,000 to date – well above the campaign’s original goal.

“My CCAD family has been pivotal to my personal growth and the success of The Perfect Sketchbook,” Lian says. “It’s only through the collective sharing and positive spirit from my CCAD family that I sustained my motivation and powered through the campaign.”

Ryan Green (CCAD 2003), for instance, “first noticed how I struggled with intense online criticism and diverted me away from an adversary. Professor Hiroshi [Hayakawa] shared similar approaches by very successful people, kept my spirits up and backed the campaign. Professor [Charlotte] Belland did the same and urged other CCAD folks to do the same.”

Life at CCAD, Erwin Lian

Life at CCAD, Erwin Lian

Exhibiting in INTERLACE are a number of CCAD alumni who contributed to those campaigns in various capacities: Ryan Green (CCAD 2003), Fawn Veerasunthorn (Media Studies Time-Based, 2005), Professor Hiroshi Hayakawa (Photography, 1995), and Nathaniel Underwood (2002, Fine Art).

International artists include James Gurney, the illustrator renowned for creating Dinotopia and a past CCAD visiting artist; Nathan Fowkes, who has worked on feature films including The Prince of Egypt, How to Train Your Dragon, Rio 2, and Ferdinand; and Tracy Lewis, a California-based painter best known for her work in transparent watercolor.

“I am looking forward to sharing our collective work to a wide audience here in Singapore,” Lian says.

INTERLACE, The Perfect Sketchbook Show from Cherngzhi Lian on Vimeo.


Read more about the INTERLACE exhibition here, The Perfect Sketchbook here, and the challenges and rewards of running a Kickstarter campaign (an interview between James Gurney and Lian) here.