Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sketchpacking Bandung - Beginnings and Lesson Preps

Barely a month after my trip to Hong Kong, I'll be jetsetting again! This time to Bandung, Indonesia. Why Bandung? Well, it's an interesting story. Remember my Sketching George Town II: A Sketchpacker's Diary? I think it had something to do with it.

The Bandung sketchers were planning for the Bandung Sketchwalk #25 "Sketching with Friends" (International Edition) event months back, and they were looking for workshop instructors when Marvin Chew from our Singapore Urban Sketcher group suggested me. Me? Of all people? I thought. There were better artists out there by the loads! It turned out that they felt they had too many watercolourists already and wanted something different, maybe someone who works in a different medium. So I got contacted by Thamrin from the Bandung group. The original idea was to teach something about pencil sketching with storytelling. I figured it would be too much to teach two topics, so since they seemed more interested in the storytelling aspect, I figured we'd concentrate on just one of them and.... teach them how to tell stories!

I love telling stories. Loved it since I was little. I'd make up my own cartoon characters, write my own poems, draw illustrations, staple them into a book. I'd draw comics using my characters. Later as I grew older, I wrote stories, illustrated them, composed songs, recorded them, imagined animated sequences. I created worlds in my head.

Cartoons and comics have been my passion since I was young. Now I do more writing. But being a good comic artist means being good at both drawing and writing, so I guess it's an art form that suits me and my interests best. It took me years before I realised that my art, writing, music, etc. all centred upon one simple word: Storytelling. And here I was going to conduct a workshop on it! Rare opportunity indeed, and I couldn't say no.

So over the last few months I've been trying to come up with my lesson material, and to make it more interesting, I decided to transcribe it by hand. In cursive. In a Muji notebook:

Yes, I'm old-school like that.

Of course I made bulletpoint notes on OneNote first before writing them out. That was more for organizing my thoughts.

I've never been to Bandung before. The only bandung I know is that drink made of rose syrup and evaporated milk. My most frequented spot in Indonesia is Batam, but that's mainly for church camps. I don't have much of an itinerary planned, but I have a bunch of Singapore Urban Sketcher friends going who have some, and then there's the event programme. That failing, there's always the locals to consult on possible places to visit. Five days is not a lot of time, especially with 2.5 days spent in the event itself. If I hadn't run out of leave, I'd probably make my way to Central Java and pay Borobudur and Prambanan a visit. I'll probably make another trip to Java, who knows when? But in the meantime, I'm sure Bandung will be an eye-opening trip. I heard that the food is great too!

Alright. Back to lesson preps for now!

Chin Chow with Bandung.
The drink, not the place.

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