erwinlian

A new chapter in Hong Kong by erwin lian

Abandoning my past successes and distancing myself from the familiar, I recently made a radical decision and moved to Hong Kong. It’s been an interesting chapter so far. Due to the space constraints, I couldn’t bring many art supplies/sketchbooks with me. Most of these recent sketches were made with my Ipad. 

On a positive note, I have finally managed to reconfigure my sleep pattern and resumed hitting the gym at 5.30 am daily.  

30 Kg was all I can bring. Heavy enough to make me feel the weight of baggages . 

30 Kg was all I can bring. Heavy enough to make me feel the weight of baggages . 

I moved into a tiny but nice place with a community of friendly people from all around the world. 

I moved into a tiny but nice place with a community of friendly people from all around the world. 

Jack and Kenny. Two of the many friendly staffs who manage the apartment that I am staying at

Jack and Kenny. Two of the many friendly staffs who manage the apartment that I am staying at

The passengers I recorded during my commute one day. Many interesting faces in this uber dense city.

The passengers I recorded during my commute one day. Many interesting faces in this uber dense city.

I decided to teach art in a secondary school here in Hong Kong.

Our principle giving us, the new staffs an opening speech during our induction program

Our principle giving us, the new staffs an opening speech during our induction program

Induction program continues with more information. HR, Finance, IT, Teaching for Learning .....the whole nine yards...

Induction program continues with more information. HR, Finance, IT, Teaching for Learning .....the whole nine yards...

Induction program pauses with a school gathering in a Hotel with team bonding activities and tasks. Didn't have an ipad so its down to the hotels' pen and paper. There was a painting competition to draw a sun ...and I rubbed some pigment on the canvas and turned it in. Ha Ha, I won the competition .... duh 

Induction program pauses with a school gathering in a Hotel with team bonding activities and tasks. Didn't have an ipad so its down to the hotels' pen and paper. There was a painting competition to draw a sun ...and I rubbed some pigment on the canvas and turned it in. Ha Ha, I won the competition .... duh 

Induction program continues

Induction program continues

More induction program with more information. 

More induction program with more information. 



 


 
 

Botanical workshop at Bynd Artisan. by erwin lian

Thank you, everyone, for your tremendous support.

Today is the last day for our watercolor botanical workshop at Bynd Artisan. The basic botanical workshop was conceived two years ago and over the span of these two years, I have learned so much about the arts, commerce, and life. Unknown to many, the workshop was first initiated due to a mistake made during our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Though it is often frowned upon to declare mistakes in businesses, it was perhaps the most worthwhile chapter to share.

Last few sessions and we worked on Color temperature, color mixing and color theory. 

Last few sessions and we worked on Color temperature, color mixing and color theory. 

The best solutions and opportunities were often uncovered through accidental mistakes and random encounters. The reason is simple. Few would plan for mistakes and hence solutions from these uncalled-for events usually yield the most unique competitive advantages.. 3M's sticky pad, the Sony PlayStation, and many other products shared similar successes.

Background story:
During our Indiegogo campaign, we made a procurement mistake and accidentally ordered hot press instead of cold press paper. Unable to declare such a mistake to our backers, we flew in a new batch of paper from Italy.

This was the entire stash of hot press paper from Fabriano.

This was the entire stash of hot press paper from Fabriano.

Despite a slight delay, we completed production and fulfilled all orders. Clueless with what we should do with hot press paper, the idea of a botanical workshop was proposed and I took up the challenge of creating teaching materials and started the class. Honestly, I didn't think the workshop would last for more than 2 months. My social media reach was limited and I wasn't confident that these classes could sustain. Thankfully over time, more knew about the workshops and it took off.  There were so many people to thank for this and I would like to give a big shout out to celebrity blogger, Yina Goh, Evonne Ng and all their beautiful blogger friends. They were among the earliest attendees and shared our workshop on their social network. 

Celebrity Bloggers and their friends: Yina, Evonne, Tricia, Min, Reenie, Jess, Ying and Jeneen 

Celebrity Bloggers and their friends: Yina, Evonne, Tricia, Min, Reenie, Jess, Ying and Jeneen 

Special thanks to Yina, Evonne and their friends for their support.

Special thanks to Yina, Evonne and their friends for their support.

The Botanical workshop also earned a feature on Time Out magazine and I met quite a number of distinguished guests through these workshops.

Some important things I learned from conducting these workshops:

1) Good work or great workshop won’t sell itself. On numerous occasions, I observed how Bynd Artisan’s sales team grind to get sales. They not only opened doors to invite passer-by to step into the shop, they also put in a lot of effort to introduce their products and our workshops. Talking to strangers, eliciting for their attention and educating them about products is not easy. I was especially moved when I witnessed how they educated customers about our art show. It’s remarkable because Art was so alien to them but they didn’t just leave our work there and gave up.

I don't know how he does it.  But he is always breaking the ice and striking conversation with customers even when some can be so unfriendly. Sales team matter a lot and the hustle is real.

I don't know how he does it.  But he is always breaking the ice and striking conversation with customers even when some can be so unfriendly. Sales team matter a lot and the hustle is real.


2) For most, skills are secondary because the experience of accomplishing something new within 3 or 4 hours can be a lot more valuable than skills. This is why the workshops went through numerous iterations when I realized that what I taught was not achievable by most within 4 hours.

3) Network = net worth. On so many occasions, I have forgotten about this and regrettably wished that I have crafted more opportunities for participants to know one another. It’s an important element that I needed to integrate into future workshops.

DSC00673.jpg


4) Through these workshops, people recognized my ability to paint botanical work and approached me for commission work. This is so interesting because I have never thought about painting flowers prior to these. I can paint them really well but I have never thought about them.  It’s ironic.

A commission work painted for a local Bank.

A commission work painted for a local Bank.

5) Fresh flowers are worth it. I am one of those guys who used to think that buying flowers is a waste of money. However, when I painted real flowers, I noticed their differences and realized the importance of having them around.  Flowers are the epitome of life’s fragility and beauty’s impermanence. To put a monetary value to its lifespan is equivalent to a dollar value on one’s beauty and life. Though we technically never needed real flowers for our workshops, I love their presence and the sight of people getting flower is nice. One last reason to why I used real flowers is the fact that I love seeing Mr. Chong packing them back for his wife. It’s really nice to witness these candid act of love.

A lot more work to prepare real flowers but I think its worth it. 

A lot more work to prepare real flowers but I think its worth it. 

Mr Chong, master craftman at Bynd Artisan attended our workshop as well :) 

Mr Chong, master craftman at Bynd Artisan attended our workshop as well :) 

Speaking of which, I absolutely love this article written by Alisha Gorder on NYTimes Modern Love:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/fashion/one-bouquet-of-fleeting-beauty-please.html

“Why do we send flowers? To make up for what is intangible? Those feelings we can’t hold in our hands and present as a gift to our loved ones? And why is it that the placeholders we choose — the dozen red roses, the fragrant white lilies, the long-stemmed French tulips — are so fleeting? Hold on to them for too long and you end up with a mess of petals, pollen, and foul-smelling water.” – Alisha Gorder

Some earlier batches where the practise was a little tougher. 

Some earlier batches where the practise was a little tougher. 

This is it. Thank you, everyone, for your continued support. Thank you, Winnie, James, Kenny, Donavan, Grace, Mr. Chong, Corinne, Brandon and the entire team at Bynd Artisan for your years of trust, support, and work.

I will be setting up new sketching experience when I settle into another city.
Farewell , for now.

In Transit 2016 by erwin lian

In-Transit

Sep 01, 2016.
One month in America.

During this trip, I caught up with so many friends and held a show at Curt’s new tattoo shop, Enso Tattoo.  My flight was delayed in Hong Kong due to the weather. When I reached Dallas? I missed the connection to Ohio… Luckily, there was another flight scheduled for CMH and I reached at about 2am. (Thursday night)

Jet lag consumed me and I couldn’t sleep… Awake the whole time, I proceeded to set up my show with Curt until midnight on Friday. I was completely destroyed on Friday night but In-Transit was scheduled to open on Saturday and we have 29 paintings to frame and hang….  
 

Eventually we succeeded and put everything up right before Gallery Hop !

Eventually we succeeded and put everything up right before Gallery Hop !

 It came as a nice surprise when one of my backers, Cassandra for The Perfect Sketchbook notified her mum to visit my show on Saturday. What's interesting is that Cassandra who now lives in France was actually from Columbus, Ohio. Her mum bought a painting that day before the show opened!!

Framing and putting up 29 paintings within 48 hours wouldn’t be possible without my amazing friends. Special thanks to these amazing friends: Daniel Painter (Decal) Curt Everitte (everything) Joe Galati (Cutting Matts and frames) Nathaniel Wood (Cutting Mattes and frame).

 

Taught a watercolor workshop to a bunch of Tattoo Artists and Enthusiast at Enso Tatto 

Taught a watercolor workshop to a bunch of Tattoo Artists and Enthusiast at Enso Tatto 

The show successfully opened on Gallery Hop night. Unfortunately the traffic wasn’t that great since there was an Ohio State game. However, I was super stoked to have caught up with many of my college friends and professors. It was defiantly one of those moments where I felt a genuine sense of belonging.  Realizing that I haven’t done much to promote my show, Professor Hiroshi suggested that I email the Columbus Dispatch to notify them of my show. I thought it was harmless and emailed. Interestingly, the Columbus Dispatch responded and wrote a full front page feature on their life section in the papers. A few more sales resulted from this feature.  Thanks to Charlotte, I was also given a chance to speak to an audience of about 100 students in the Cazani auditorium at The Columbus College of Art. 

Interview by The Columbus Dispatch 

Interview by The Columbus Dispatch 

Speaking at CCAD 

Speaking at CCAD 

There’s so much I wanted to write here but the most important things really aren’t my paintings or my crowd funding projects. It’s actually my amazing friends in America who saw me through the toughest time in college and life; they are my family’. Mad thanks to Dr Chilin Yu for always sharing her wisdom with me and not forgetting the Yue family and CaregiverUSA for providing me with shelter in Columbus, Ohio again.

I didn't have much advertising. So we printed a bunch of cards and we just try to plaster as much as possible, wherever possible. (bad idea).. Here's one at CCAD. I didn't get approval because I was out of time. 

I didn't have much advertising. So we printed a bunch of cards and we just try to plaster as much as possible, wherever possible. (bad idea).. Here's one at CCAD. I didn't get approval because I was out of time. 

The Yue Family provided shelter and cycling ! Thank you 

The Yue Family provided shelter and cycling ! Thank you 

We cycled to the zoo to sent Nora away. 

We cycled to the zoo to sent Nora away. 

Then one day, I just rent a car and gun it all the way to Canada to see this. 

Then one day, I just rent a car and gun it all the way to Canada to see this. 

Went Plein-air with Curt at The Hocking Hills. Listened to radiolab on the roads.

Went Plein-air with Curt at The Hocking Hills. Listened to radiolab on the roads.

My painting at Hocking hills. 

My painting at Hocking hills. 

she was an amazing model .

she was an amazing model .

Cleveland Musuem of Art is one hell of an impressive musuem 

Cleveland Musuem of Art is one hell of an impressive musuem 

Met a gentlemen who works for a major eCommerce store when I was sketching here. He offered some freelance work. 

Met a gentlemen who works for a major eCommerce store when I was sketching here. He offered some freelance work. 

After Ohio, I took a flight to California and spent two weeks there to catch up with west coast buddies. I finally managed to visit Yosemite. It was amazing and I am so thankful. Thank you Youn and Hao for making it all possible. pd thanks to Janice and Pencil Cafe for convincing me to visit them.  I love you all.

Yosemite is for real. 

Yosemite is for real. 

Pencil Cafe is my Favorite Cafe. 

Pencil Cafe is my Favorite Cafe.