Tuesday, April 19, 2016

#sabf2016 - the aftermath

The Singapore Art Book Fair 2016 (#sabf2016) came and went. It was a great experience for me selling my wares to the open public. And I picked up quite a bit during the 4 fair days on what kind of products to sell next year! ;)

The location, Art Science Museum, was great. It brought in quite a lot of traffic especially on the opening night, Saturday night and Sunday. The organisers, BooksActually, were amazing. They made the administrative part so easy to handle, all one had to do was focus on the selling. 

Thank you organisers and supporters!! I am tremendously grateful for your support! 
I can continue making more art. 

Opening Preview Night - 14 April

Welcome to Booth 31. This booth I made mimics the souvenir stands I saw while on the Camino. 

Down on my list of things, I had books, original art and prints for sale! 

There were many young visitors to my booth. All of them had fun with the stamps.

Many visitors stopped by my booth, among them are Kenny Leck of BooksActually and Chef André Chiang.

I stole a couple of hours before the fair began on Sat and Sun to work on this. :) 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Singapore Art Book Fair 2016 - Artists Stories

I was featured today for the upcoming art book fair.  

Thank you Racy and the Singapore Art Book Fair 2016 team! Here's what it looks like... 

Story and photo by Racy Lim

Alvin Mark Tan

What does it take to be a fine artist?You need a fine brush, a fine palette, and some fine paint…
And like every other discipline, it takes a lot of passion followed by action. Passion will see you through bad days but it will not amount to anything without action. It is important I remind myself that I’m a technician and not indulge in the romantic notion of what a painter is. Many people have the impression that all artists do everyday is sit around, drink wine and paint. I use whatever wit I know to create the illusion of space on a piece of canvas; and in the process, get it sold.

How did Italy help you develop your creative thought process?Not so much of the creative thought process, but more of the creative technical process. Italy gave me room to live slower. I thought that my journey on the Camino in 2012 had slowed me down. But living in Italy made me live at an even slower pace. It was what I needed at that point in my life during my training. You know how when you are cramming for an exam and right after your paper, you forget all the information?

Slowing down allowed me to absorb all the information, especially the nuances of the painting process; and digest it fully and naturally.

Realism is often seen as being truthful.As what it means, I paint what I see. But to dive in a little deeper, I do Natural Realism. This means I paint how the eye perceives an object. When there is a landscape with some trees in the foreground and mountains in the back, I focus on the trees in front, leaving the mountains behind unfocused. That’s how I paint. Symbolically, I try to be as truthful as I can in my art.

What inspired Figuring Out: The Long and Short of It?My love for the wonderfully designed human body and short, dynamic poses.

Were Thirty Days on the Camino and Ciao Firenze your tributes to globetrotting?Absolutely! When travelling, there is nothing more satisfying than whipping out my ink pen and documenting my surroundings. Ever since I was invited to sketch live in a cockpit in 2011, I have never turned back.

My first book was about my journey on the Camino in Northern Spain, and my second and third covered my life in Florence. It’s about time I create a book about our little red dot.

What have you seen change in the fine arts scene over the years?I see more individuals - musicians, chefs, artists etc. - stepping out of their comfort zone from a nine-to-five routine and setting up shop.

Say something to the fairgoers! Follow your passion and answer your vocation in life. Because if you don’t: Firstly, you’re not going to be satisfied in life. Secondly, you are depriving the world of your uniqueness!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Singapore Art Book Fair 2016

I am back the Little Red Dot early this year for the 3rd edition of the Singapore Art Book Fair.  In my last 2 solo art exhibitions, I've pre launched books and prints as part of the show, but nothing to this extent. Books and prints take the centre stage this time around. So that's why I am thrilled to be on the list of exhibitors this year. The crowd is going to be really good because of the location of the show - the Art Science Museum. 

Science Art Museum at the Marina Bay
Pencil + Watercolour on Watercolour Paper

Three of my books will be on sale there. They are: 
Thirty Days on the Camino, Ciao Firenze! and Figuring Out.

Along with the books, I am also selling original art, limited edition prints, post cards and bookmarks. How can I not have bookmarks at a book fair? ;p Original sketches from the Camino and Florence and my figurative work in oil will be on sale.  I'm leaving no stone unturned. There will be something for everyone. Choose original art and prints, and support your local artists. :) 

Be sure to say "hi!" at my booth. It's going to have the look and feel of a souvenir shop vendor at Santiago de Compostela - the end point of my trek in northern Spain.  Here is the work in progress for the diorama and props that I am making for the show. 


Freebies: For those who come to visit my booth, I will be handing out mini art cards and of course I will have stamps for you to chop away and take home with you. Looking forward to meeting everyone at the show. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Thirty Days on the Camino - Take 2

I am grateful and proud to announce that Math Paper Press is the publisher of the 2nd edition of Thirty Days on the Camino. It's been 3 years since the initial launch and this time, we'll be trying to get the books back to the Camino de Santiago in Spain. How exciting for Camino trekkers all over the world! The 2nd edition will be out just in time for the Singapore Art Book Fair. Talk about timing! :) 

If you have not heard of this book, here's a quick synopsis:
The Camino de Santiago is a popular pilgrimage route in Europe. Globetrotting art Alvin Mark Tan walks 800km of the way over 30 days, and records his sights and experiences in his drawings. He hopes his story will inspire readers to go off the beaten track from time to time. 

Here are some highlights at the printing press.

First in line, the cover for Thirty Days on the Camino.  

This is the magenta plate of sheet that is ready to be used. 

Here's a quick sketch of Mr Chong operating the Heidelberg Press and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. 

At Also Dommie, the boutique hand of Dominie Press, checking the proofs. 

Since I have a publisher now, I had to create a new ISBN number for the 2nd edition. 

And Finally... this is one of the 50 pre-launch copies that was out on 31 March during a Camino sharing by Clare Chua at Campers Corner which included a book signing. 

To order your copy today, go to this link: