I did mention that my trip to Singapore mainly involved art, books and coffee, which is why I spent a whole day geeking out at artsy places – craft stores and book stores, to be exact.
Located a few blocks away from the Bras Basah station (take Exit A and check the locality map before leaving the MRT station), the wonder gem that is Bras Basah Complex is one of the primary reasons I wanted to book a flight to Singapore. This 4 storey building houses a range of things any art, books or music enthusiast would be delighted to see.
Here are some places I visited, and I personally recommend if you’re an art geek like I am. Disclaimer though, there are more stores to see and I stealthily took photos, so I suggest visiting the complex yourself to take a better look. :)
It’s pretty sketchy from the outside but I promise you everything here spells H E A V E N.
There are several places where you can buy art materials, but I penned down Artmark and Art Friend, so I visited just these two places.
(ArtMark, 4th level)
Artmark is relatively smaller compared to Art Friend. But I like their selection of materials and it’s a nice place to get your quick fix of materials if you know what to get (and not be overwhelmed too much with other things). I got cute mini easels with canvases for only 2SGD which were really a steal.
Art Friend overwhelms me a lot. Maybe because I’m not much of a hoarder (art materials are expensive, I cry) and this place is HUGE. Everything and anything you are looking for is here.
(Art Friend, 3rd level)
They have a huge selection of art materials – I mean check out the Copic marker colors they have! There is also an Arts & Crafts section where I spent an hour or so debating on which sketch pads to purchase. I think I ended up arguing with myself with regard to the size, brand and of course, the price of each. (I didn’t go overboard my budget, yay) I can be really stingy most of the time.
My last stop where I spent the longest time – Basheer Graphic Books.
Housing a wide range of books for all types of art, this place left me heartbroken. Books are so expensive, sometimes I have to tell myself that they are the best investments for artists.
(Basheer Graphic Books, 4th level)
I couldn’t choose! I knew most of the art and type books I’ve been eyeing on for quite some time now, and I decided to purchase them (most of them were on sale, yay) on impulse. No regrets. Each book costed at around 18SGD (roughly Php 700+) and I’m glad the saleslady recognized me as a student (yay for the 15% student discount!).
Here are some of the books and materials I got myself. Titles I got were Show Your Work, Thinking with Type, Manage Your Day-to-Day, and I got a few Copic markers, fineliners and sketch pads.
Some tips if you’re planning to visit Bras Basah Complex:
1. List down things you’re planning to buy. Other materials may overwhelm you and urge you to buy on impulse, and you might just waste money.
2. This goes the same for books. Books are pricey; make sure to do advanced research on reviews to know whether or not they are worth your money.
3. Go here early! The stores open at around 11:30 in the morning, and there weren’t much people yet. I’m told they close early, so better go while the sun’s still up.
(Bras Basah Complex | 231 Bain Street, 180231 Singapore)