The Man behind the product

Tom Koval - Master of Sketchbooks

My name is Tomasz Kowal. I live in Silesia, Poland, with my beautiful wife and amazing 8-year-old son. I am an artist, illustrator, and craftsman. Recently, I've also become known as a creator of sketchbooks.

Craftsmanship and art have always fascinated me. The magic, for me, lies in how a few simple objects can transform into something entirely new and useful through skillful handiwork. Over the years, I've delved into both craftsmanship and art. The combination of functionality, beauty, and design in objects is what draws me the most. That's why I eventually chose to focus on craftsmanship. However, years of experimenting with painting, sculpture, photography, and drawing have given me a deep understanding of these techniques and a better insight into the needs of an artist.

Why sketchbooks?

When I started creating my first clumsy sketchbooks a few years ago, I never thought it would become a way of life and a brand reaching the farthest corners of the world. It was simply a need to make a sketchbook for myself, one that wasn't available on the market. With good, branded paper. However, it turned out I wasn't the only artist feeling the absence of such a product. As I began sharing the results of my work on social media, people started asking me to make them one too. So, I started making them.

Of course, it didn't end with just a few sketchbooks. The demand grew, and my idea evolved as I gained experience. Subsequent sketchbooks became progressively better. It was a process during which I developed my own technique of hand folding and stitching sketchbooks with hard covers. It was also the time when I left my previous full-time job to fully focus on developing this project.

And that's how it all began.


Many artists like to use the best quality papers, because only such allow to achieve the desired artistic effects. I'am crafting sketchbooks from such materials. I don't want to compete with large brands that produce medium products on a mass scale, but to create for a narrow niche customers with high requirements.

Hundreds of tests

In order to create a perfect sketchbook I tried dozens of papers and did a lot of tests. I have produced a lot of prototypes to create a sketchbook that will not only be of the highest quality, but also will be simple and at the same time will be different from all those that already exist on the market. That’s why from the very beginning I was looking for non-standard solutions, such as non-integrated, solid rubber, cut corners or pages from cover to cover. Veneers with which I decorate sketchbooks have been carefully selected and tested. I also tried out various adhesives and gluing methods, and developed my own hand sewing method.


300 gsm is a real challenge

Paper of such a high weight poses a real challenge to hardcover. Such weight is a high stiffness of the paper. In addition, high-quality watercolor cotton paper is extremely hard. These two factors make the place of bonding is prone to tearing. There is a much greater breaking force than thinner papers, and the adhesive does not penetrate as well in cellulose papers.

Therefore, an important element when creating 300 gsm sketchbooks was the improvement of gluing in place between signatures. The hand-made production process has led to improvements that have significantly improved the quality of gluing and tear resistance.


Koval Sketchbooks is legal company registry in Polish. You can find us in official Polish registry: 

This document is a confirmation of entry in polish goverment registry of companies - CDIDG - DOCUMENT