My friend Laura recently participated in something that I absolutely loved. It’s a project by the Brooklyn Art Library called the Sketchbook Project. The premise is simple. You purchase a kit from the Library which includes a sketchbook and instructions. If you want your sketchbook to be digitized, there’s an additional charge, but I think it’s totally worth it to become part of such a cool project and to have your work preserved for all time. And believe me, I looked through at least 100 of these things, and you definitely don’t need to be a skilled artist to participate.
Every book submitted to The Sketchbook Project joins the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Art Library, and a lucky few are chosen to tour around the country, too. (By the way, Laura’s outstanding sketchbook is one of those super-cool books currently on tour!) The scanned books become a permanent part of the BAL Digital Library, which contains more than 20,835 digitized sketchbooks.
I’ve got a lot going on this summer, but I plan on ordering a sketchbook and participating myself this fall.
I’ve included some of my current faves below, but I’ve truly barely scratched the surface, so I recommend you go have a look for yourself. The collection can be seen on the project website.
“threads of time”
By: Vanessa Zuloaga
Theme: Time Traveler
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA, United States
By: Joshua Fronk
Theme: Dirigibles and submersibles
Location: New York, NY, United States
“RESIST Spiegel Catalog 1950”
By: Mars Tokyo
Theme: This is not what it seems
Location: Baltimore, MD, United States
By: Kat Fitzgerald
Location: Philadelphia, PA, United States
“(F)all is lost”
Theme: Long Stories with Short Endings
Location: Helsinki, , Finland
By: Amy Hunter
Theme: Face in the crowd
Location: North Nowra, NSW, Australia