The Sketchbook Project, my great experience.

UPDATE: After 17 years the sketchbook project closed definitely. All information here is not valid anymore, such as opening hours and address, but my impressions and motivation are still valid, and will always be. It was really sad to read that, but being involved in such a worldwide spread community was exciting and gave me a way to be committed to my art.

Those who follow me on social media will have noticed that in the last months, The Sketchbook Project has dominated my profile.

But what exactly is this Sketchbook Project?

The Sketchbook Project started in 2006 in Atlanta before moving to NYC in 2009. It is an independent art project involving artists from all over the world.

The Brooklyn Art Library, an independent organization that carries out various artistic projects, created the project.

The Brooklyn Art Library is much more than just a library. Exhibitions, artist presentations, group visits, and interactions between artists and fans are organized here. To know all the events organized, you can look here or visit the Facebook page. (Update: these links are not valid anymore, but you can read the update on the Brooklyn Art Library here)

Imagine from the website https://www.sketchbookproject.com/

The Art Book Library organizes several projects; if you’re curious, here you can find some carried out in recent years.

But certainly, the most important one is The Sketchbook Project. It is a collection of notebooks (or sketchbooks) created by artists, curious people, or dreamers from all over the world. Currently, the collection counts 36,221 sketchbooks from artists from more than 135 countries. The library also has a reading room where you can sit comfortably and enjoy the art.

With so many volumes available, the library staff invented a smart method to allow curious people to consult a sketchbook. Each notebook is equipped with a barcode and cataloged with some useful search details, such as the artist’s name, where they come from, the material used, keywords, tags, and so on. You can enter your preferred search criteria or choose the random mode… this way, it’s the art that finds us.

Did I intrigue you? Great. If you are around Williamsburg, you could stop by and check out some sketchbooks. Here is the info on how to find the library:

Brooklyn Art Library – 28 Frost Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211,

Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm

How does the project work?

Anyone can apply to participate. The Brooklyn Art Library will send the notebook home, already equipped with a barcode, along with stickers with the project logo, some pencils, and instructions on how to participate. Cost $30. If you want, you can also request a case with the project logo for an additional cost of $25 and digitization for $35.

Thanks to digitization, the sketchbook can also be consulted online. So even miles away, we can feel a bit like we’re in Brooklyn.

Once received, it needs to be registered on the site, entering the details that will then be used for the search.

There are very few limits on what can be done with it. Drawing, illustrating, coloring, collage, sticking photos, and anything else that comes to mind.

The cool thing is that you don’t need any kind of talent or be a professional. Whether you are an artist, a professional cartoonist, a lawyer, or a housewife with a passion for art, there is no problem. The library guarantees that your sketchbook will still be displayed.

My sketchbook contains about thirty drawings made with different techniques. Watercolor pencils, markers, pastels, ink. I had fun experimenting a bit, trying to use techniques that I don’t usually use, or mixing them a bit. The main theme is reading and books in general. Reading for me is like drawing, I can’t be without it. On the train, in bed, at home before going to sleep… Every occasion is good to read a few pages. I tried to convey this love for books in a series of artworks that feature a book or someone reading.

Here is a small gallery of some artwork.

If you want to see the complete project, you can visit my Facebook page or my Instagram profile.

What did I learn?

Perseverance indeed helps. Having a goal and a deadline helps you stay focused. It allows you to reserve a portion of your time every day to achieve your goal.

Also, drawing every day, even a little, even just a few lines or sketches, allows you to gain more familiarity and fluidity

Why did I join the project?

Firstly, I liked being part of a small community of independent artists. I like to think that in the future, my small footprint might be somewhere.

Furthermore, the project allows you to get to know a bit. The library is not just a physical place for reading but also organizes exhibitions, taking some sketchbooks around the United States.

For me, it represents a great opportunity for anyone who wants to expand their audience a bit and participate in a great project.

2 Comments

  1. Bibi Genova says:

    Wll done. Very good job!

    1. cerozart says:

      Grazie Barbara. Mi avevi chiesto info, qui puoi trovarne alcune. Se ti piace il concetto ti consiglio di provarci.

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