Have you ever wondered how other artists’ sketchbooks and journals looked like? We at TAE always have, and through The Sketchbook Project, this curiosity is fed and well. Providing a glimpse of how other artists see the world, the 9-year-old project is a crowd-sourced gold mine of ideas from all over the world.

Started in 2006 by Steven Peterman and Shane Zucker, The Sketchbook Project was initiated as a way to disseminate hands-on art making using online resources. Originally based in Atlanta, GA, the project is now based in New York City (since 2009).

Its exhibition space is found nowhere else than NYC’s art capital of Brooklyn, specifically at the Brooklyn Art Library. If you cannot view them in person over there, there’s always their digital archive via their website, as well as various pop-ups all over the US via their mobile library.

The crowd-sourced library has as many as 33,724 sketchbooks from 135 countries across the globe, and that’s just right now. Imagine how many artists will contribute now that as the project enters its 9th year they are embarking on a “world tour.”

The founders had already published the book of the same name (The Sketchbook Project World Tour), but they believe it is not enough as the book does not wholly represent the massiveness of the project. Rather, this book serves as a mere glimpse into the art community they have spearheaded and maintained for nearly a decade.

“Sketchbooks over the years have served as shared memoirs to cancer survivors, inspired some to return to art school, and have been a daily practice to re-inspire the dormant or budding artists. You will read accounts by people you have never met,” they explain in the book’s introduction.

The foreword for The Sketchbook Project World Tour was written by Christopher Jobson. He is part of the This Is Colossal team and in 2012 even curated a selection of sketchbooks for the community’s first national tour.

Below are a few of the sketches in the book. If you are interested, The Sketchbook Project also has an upcoming event and panel discussion at the New York Public Library this coming May 20th from 6pm to 8pm.

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For information, check out The Sketchbook Project website, or buy the book for $30 from the Colossal Shop.

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