A wonderful collection of artwork from around the globe, The Sketchbook Project World Tour is more than just a book of pictures – it’s a way to get an intimate glimpse into the minds of artists the world over.
Order a sketchbook. Fill it in. Send it back. But this isn’t an ordinary sketchbook. It won’t sit on your shelf. You won’t be the only one flipping through it, searching for inspiration to rekindle an idea. Once the last page has been filled, this personal artefact takes on a life of its own.
The flagship venture of the Brooklyn-based company of the same name, the Sketchbook Project is a crowd-sourced library of more than 33,000 sketchbooks from more than 135 countries. Since it first launched in 2006, the community surrounding the project has grown to encompass in excess of 70,000 artists from around the world.
Personal and unpretentious, the special thing about this collection is that it lets you into hundreds of little worlds from across the earth, picture diaries and expressions of personality that you would have otherwise never been privy to. I know that most of my sketchbooks, once completed, are stashed down the side of a dresser or on top of a cupboard and left to gather dust in between very (very) occasional perusals, so the fact that the Sketchbook Project brings these would-be forgotten objects to people the world over is massively uplifting.
To give you a peek at what you can expect of the contents of this book, I’ve chosen a few of my favourites to dot across this review (you’ll see from the number of post-it notes jutting out of the pages that I had a pretty hard time picking only a few!). You can also check out the online collection in the project’s digital library.
As you can see from the photos, the pictures in The Sketchbook Project World Tour vary greatly from person to person, region to region.
Beneath each picture we are given the artist’s name and location, with occasional ‘Meet the Artist’ spotlights that take the form of Q&As.
If you want to take part in next year’s book then you can do so through the Sketchbook Project website, sketchbookproject.com. It costs US$28 to participate and have your work permanently on view at the Brooklyn Art Library, although if you fork out $63 then your sketchbook will also be scanned and made available in the project’s digital library – plus, if you order The Sketchbook Project World Tour you can get 25% off the project’s participation fee.
The Sketchbook Project World Tour
The Sketchbook Project World Tour is a 256-page full-colour book published by Princeton Architectural Press. Released on 5 May 2015, the book is available to buy direct on the Sketchbook Project website. All the images used in this review are © The Sketchbook Project and/or the respective artists. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.