Brooklyn Art Library: The Sketchbook Project. Challenge Accepted!

I had never heard of the Brooklyn Art Library before they showed up on my timeline on Facebook. But the ad that appeared piqued my curiosity because it was for The Sketchbook Project. Essentially, you purchase their standard sketch book and fill it up within their timeline. Once you have completed it, you return it and it joins their physical library and can be scanned into their digital library as well.

So the initial sketch book is $30. It is 16 white leaves (32 usable pages) in a 5×7 sketchbook stapled at the spine with soft cardboard covers. So there is plenty of room to develop ideas or sketches or illustrations or random thoughts/ideas. If you visit the library you will find that most entries defy what most of us consider a sketchbook…just something that we as an artist carries to preserve ideas and sketch out our experiences. Instead most of the sketchbooks in the library lean more toward complete and coherent works of art. The possibilities of course are endless.

The instructions that come with the book suggest themes for the current year but those are more suggestions that requirements…artists are free to be…artists!

There are some limitations on size…essentially you need to stay within the size supplied and anything that can come loose or become damaged or may be a danger to others is prohibited…but I can’t see that as being much of a restriction.

Having your sketchbook digitized is an additional $35, but that gives it a chance to be seen by the big world out there.

Challenge Accepted!

So what does this have to do with me and why am I writing about this? Well as I have stated elsewhere, I am a professional grade procrastinator and am slowly putting the finishing touches on my combined art/music studio (aka as the spare bedroom). So having a project with a hard timeline sounded just like the perfect place to inspire a restart in my active art making. So I ordered my BAL Sketchbook and it arrived in January (it is pictured here) and have started planning what art and art activities I need to perform to get to a completed sketchbook! I am not sure what I am going to call my project…something like reset/restart or something. And now that I am going public, I have an added incentive to pursue the project within the official time frame!


Order your sketchbook by: June 14, 2021

Return your sketchbook by: August 31, 2021

Book enters library by: November 1, 2021

**Yes, you can submit a book after the deadline. It will just miss the traveling part.

And I intend to document my progress here as we go along; just to keep pushing myself and treat my blog posts as something of a diary of progress. Not sure how I will tag them yet but probably with whatever title I decide to assign to the sketchbook…but probably with reset included somewhere/somehow.

In the meantime, if I’ve peeked your interest, here are some links to check out:

How to participate!

A few tidbits about the BAL Sketchbook project.

AND the most important item of all…the FAQs!

I don’t know how often I write an update…depends on my time and more importantly my progress…but I will include my thought process and reasoning as well. Some extracts from this diary will probably populate an artist’s statement to include in the sketchbook.