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Brooklyn Art Library: The Sketchbook Project

Sketchbooks are a staple in many Artists’ toolkits. They hold our ideas, thoughts, and are home to the entire creative process of much of our work. Some sketchbooks are meant for housing blueprints of upcoming projects. Others serve as art journals to unleash all of our creativity. The Brooklyn Art Library certainly has its finger on the pulse and understands the significance of sketchbooks. Enter the doors of this library and you will be completely immersed by the world’s largest sketchbook collection. The Sketchbook Project is a collection created by over 30,000 people. Established in 2009 by Founder Steven Peterman, this project has scaled immensely during its 12 years of existence.

The Sketchbook Project Brooklyn Art Library

All imagery courtesy of the Brooklyn Art Library

With over 45,000 sketchbooks available on their shelves, visitors can step into a whole new realm of creativity. In addition, they also have a digital library as well, which remotely houses over 20,000 books online. The combination of fusing physical and digital have made The Sketchbook Project one of the largest community-driven art collections in the world.

The Sketchbook Project

“We do not believe in the statement ‘I’m not an artist.’ Because it doesn’t matter. Share your story, draw your stick figures, just own it. We can promise you a lifelong commitment to keeping your artifact safe, while continuing to act as a time capsule for global creativity.” – Founder and Director Steve Peterson

Sketchbook Unboxing

GIF from the Brooklyn Art Library’s Website

Submit to The Sketchbook Project

Absolutely anyone can submit to the Brooklyn Art Library. Artists and non-artists alike are free to contribute to this global movement. Above all, their mission is to create art and have fun while doing it.

In order to participate, a submission fee is required. This helps to cover the cost of the sketchbook you must purchase. Every participant is sent the same 5×7” blank book. $30 USD will buy you the Standard Sketchbook. This is the physical book that sits on their library’s shelves. For $65 USD, you can choose the Digitized Sketchbook option. With the Digitized option, The Brooklyn Art Library will photograph every page of your sketchbook. Afterward, images are uploaded to their online collection and will be publicly available.


Project Features

There are many different perks of joining The Sketchbook Project. You’re not just funding and contributing to the Brooklyn Art Library. For starters, every book is trackable. Each book is assigned a unique six-digital barcode. This allows the Library to record real-time stats about your work. All you have to do is log in to your account and stats will be available for you to view.

Connect With Visitors

Furthermore, visitors can view sketchbooks in an interactive experience. After searching the project’s catalog, visitors can connect with you via your social media or website. All you need to do is add your website URL or social media handle to the back of your book. Visitors will then be able to discover even more of your work.

Get Notified

It gets even cooler than that. Contributors have the option to receive free text messages or emails every time your book is viewed. Whether it’s in the library or traveling on the Bookmobile, you will be updated with the latest stats.

Check out this short video from the Art House Co-op. The video is a little “outdated”, and the mobile truck has a new look. However, the concept still stands.

Bookmobile: Sketchbooks on Wheels

There are truly no limits when it comes to this project. The Bookmobile is an all-encompassing, mobile experience where people can visit the library in person – without having to travel there. The Bookmobile is stocked with 500 – 800 sketchbooks and available for popup events anywhere in the U.S. Schools, nonprofits, and corporations can all rent out the van for an event. Corporate events can request a list of overarching themes for sketchbooks to view as well.

Brooklyn Art Library Online Shop Starter Kit

Other Offerings

The Sketchbook Project also has an online store to help fuel your creativity further. Their online store offers starter kits, art supplies, clothing, and even some awesome coffee table books as well (Artist Gift Guide for that coming soon!) If you’re interested in contributing to this project, then visit their shop to see all of their product offerings. All purchases are contributions that continue to fund this experiential global movement.

For more information or to participate in The Sketchbook Project, make sure to visit their website today!

Don’t forget to check out our latest articles on No Sleep New York for even more fresh content.