I haven't done what I would call a "drawing" in years (not counting a giant iris I labored over for about 8 hours in a watercolor class last year, then hid in a closet). So it might have been, yes, a little crazy for me to sign up for the Sketchbook Project: 2011, the self-described "concert tour but with sketchbooks."
Or was it? Sketchbooks are the perfect places to develop dormant or unrealized skill. And when I realized that I could sign up to create one of eighteen thousand sketchbooks that will be exhibited at galleries and museums across the country, and be entered "into the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library"¦ barcoded and available for the public to view"--that, in fact "anyone, from anywhere in the world, can be a part of the project," that all I had to do to get them to send me a sketchbook and sign me up was to choose one of their wonderfully strange themes ("Adhere to me"? "Dirigibles and submersibles?" No--"... you'd be home by now") and pay a very reasonable fee--how can I explain the thrill that came over me?
I can only say that I lost all fear that my drawings would be too amateurish, that I might wait until the last weekend to fill half its pages and get too jacked on caffeine to draw a straight line, that I might be tempted to hide it in a closet. No, the audacity of the project made me brave. So I'm in, and I will try to be worthy of it.
It's frankly amazing that we live in an era when a unique, hand-drawn book can be digitized and viewed by anyone, anywhere, grouped into themes with other unique, hand-drawn books--the ultimate in self-publishing (aided by the Art House Co-op). So those of you who used to love drawing or making your own weird little books, I think you should really consider joining up. If you get your book digitized, send me a link. I'll feature my favorites on Omnivoracious.
And if you need a spark, I recommend:
- An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers by Danny Gregory
- Creative Wildfire: An Introduction to Art Journaling by L.K. Ludwig
- Sketchbook: Conceptual Drawings from the World's Most Influential Designers by Timothy O'Donnel
Viva la sketch! --Mari