“Mad was the last kid I saw and he was asleep. He was 3 months old and they put him in my arms and he stayed asleep and they put him in the bath and he stayed asleep and I thought he was narcoleptic or something. Then he opened his eyes and just stared at me for the longest time and I just stared at him and I started crying and he smiled. And it wasn’t that he smiled that he liked me, it was just that I hadn’t held children in my life and I was always considered so dark and I always had so many things that made me feel like maybe I shouldn’t be somebody’s mom because certainly the world has an opinion of me and I’m not so sure about myself and am I gonna be the best mom? So the fact that this little kid seemed at ease gave me the courage to feel like I could make him happy. And so we became a family right then.” — Angelina Jolie
We just want to express ourselves in the way we see ourselves.
Austin Scoggin by Jared Bautista.
We won’t talk about how long I spent on the lines. #sketchbookproject #illustration #strangeneighbors #ink #pen
The Sketchbook Project at Brooklyn Art Library changed my life and I’ll never be the same again…
A strong believer in the notion that things are best in life when they happen naturally, organically, and unexpectedly, so it was that I discovered The Sketchbook Project, housed at Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg.
My friend David purposely told me nothing about the initiative before casually walking me into the humble, somewhat holy space that contained hundreds of sketchbooks filled with amazing art, stories, and creative expressions from people all over the world. It truly is an art library, as every visitor gets a special library card and can check out a few sketchbooks at a time, chosen by theme, location, mood, or a myriad of other categories.Artists can even choose to have their sketchbook digitized, so it’s available to be flipped through online.
David and I were feeling so inspired after hours spent poring over amazing sketchbooks that made us laugh, think, and almost cry (only speaking for myself), we purchased our own sketchbooks to fill out and return to the library by January 2014 to be included in next year’s mobile library for the summer tour. The tour takes a selection of sketchbooks all over America, so sketchbook artists can choose which region they’d like theirs to travel to. We chose California, deciding that it would be a good place to meet up again and appreciate the fruits of our hand drawn labor.
I feel at a loss for words to accurately describe all the feelings I felt as I flipped through the books, gasping at the beauty and skill of the artists who had once touched the same pages I was now holding in my hands admiring. Steven and Sara Peterman, founders of the project, hail from my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, and were stopping by the library coincidentally on their one day on break from the tour, and I took that and many other things to be a sign that…I don’t know what. I should quit my life and take up the cause of their project because I felt like a changed person as I sat there feeling so connected to the people behind all the books.
I’m in Brooklyn til Monday, so I plan to go back. I feel the excitement early explorers must have felt when they spied luscious chunks of land in the distance from the helms of their ships. The shore sighting would only be the start of the mysteries and magic they’d uncover on land.
If you are a person out there in the world who enjoys beauty, takes pleasure in shared community, or just someone who like to sketch and doodle, and is an enthusiast of interesting, amazing things, then you ought to check out The Sketchbook Project, and check to see if they’re coming to a town near you!
Atlanta people in particular, you are lucky, because Steven and Sara will be touring at The Goat Farm just next week. GO GO GO!
I can’t guarantee that you won’t fall as obsessively in love with the project as I have, so you have been warned. Now go and learn more on Countenance Novel (Facebook just doesn’t have the same ring to it anymore), on Twitter, and on their inspiring blog.
This is one of the shelves in Brooklyn Art Library on N3rd Street in Brooklyn. This hole-in-the-wall gallery is home to over 20,000 sketchbooks from artists across the world. Definitely worth checking out!