The Sketchbook Project in PDX

I am a contributing artist to The Sketchbook Project for 2012. A team effort between the Art House Co-Op and the Brooklyn Art Library, The Sketchbook Project is an annual art community project and tour. The concept is simple. Artists from around the world sign up with the Art House Co-Op to participate by creating a sketchbook. The artist receives a blank sketchbook to fill with any creative idea they please, according to a provided theme or otherwise. When finished, the artist returns the sketchbook via mail, to the Art House Co-Op, whose many wonderful staff members archive these sketchbooks into the Art House Library collection. The thousands of completed and returned sketchbooks then go on an international tour including destinations such as: London, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Portland, Oregon.
Just look at all those sketchbooks! Literally thousands.

The 2012 tour has been underway since late March, but is spending Mother’s Day weekend in Portland. In addition to indulging in a little shawarma this afternoon, four friends and myself wandered down to The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel in SW Portland to view sketchbooks from around the world. An experience you’ll want to have for yourself, I promise.
One of the wonderful things about The Sketchbook Project is not only are the contributions international, but also, open to the public. After reading multiple books this afternoon, it became abundantly clear just how expansive the range of themes and skills actually is. There are sketchbooks created by classrooms of children, professional painters, printers, graphic designers, and those like me, someone in the middle.
My friend, Krisha Frodsham and I signed up at the same time, worked through our books verbally together, without actually showing each other our work. Today was our big reveal. I finally saw her hard work; she saw mine. Making the book was initially intimidating, but a fun exercise in creativity. I would highly recommend it to anyone with artistic interests. Sign ups for the 2013 edition of The Sketchbook Project are already underway!
Credit: Krisha Frodsham
Credit: Krisha Frodsham

Credit: Randi Morris. Inspired by Geek Love

Credit: Randi Morris. 

If you choose not to make a sketchbook yourself, everything turned in is worth venturing out to view. The tour events are free to the public. For a full list of tour dates and locations visit The Art House Co-Op website.
             I would love to have posted pictures of some of the sketchbooks I saw today, but I thought without the permission of the artists that would be inappropriate. You’ll just have to go see for yourself! The Portland event lasts for just one more day, tomorrow, Sunday, May 13, 2012 from 1-5 pm. The event is hosted by The Cleaners, at the Ace Hotel 1022 SW Stark Street, Portland, OR 97205.


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