The Tiny Sketchbook Project is completed! This project is just one of many sketchbook projects, seeded in Brooklyn Art Library and becoming significant, global, creative events. They really are for everyone and have sparked my creativity as a beginner and as more experienced artist and journaler.
An art project for all
I previously entered my first sketchbook for the project several years ago, 2010 I think. New to the idea and naive about the materials I was using I dived in. It seemed that my inexperience and naivety was no obstacle to joining in.
The first sketchbook was heavy on colour and acrylic paints. Looking back I suspect the pages had all stuck together fairly soon. My sketchbook had also been digitised and yes, I got comments. People not only looked at my little beginners sketchbook but they left me a comment to say they liked it. People who didn’t know me! My self doubting, zero-confidence, private, artist self was finding her feet.
Fast forward a few years, my life looks very different and I’m not hiding my art or my desire to make it any more. I see a post about The Sketchbook Project and decide to take part in 2019 and then I hear about the Tiny Sketchbook Project. The sketchbooks are gathered up into a mobile library and tour. The main sketchbook project tours USA and people can checkout the books, just like a regular library. The Tiny Sketchbook Tour is coming to London. This means I can visit my sketchbook on the tour too!
The Tiny Sketchbook is a fantastic creative exercise and I recommend it.
Reasons to use the project to inspire your art
- Your sketchbook becomes part of something much bigger
- The tiny size really forced me to make clear decisions about the pages
- It was completed very quickly
- I had a theme to work to that was very loose, with lots of room for interpretation “pocket-sized memories”
- Exploring colour, composition and shape on a small scale
- As I worked on the tiny spreads I was inspired to create then on a larger scale
- Working on such thin paper restricts the art materials a lot but rebinding your book is allowed
- Posting back to Brooklyn Art Library as I have a terrible fear of my parcels never arriving!
- The additional cost of digitising the sketchbook is not small but it’s really worth doing. I didn’t this time, and I wish I had.
Using the sketchbook to inspire new work
Working in a new way, that is, very tiny, did get me thinking about new things while I was working on it. I did grab some canvases and start layering collage as a direct response to a sketchbook spread. Ideas for themes, composition and colour can all be explored in the sketchbook, just like in an art journal.
I took the theme and the focus of some of the pages and began to plan a series around them. Words I used in the pages such as triumph and rise became the seeds for a painting.
This tiny sketchbook is now on it’s way to Brooklyn Art Library. I do have another sketchbook to complete although this one is full size! In the meantime I have a pile of canvases waiting my attention. I’ve been inspired to explore some new ways of using Powertex textures in my art so I have some experiments to do!
You can read more about my art journals and journaling process here.