I am an Official Artist of The Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project.
I found out about The Brooklyn Art Library last year and was really interested in the proposition.
You sign up to the project and purchase a sketchbook, you can also purchase some pieces of art kit to get you started and I got myself the fine pen set and the pencil case to keep it all together.
You can use the sketchbook for whatever you want and you have a set period of time to complete your body of work before it has to be sent back to The Brooklyn Art Gallery.
Normally the sketchbooks are exhibited at the gallery in Brooklyn and they also go on tour, sadly the latter isn’t possible at present due to Covid.
When creating your sketchbook you can choose to keep it analogue or have the Gallery scan it for you so you have a permanent record of your work. I decided to keep it analogue and took the photos myself.
As well as photography, I like to paint and I also sketch, normally with pen and pencil.
I decided I could bring the art forms together and combine some of my photographic memories with my hand-drawn memories to enhance the photographs.
This started out really well and the first couple of photos, and the covers, got a lot of work, time and effort.
But then, life took over and Covid 19 happened.
Fortunately, I have been able to work from home during the pandemic but unfortunately, it has meant I have been busier than ever. Not really giving me time to fit in any sketching.
I can’t believe I have had my sketchbook for nearly a year and was surprised that it was time to return it.
I decided I would still submit the book but leave it incomplete, a message to busier times I have encountered because of Covid.
The book features illustrations and photographs from various times and places, different memories and ideas. It was an interesting project to spend some time on and to think about not just the photographic elements, but how I would illustrate them.
I have sent the sketchbook back to The Brooklyn Art Gallery today and this is where it gets interesting. Unlike any other gallery, I will be able to find out if anyone has looked at my work!
My sketchbook is given a unique call number which allows the gallery to keep track of my sketchbook and record who views it at every tour and while it’s in the library.
I can log into my account and see real-time statistics about my book!
I am a little disappointed by the time I was able to put into my book but proud that it will be included and I can keep tabs on whether it has had any views (and whereabouts it travels)
I am happy I started this pre-pandemic as it provided an additional creative outlet for me and when I found the time, I did enjoy chilling out working on my artworks.
Who knows, maybe one day I may get back to Brooklyn to view my book again?