In my search for more global art exchange projects I came across the Sketchbook Project based out of Brooklyn. Love love love the concept of this project and what's even cooler is that they have quite a few other global art exchange initiatives.
Here's a link to the main site: http://www.sketchbookproject.com/sketchbookproject. And here's a short description of the project taken from the site.
"The Sketchbook Project is a global, crowd-sourced art project and interactive, traveling exhibition of handmade books. Our mission is to allow anyone to be able to participate in art and to create a collection of work that represents the current state of artists worldwide."
There is a main library of over 26,000 sketchbooks in Brooklyn. Would love to actually go to the library someday. An online library of sketchbooks and there is a traveling exhibit around the US. I would love to have this project exhibited in Rochester! hint hint!
I waited impatiently for my sketchbook to arrive (which didn't take long at all) and then excitedly got started on it this week. So the sketchbooks are fairly small by sketchbook standards and paper is moderately thick (made from recycled paper). There is about 16 pages or 32 if you use both sides. A person has a year I believe to fill their sketchbook and then you return it in the mail. It has a barcode on the back which identifies you.
The hardest part for me when creating is taking the time to pull out all of my art supplies. A long time ago I use to primarily work in pencil and color pencil which is easy and portable to use. However; over the years I've progressed to using more mixed media materials which makes it more difficult and time consuming when I want to create. This is mostly because I'm a bit OCD and my office/studio has to be tidy and neat which means every time I want to create I have to pull everything out and then put everything back when I'm done. So, I've made an executive decision to give myself permission to leave my supplies out and ready for when I'm in the mood and want to work on my sketchbook. My thought is that this will help me to actually create instead of being deterred from the prospect of having to pull everything out and return it all each time.
I put on some celtic tunes and went to town this week creating in my sketchbook. It felt intimidating to make those first marks but once started I just wanted to keep creating. Below are some pics from my sketchbook. The one challenge I'm finding is that it's difficult to work in mixed media material and try to work on both sides of the paper. Not just because of drying time but because the mediums I'm using (watercolor, paint, permanent marker) are seeping through to the other side. This is frustrating when I finish a piece, work on the other side, and then go back and see that something seeped through. I've just been working through it so far having to adapt and rework the images sometimes and yet other times it's the perfect in the imperfect in that I like what effect the seeping through had. As always I'm finding this project a work in progress but like myself...
Part of my studio with supplies left out.
Recognize the cover?
If you want to be a part of this project go to the site listed above and purchase a sketchbook. I found a promo code at Maker Mama Blog; http://www.makermama.com/2013/02/the-sketchbook-project.html. The code was supposedly out of date but it worked.