The Sketchbook Project, a real #TBT

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Art / Life

A few weeks ago, I got an email that told me “Emily just viewed your sketchbook” at the Brooklyn Art Library, which, as it turns out, has been storing some 36,000 sketchbooks completed for the Sketchbook Project so far.

I’d totally forgotten about doing this in 2011 (this = filling up a light Moleskine sketchbook and sending it back to the Sketchbook Project  for a roving exhibition around the country). I recall getting an email about it being transferred to Brooklyn for permanent storage, but never did anything with it.

But now that I’m living in New York, I decided I had to go find it.


Located in Williamsburg (not far from the Lorimer stop on the L train), the space itself is pretty airy and cute. What’s astounding are the entire walls of sketchbooks. Wow. A little overwhelming to be honest if you’re someone who gets book FOMO.

It took some logging into old accounts and resetting passwords to track down my sketchbook, but I was able to retrieve it at last!

It was more, er, “involved” than I’d remembered (I don’t remember putting in so many emotions and pure silliness); I also forgot there was a theme to it (“Inside Outside”). In any case, it was such a delightful time capsule to open up again.

I was also able to find my friend’s sketchbook—so fun!—and couldn’t help but get curious about what the thousands of other people decided to document in the theirs. But again, it’s quite overwhelming. Where to begin?!

Luckily, a neat thing they do here is whatever book you “check out,” they’ll also give you a book right next to it for fun, so you’ll always have something new and random to look at. I think this library is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area and are into art or a little bit nosy 😉

Anyway, my full sketchbook is digitalized here, but here are a few of my favorite pages, all of which I do not remember making at all…

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