The Sketchbook Project: 30,000 Art Books You Can’t Buy

by • 6, February, 2014 • Brooklyn MakersComments Off on The Sketchbook Project: 30,000 Art Books You Can’t Buy4310

It took me a couple of minutes to understand what was The Sketchbook Project’s scheme. I mean, you get inside a store stacked with 30,000 different books, BUT you cannot buy them or even take them off the shelves. Interesting.


To open any book in this Art Library, you have to login on a computer in the back. It has a Pandora / Songza kind of user interface where you get to indicate your mood and interest. The software then analyses your query and curates two books for you. A store clerk then receives your pick and brings the books to your table.



“All these books are unique. They all have been draw by ordinary people from all walks of life. When a book is consulted in the library, the artist who made it receives a notification by email.”

Anyone can buy a blank sketchbook at the store or online for $25. Once the book is filled with your drawings, you simply have to ship it back to the Brooklyn Art Library and it will be inserted in the collection.



“Some chose to also play with the texture and the cover. But everybody starts with the same sketchbook. And don’t even say: But I’m not an artist! From writers, to poets, to photographers, we use the word ‘sketchbook’ as a loose term for experimentation in creativity.”

You can find The Sketchbook Project on 103 N 3rd St, Williamsburgh. Part of the collection is also moving across the country inside a mobile unit, visiting 40+ cities. Inside, it holds 4,500 sketchbooks. Find out where they are heading next.



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