Crowd-sourced, creative projects are more popular and successful than they've ever been, but few are as lasting and memorable as The Sketchbook Project based in Brooklyn, NYC. It started with Steven Peterman and Shane Zucker, who founded the Art House Co-op that operates out of the Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg, but really takes place all over the world.
The idea is simple, but the effect has been huge—you buy a sketchbook online for $25 ($70 if you want to have a digitized version), you do whatever you want to it (write in it, make it an interactive art project, paste photos in it, etc.), and then you mail it back. Once you do, it goes on tour worldwide with the Art House Co-op team, and then gets added to the permanent library in Brooklyn.
The Sketchbook Project has over 22,000 books customized and written in by artists in more than 130 different countries. Many of the artists share their names and websites, allowing viewers to get in touch with and follow the creators of a book they may have liked.
The project is impressive and valuable for a number of reasons, most notably in its commitment to combining handmade art and new technology. Anyone can create a sketchbook, view digital versions of select sketchbooks online, or visit the library and vintage item store at 103 North 3rd Street in Brooklyn. Jessica Sugerman of Art House Co-op describes the effect perfectly: "We ask participants why they do these incredible projects and feel so comfortable giving them up, and a lot of them say that they just wanted to be a part of something that was bigger than themselves—joining a collection of books from around the world. Part of the experience of being at the library is looking around and realizing that these are all unique, individual pieces of artwork."
We stopped by to pick and photograph examples that show just how creative people have been with The Sketchbook Project. From one dedicated to Batman to others that are more abstract and personal, here are 10 Incredible Journals From The Brooklyn Art Library.