Alrighty, on to January. All the things in between were the awesome typical - Christmas, presents, baking, everything Holidayish, the New Year, my birthday, some time to breathe - but more importantly, some time to sleep...all the while working on my book for The Sketchbook Project, promoted by Art House Co-op. http://www.arthousecoop.com/projects/sketchbookproject
Please note their description, "it's like a road trip, but with sketchbooks." I've never been on a road trip myself, but it dam well warms my heart to near incineration to think that my drawings will precede me in this life experience. haha Basically, the way it works is that you pay a fee to participate and they send you a little brown sketchbook to fill up and postmark by a certain time before it tours. For every book that you "purchase", a free book is sent to a charity organization, school, etc. I sent my book to an Arts High School in Los Angeles, CA. So somewhere across the country, an aspiring young artist got to participate the same way that I did for free. If I was a kid in High School, the sheer concept of this sketchbook tour would have threw me into a complete euphoria. I never really kept a traditional sketchbook until my last year of high school, and that was only because someone who was reviewing my portfolio at Cooper Union told me to. It just never dawned on me to keep a book for the express purpose of drawing. I used to just draw on whatever was around. And I mean anything. I used to draw on paper plates in pizza shops in Brooklyn when I was done eating. I mean, why not, right?
Anyways, the other fun part about this is that you get to pick a theme for your sketchbook. This is not meant to be a strict form that you adhere to, but more a jump off point. I chose to let the theme dictate my sketchbook a little more strongly - mainly because I have become very interested in the topic, due to my daily commute to work on the MTA. I chose the theme "Encyclopedia of". And my encyclopedia covers the Train Riders of NYC. As an artist who doesn't get that much access any more to live nude models, let me tell you, the next best thing is certainly commuters. And my commute is an hour long. So I have two opportunities everyday to draw all the people who are sitting perfectly still - sleeping, reading, playing on their iPhones, iPads, etc. It's a sketchbook gold mine.
Even COOLER? The sketchbooks that are submitted become permanent items in the Brooklyn Library Art Collection. My sketchbook came with a bar code. You can actually check it out like a library book. I think this concept is amazing because sketchbooks are meant to be intimate objects and experiences. To physically hold a sketchbook in your hands that is secretly brimming with artwork is such a unique experience - and often more interesting than viewing "complete" works. Could you imagine getting your hands on Da Vinci's physical sketchbook? And holding it in your HANDS? Turning the pages he turned??? *Salivation.*
The tour is going to start on April 14th in New York. I can't wait to go see all the sketchbooks. They'll be touring through the following cities: Brooklyn, NY, Chicago, IL, Portland, OR, Vancouver, Canada, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco Bay Area, CA, Greater Boston Area, MA, Portland, ME, Toronto, Canada, Philadelphia, PA, Atlanta, GA and Austin, TX. London and Melbourne will be participating as well. For the full list of locations and dates, here is the tour schedule: http://www.arthousecoop.com/projects/sketchbookproject2012
In the mean time, if you're in NYC between April 14th - 30th, I'd really appreciate it if you paid my sketchbook a visit! It will be waiting at:
Brooklyn Art Library
103A N. 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
For a preview of some of my sketchbook work, here are a few excerpts from my personal sketchbook. (These are not from the book I submitted to the tour).
Noelle Raffaele - artist