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The Sketchbook Project

Subtitle: When Procrastination Pays Off. 

Well, it’s done! After months of preparing drawing prompts and arranging pieces for our sketchbook, I am happy to announce that it has been mailed in! When I say ‘our’ sketchbook, I mean my students.

The Sketchbook Project is a crowd-sourced library that features thousands of artists’ work from around the world (this information was taken from the website). The submitted sketchbooks become part of the Brooklyn Art Library’s collection. Here’s an artist statement that I included with the sketchbook, using prompted questions from the website, that gives a little insight into the project:

My name is Julia Capallo, and I am currently a K-5 Visual Art Teacher in Cockeysville, MD. After learning about The Sketchbook Project, I knew it was something I wanted to participate in with my students. I visited the Brooklyn Art Library with my husband last fall, and I purchased a blank sketchbook to bring back to my school.
I introduced the project to students, and then offered up different themes (some of which were provided by The Sketchbook Project) where they could create ‘mini masterpieces’ to include in the sketchbook. Once I began compiling the pieces onto the pages, I realized that I needed much more than I had received from students over time. Second grade students created most of the creatures found throughout the book… on April 30th. Yup, the same day as the extended deadline.
I worked through my lunch break and my planning period to assemble the remaining blank pages. I don’t usually procrastinate to that extent, but it definitely created an urgency and excitement to get it all done in time! The sketchbook was mailed out around 4:30 pm, just a half hour before the post office closed.
This experience means a lot to me. Although the concept of The Sketchbook Project was a little abstract for some of my students, I think they appreciated the opportunity to participate. I took photos of the pages and spreads before sending it out. I hope to submit my own sketchbook in the future.
Working with different materials motivates me. I enjoy repurposing objects, experimenting with new processes, and finding opportunities to create. I enjoy sharing these experiences with my students, since I feel that it is important for them to expand their views of what art is and what it can be.Since I compiled the pieces within the sketchbook, I suppose my style is reflected within the pages.
There are only a few illustrations that were created by me, including the opening page sea creature. I’m not a huge fan of unplanned blank space (and I emphasize this to my students when they create their own work), so each page is full of details. Many of the stickers were added at the end, just to eliminate too much white space. Some of the pages may even seem overwhelming to look at, but that was done on purpose. The ‘I Spy’ game is intended for viewers to flip through all of the pages to search for different things, but I also hope that people read the quotes and spend a little time looking at each page.

Keep in mind, everything was due today. I typed up that statement just a few hours ago. Here are photos of the pages/spreads from the completed sketchbook! Click on individual images to view larger versions.

What kinds of projects have you been working on lately? Any collaborations?

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