• Lois Keller

The Sketchbook Project, the real story.




Sketch books, I have tons! Now the Brooklyn Art Library is recognizing the awesomeness that happens inside of these little scraps of paper. For me it's ideas, some good, some less good, but all in all a type of discipline I recommend for any artist. I'm excited to be a part of this library with artist's from all around the world especially with the theme, CONNECTED.


HA! This was my original post... it's boring, and it's curated with bad lighting and an took me an intolerable amount of my time to come up with. Sorry. I'd like to tell you the real story of a real artist that's a real person trying to make real art in the real world, or at least make a scribble in a sketchbook every once in a while.


Sketchbooks have saved me. Life got in the way of my art when I became responsible for the well being, safety and care of other humans (my family). The making of drawings, paintings, or any kind of "art" become a rebellious act of luxury. There was not time, space, or seen value to creating something for nothing. Art should be made to be sold, or seen, or included or viewed or spewed or something, shouldn't it? What if art just needed to be made for the pure art of self-expression, put in the pages of a book that will only ever be on my shelf? What if even 30 seconds of pencil to paper made me feel like an artist? I drew my feelings, thoughts, ideas, scribbles, family, my self, my hopes, sadnesses, my life all with a #2 pencil. Drawing in my sketchbook meant I hadn't given up on defining myself as an artist and it made loving and caring for my family just a little easier.


So when I heard about the sketchbook project I was so excited! After all, I was an expert and didn't I just say sketchbooks saved my life? Here was a place that revered my art form, my secret pleasure, my way of defining myself as an artist even though I didn't have anything hanging in a gallery. When I got the pristine little book in the mail I was very excited to start. I would first draw in my own book to plan before I dared to make a mark in the blank, very white, special pages for the Brooklyn Art Library. I stalled. I thought too much about the philosophy of my sketchbook, and how others would view it. I scrolled through examples of cool books (#spbprocess) that were cohesive in thought with gorgeous renderings of the theme. I was intimidated and the book stayed empty, for a while...

Beautiful sketch books in the Brooklyn Art Library collection.

Then my musing ie: procrastinating got me in trouble when I came home to my 10 year old daughter showing homemade Spanish flash cards to her Grandma made out of my SKETCHBOOK PROJECT SKETCHBOOK! I yelled, I got mad, I felt that no one respected me, "I will never be a real artist" and "I can't even make a mark in this special sketch book without my life getting in the way, again!" my art will never go beyond the confines of my home.... poor me.

Well, I was being stupid. My life is my art and I am a real artist. I'm also very proud of Gidget and the way she takes care of her Grandma and love languages. So I taped the pages back in and drew right on top of them.



So that's the real story. If you'd like to see some more of my real life sketch books you can visit them here.