I took part in the Sketchbook Project last year, and for those of you who have no idea what that is; you basically sign up, they send you a small book, you fill it in and send it back. Your book, along with hundreds of others, then goes on tour around America (and some other places I don’t remember), pops to London then they all go home again and the book becomes part of the Brooklyn Library. A small handful of people see your book – unless you are willing to put some more work in that is but I’ll go on to that in a bit.
On Friday (19th October), Tubby and I travelled to London to the Canada Water Library so that I could be reunited with my sketchbook once more and that was a pretty cool experience! It’s amazing what a whole year away from a piece of work can do. I had made copies of the book before I had to send it off and I was a little disappointed that I’d not spent more time working on it. I’d been busy and a lot of the book had been put together lastminute.com. As soon as they had my book in their hands all of that doubt went away. All of the regret that I “could’ve done better” (as most of my school reports used to say), disappeared. My book was bright, it stood out from the crowd, I’d added a ribbon detail to the spine, it was full of some of my favourite verse, and the illustrations were bright, cheerful and what I imagine most would expect from a sketchbook. I fell in love with my own work all over again. Giving it back was the hardest thing to do – just as it was when I put it in the envelope almost a year ago.
Gain perspective on a piece of artwork by putting it away, out of sight, for as long as you can (deadlines permitting and all) then take it out with fresh eyes. We are our own worst critics but taking that step back from your work will allow you to clear those foggy glasses and see differently!
The other wonderful thing about this event was that I got to meet some other participants in the sketchbook project. Now these ladies had done their homework – this is what I was saying about getting people to see your book. I wish I’d spent more time in the community section of the website looking for other people’s work. I fear I may be far too nacsastic for that. I wanted to look at the other books but had no idea what to look for. The women next to me had lists of artists books they wanted to see!
The lady in the photo with me above is Ann Isik a fellow participant. She and I were in stitches laughing! What a wonderful way to meet new people! Ann had some really funny stories and I really hope she goes along to a Funny Women workshop one day in the future. I just know that she would get so much out of the day, even if she doesn’t then go on to try stand up comedy. I’m definately going to venture to Rochester and hope to meet her again one day. I meet such wonderful people out and about – I guess that’s what happens when you’re open to the idea of (*looks round to make sure no one is listening and whispers*) “talking to strangers. Shhh…”.
I was thinking on my last weekend away how lovely it would be to have photographs of the people I meet, so I can write about them as they all make up a part of my life, affect me in some way and I’d like to remember them, celebrate them, and Thank them.
Thank you Ann for being such a funny, talented and friendly lady!! I really enjoyed my trip to the Canada Water Library – all the more so for meeting you!