Greenpoint Gazette

Sketchbook Project Gets a Makeover

BY Tanay Warerkar

The neighborhood’s go-to spot for sketchbook art has an all-new online avatar.

The Sketchbook Project, which has a physical library displaying artists’ sketchbooks in Williamsburg, and a mobile van touring with sketchbooks across the country, recently launched a new website and web-based kiosk that will make it easier to view the over 30,000 sketchbooks the group has collected.

“We wanted to make our unparalleled collection of artist sketchbooks more easily accessible to a wider audience,” said Steven Peterman, co-founder of the Project. “We also wanted to provide more outlets for engagement with the sketchbooks, many of which have been digitized and can be viewed online, so we added features such as Collections, which allow users to curate groups of their favorite books.”

Increased and easier accessibility is key to the makeover.

While browsing the collection online, patrons can narrow down their search categories with options such as food, illustrations, or New York City.

In addition, the sketchbooks now have artists’ bios that let viewers learn more about the artists’ work and their process and a “favorites,” option which allows viewers to provide instant feedback to the artists.

What’s more, a user dashboard will provide viewers and artists with a variety of details about the sketchbooks including viewership stats and favorites.

The upgrades make the library accessible to mobile devices and tablets as well. The new web-based kiosk makes it easier to access and browse the vast collection of sketchbooks on your phone or iPad.

And the additions and improvements aren’t limited to the website. At the Library, in Williamsburg, customers no longer require a library card, and customers can queue books for checkout online, and use an in-store iPad to browse the collection.

The Sketchbook project launched in 2006, and was the outgrowth of the friendship of Peterman and Shane Zucker. They met while studying at the Atlanta College of Art in Georgia and came up with the idea for the project. Back then the duo sent out blank sketchbooks to artists to fill out and return to them in order for them to be showcased at the end of the year.

The Sketchbook Project functions much in the same way today. Artists can sign up to receive sketchbooks in the mail or can make online submissions.

Over 71,000 artists from across the world have already submitted their work to the Project.

And at present, the Sketchbook Project is right in the middle of its national mobile van tour concluding in October.

Participation for next year’s tour is already open.

For more information on the Sketchbook Project visit


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