I impulse purchased my way into a 28,000 person art project.

November 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm 1 comment

Yesterday was the extended deadline to enter The Sketchbook Project, something I found out about a mere 50 minutes before it was too late (thanks to Twitter). Within those 50 minutes, I had read the overview and the rules, become increasingly intrigued and enthusiastic, and signed up.

So what is The Sketchbook Project?

“It’s like a concert tour, but with sketchbooks. Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the country. After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view. 28594 artists from 94 countries around the world are participating. The tour starts February, 2011.”

Which apparently is all I needed to know in order to spend $25 on an plain moleskin and a two-month time commitment… I even bought the shirt.

I really do think that this is a great idea, but I’m also fascinated by how quickly and fully I believed that it was a great idea. What does this experience say about my own behavior? Is running out of time my weak spot in consumer psychology? Is my sketchbooking artist side craving esteem? Has Threadless conditioned me into wanting any American Apparel cotton T-Shirt that comes my way?

In all seriousness, I am a big fan (and also now a participant) of The Sketchbook Project and, overall, of community-building opportunities to share creative work. I hope that if you’re in Portland, Brooklyn, Washington DC, Winter Park, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, or Seattle in the first half of next year, you’ll go check out the tour.

November 16’s daily design idea is seek out creative ways to share your ideas with others. You might just end up with a cool shirt in the process.

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