About the Project
The Sketchbook Project is a collection of sketchbook art sent in from around the world, housed at the library now located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The collection has about 40,000 sketchbooks. Anyone can be a part of the project. But it can’t be just any sketchbook.
Books are generally 5×7 inches (though there is a smaller option) and they are plain, kraft-paper-brown books. Every one of them begins the same, but the final results are all stunningly different. That’s the idea, all participants receive the same size paper journal and from there the sky’s the limit.
Folks get really creative with these. Drawing, photography, journaling, fabric art, and so much more, from people of all ages. The project is organized by volumes, with themes to choose from, if you like. In the past, the volumes traveled to major cities across the US in their bookmobile (see the video on their site), however since the pandemic and the library’s recent fire in early 2022, no touring is happening.
“Our library has hundreds of thousands of checkouts a year. People from over 100 countries have contributed to this collection. This project is all about being inclusive and sharing ideas on a global level. For viewing books at our library, we use a system that based not on skill, but content and tag words, (with a bit of randomness mixed in).”https://brooklynartlibrary.org/
“The Weight” is a pun. To me it sums up the experience of Covid-19 perfectly.
Mentally heavy, and seemingly unending.
This sketchbook remained abandoned for months. Bringing myself to complete the project suddenly became drudgery. Begun in 2020, the last pages were completed in February of 2022. Prior to this I had submitted to the Sketchbook Project an illustrated autobiography (telling my life with MS and endometriosis) called, “Believe.” I had spent so much of myself creating “Believe”, & then the atmosphere of the world at the time made so difficult to think creatively in that same way again.
Eventually I got out of the slump. Within “The Weight” are a series of seemingly unrelated sketches and reflections. In whole they tell the story of experiencing a pandemic while living with previously well-established anxiety and depression. The whole time I kept thinking, “I really thought we’d care for each other more.”
To add salt to the wound that was the pandemic, the transport vehicle containing this book and many hundreds of other unique submissions to the Brooklyn Art Library caught fire in early 2022. The books were en route to Florida from New York during the museum/library’s relocation.
At this time books are still being sorted through to see what is salvageable, but I was informed that “The Weight” is a survivor.
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About the Artist
Hello, I’m Deanna. Creating little worlds is all I want to do.
I spend my days in my illustration studio, surrounded by herbs and antique curiosities, in rural Pennsylvania. I enjoy many interesting adventures with my husband, daughter, and Shmoop, the “Office Cat.”
Since I was a young child, I’ve been creating. Some of my earliest memories are of drawing historic clothing, making fairy tale paper dolls, and designing my own “book covers.”
The work I make is influenced heavily by my affinity for historic eras: Color palettes, patterns, textures, architecture, typography – the list goes on. From Medieval to Mid-Century, I love it all.
If you don’t want to miss anything, follow IG: #deannameyer for illustration and vintage musings. I’m an artist, herbalist, and mother with Multiple Sclerosis & Endometriosis.
I’m also an official artist of the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project.