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The Sketchbook Project: Transforming a Library into a Successful Business

The Sketchbook Project: Transforming a Library into a Successful Business


For the past decade, the libraries we knew as children with the Dewy Decimal System and the Card Catalogue have been approaching the brink of extinction. We live in an era where the Kindle and the iPad challenge the need for physical books, and libraries and bookstores face the daunting task of attracting the readers’ attention just to stay in business.

From the sketchbook of, Kelcey Beardsley Portland, OR, United States | "Things found on restaurant napkins"

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Granted, those who are surviving have found some sort of niche to keep the interest going. For example, the bookstore Barnes & Noble has always had a sort of coffee-house atmosphere where people actually go to enjoy an experience. Amazon.com, already online and a threat to physical bookstores, quickly became a source for digital media along with its physical media. So, how about the local library? What has changed to keep it in the running?

From the sketchbook of, Kelcey Beardsley Portland, OR, United States | "Things found on restaurant napkins"

The Brooklyn Art Library is not exactly a traditional library, but more of a co-op gallery. It does provide a library-type experience, but with so much more. The library acts as a physical extension of Art House Co-op, a library featuring artistic talent from around the globe encompassed in sketchbooks.

Folding Sketchbooks - source

Art House opened its doors in December of 2006 initially as a pay-to-play gallery, but it didn’t do so hot. Scrounging for ideas to keep the business going, the co-op started the first ever, “A Million Little Pictures,” meaning a million photographs and one cross-country exhibition.

“A Million Little Pictures is a community-supported exhibition of snapshots captured around the world. By joining together thousands of specific moments to create a single immersive environment, A Million Little Pictures imagines a communal story from the images of our lives.” - arthousecoop.com (A Million Little Pictures)

The exhibition did okay, but it didn’t help fully support Art House’s gallery. The one thing it did do was give birth to idea of “The Sketchbook Project”—a traveling library of artists’ journals that is open to anyone around the world. The Art House gallery has had three locations and finally resides in Brooklyn, NY, as the Brooklyn Art Gallery—the home of many sketchbooks from around the World.

Art House Co-op & The Library

The library acts as the physical extension of Art House and is home to the Sketchbook Project. The walls are lined with shelves of sketchbooks from The Sketchbook Project. Visitors can check out a pile of books or simply peruse sketchbooks from around the globe. How amazing it must be to sift through so many varied mediums and talent.

The Brooklyn Art Library

Sketchbooks are individually catalogued and bar-coded so that they can easily be found (by artist name, location and theme). Authors can also choose to have their books digitalized, which means they are scanned and become available online at the Art House Co-Op online in their Digital Library.

The physical library is also a storefront for, you guessed it, sketchbooks, notebooks, art supplies, stationary and vintage trinkets.

From the sketchbook of, Jackie Mangione Williston, VT, United States | Storybook

The library’s purpose is to connect artists from all over the world and encourage the Art House community to interact with one another face-to-face, while showcasing members’ artwork to the local Brooklyn audience. The library hosts readings, discussions, workshops and performances. (source)

A West Coast US location may be opening up in the San Francisco area. Participants in the 2012 exhibition would be included in the launch of the West Coast hub.

The Sketchbook Project

When you sign up for participation in The Sketchbook Project you will get to pick from 40 themes. Themes are there to give you a little boost in the creative direction of your sketchbook and are not restricted to any specific rules. Basic participation costs $25 (USD). This gets you a sketchbook and helps in the expense of the entire project overall. Other optional expenses include requesting that your book be scanned for online viewing ($20 USD) and/or a Sketchbook Project t-shirt ($20).

From the sketchbook of, Gení§ay Aytekin Istanbul, Fatih, Turkey | 

From the sketchbook of, Jackie Mangione Williston, VT, United States | Storybook

I signed up for the Category, Monochromatic and plan to either stick with a single color in many different mediums to create my sketchbook artwork as a whole or use a different hue in single color creations for each page. I am considering a way to incorporate COLOURlovers color swatches.

From the sketchbook of, Jane Kim Los Angeles, CA, United States | Coffee & Cigarettes

Unique Folded Sketchbook - source

Take note that these sketchbooks are not restricted to the format of a regular book either. Creative foldouts, popouts and any type of mixed media is acceptable with a warning to adhere things strongly since these will be handled and viewed from people all over the world. Your book will be well traveled.

source

What a great outlet to work on your creative style and promote your name as a creative individual be it Graphic Design, Illustrative Design, Mixed Media Artist and any type of singular art such as drawing, sketching, painting, inking, stamping and so on. I am looking forward to participating and experimenting in varied mediums.

source

Apparently themes fill up fast with over 10,000 people in participation. You must sign up no later than October 31, 2011 in order to participate for the 2012 exhibition. Deadline to turn in your finished sketchbook is January 31, 2012 (postmarked by) and the Tour starts in April 2012.

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Monthly App Review: Photo Stats App will make your iPhone Photo-Life in to an Infographic!

Monthly App Review: Photo Stats App will make your iPhone Photo-Life in to an Infographic!


The business world of app development is huge. With so many tools at our fingertips, I am constantly discovering new apps. Be it for iPhone, iPad, iTouch, Android, Blackberry and so on, I'm sure you're all like me when find I would be lost without some of my favorites.

I'll be researching and picking (at random) an app I feel is worth mentioning each month. This month's selection is by Dear Future Astronaut AB and a bunch of fun so far. What initially caught my eye was their color-wheel style logo. I love the colors and layout of the finished infographic too! Very clean and fun to look at. Kudo's to the developers!

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PHOTO STATS APP - 1st Infographic Creator for iPhone.

If you use your phone to take a lot of your point-and-shoot photos, and you really like to take photos, this is definitely for you! I've recently been playing around with it and it's pretty fun! At a base, .99 - totally worth the fun.

photostatsapp.com
Photo_Stats_App_Logo

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Inspirational People in Business: Commercial Artist Interview - Chuck Anderson of NoPattern

Inspirational People in Business: Commercial Artist Interview - Chuck Anderson of NoPattern


Businesses large and small have embraced big color full force. Commercial Artist, Chuck Anderson, is a Photographer and Digital Artist. He has been a unique resource for many businesses since 2004, breaking the rules and becoming a design phenomenon. In more recent years, you might have seen Chuck appear in interviews as the Windows 7 brand designer for Microsoft.

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'humanlike' - on Npandco.com

"I don't honestly think I ever actually decided to become a designer. I've just always been an artist - since I was a child. It's always been a part of me to create things." - interview from mocoloco.com

photos from interview with rapidgrowthmedia.com

What I've learned about Chuck is that he's just a regular guy and he was a regular kid (starting at 17) with a strong passion for creating, using color to the max and experimenting outside the box. Many interviews ask him how he got where he's at and he would answer that he still doesn't really know. From what I can see, hard work, being unique and obviously having a super cool personality has taken him a long way. We've pulled together some questions for Chuck that might help you, as an aspiring or even seasoned creative find inspiration and resources from. Enjoy!

The Interview

COLOURlovers: At the age of 17 you defined your image as NO PATTERN to give yourself some flexibility in who you were as an artist and what type of work you did. You are currently known for your freeness of style and expressive work with photography, light and color - do you still consider yourself as undefined as you were when you were 17 or 18?

NoPattern / Chuck: Yes and no. On one hand it's clear I've developed a distinctive style that I've come to be most recognized and hired for. I don't deny that, but I don't think it's in any way a bad thing. When I was just starting out at 17, 18 years old, I was so raw and completely still finding what it was I was going to be most drawn to, which meant a lot more in the way of experimenting. Now that I've hit a sort of groove and found what it is I'm generally best at, I just do my best to continually evolve that style and continue to develop it. However, the name NoPattern, at it's core, is the idea of always being in flux, never staying exactly the same and continuing to grow. I think that's something that I try to hold to in every project I do.

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Plywerk - Naturally Display Your Artwork

Plywerk - Naturally Display Your Artwork


Introducing...PLYWERK, an eco-conscious photo mounting and art panel company based in Portland Oregon. They work with professional artists, photographers, interior designers, point and shoot photographers, parents, and everyone in between!

Curly_Oak_Grove
Art pieces are a made up of your print adhered to a Plywerk Panel to create a beautifully natural piece of wall art. Gorgeous bamboo or maple are offered for the wood options.

Plywerk Anatomy 101

Bamboo & Maple Plywerk Panels

COLOURlovers has recently become a Pro Partner of PLYWERK. Why is this super notable to mention? Because you're going to get the best, most amazing deals ever when you create an account (which is free). These deals are customized to COLOURlovers Members Only under the Prodeal membership (which is also free). Pretty sweet huh?

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Lover Feature: Designer, Shawna Crouch aka "sec9586"

Lover Feature: Designer, Shawna Crouch aka "sec9586"


Some of you may already know our own sec9586, some of you may have just heard of her as the designer of the Betabrand plaid pattern, "Betabrand2" in our contest, "Color a Plaid Shirt Contest by Betabrand + COLOURlovers". Either way, we're featuring her today so you can get to know her even better!

Shawna Crouch, aka "sec9586", is the owner / operator of CrouchDesign. She attended Murray State University, where she graduated with a BS in Studio Art/Graphic Design in 2009, and specializes primarily in print design. Along with her designing day job, she runs a small shop on Zazzle as CrouchDesign, where she offers freelance design services. She also has an Etsy shop,  AquaNetNightmare, set to reopen September 1st, 2011 which will offer jewelry, cards, invitations, stationary and drawings.


Monster11Monster3TeenyBop
Shawna continually uses COLOURlovers in every which way for both work and fun. Let's take a peek at how she does it...

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ColorSchemer Touch: Overview & Giveaway

ColorSchemer Touch: Overview & Giveaway


Many of you know about our COLOURlovers iPhone App - ColorSchemer Touch, but do you know all you can do with it? I wanted to do a quick highlight of all it's features, so let's get down to it!

At this point in development, ColorSchemer Touch allows you to do the following:

Peruse COLOURlovers current Palette Creations... tapping once on a palette will bring you to the Palette information.

Palette Information includes author, loves, views, comments, rank and when it was created along with the colors used.

Full Screen - To get a bigger and more beautiful show all this palette has to offer, just tap on it (again in the information screen) and it will expand full screen. WOW!

Color information includes the COLOURlovers original titles as the default display.

Just tap once over the color area to display the Hex Values for each color, tap again to see the RGB values and another tap brings you back to the original titles.

Creating Palettes in So Many Ways!

There are so many cool tools for creating your own palettes!

  • - Use the standard color wheel
  • - Play around with LiveSchemes (which may need it's very own post to cover how cool it is)
  • - Use PhotoSchemer to grab colors from photos you have on your iPhone (or take a new photo).
  • - Or use the Spectrum

And Yes, you can make palettes with varying widths!

When you're done making a palette, why not share it?!

I'll end with answering some questions that might or have already come up...

  • - Yes, we're hoping to develop an Android version at some point in the future.
  • - Yes, eventually it will have more COLOURlovers site features on it (such as perusing patterns!).
Do you have additional questions? Feel free to ask!

The Grand Giveaway!

WeI'd like to give away FIVE copies of ColorSchemer Touch! Tell us how you would use the app if you had a copy and how much you dearly want it. :)

If you already own it, please feel free to let us know how you use it!

You have until Friday, July 22nd, 2011. Entries will stop at 1pm (USA PST).



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Palettes used in this tutorial:
Fruit_BasketAnxiety
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Artist Interview: Laura Berger

Artist Interview: Laura Berger


I discovered Laura Berger's work very much by accident. I was visiting some close friends in Seattle and I wandered into a home store that carried her prints. The print I purchased was called Be Nice to Yourself (still available on her Etsy shop). Something about the design and the little creatures she created really captivated me, and I never forgot it. In fact, I held on to her business card, which was neatly tucked into the back of the bag the print was sealed in, and when I looked her up online I discovered a whole world of work she'd created, from paintings on wood to precious little dishes. In short, I wanted to buy everything -- and that's when I knew I had an artist on my hands that the world needed to know about.

Lucky for us here at COLOURlovers, Laura had time to speak to us for an exclusive interview in which she speaks about her creation process, inspirations, dreams of one day seeing her creatures as collectible figures and more. If you're as capitivated as we were, you can keep up with Laura on her Flickr page, through her blog (listed above) or on her Etsy page.

COLOURlovers: Do you remember the first time you created art? When was it?

Laura: I distinctly remember bringing home a giant fish that I made when I was in kindergarten.  It was made out of two pieces of fish-shaped brown kraft paper that we painted fish faces onto, stapled together, and stuffed with something or other to make it three-dimensional.  I showed it to my mom and then I watched Mister Roger's Neighborhood & ate a sandwich.


I_feel_weird

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Author Introduction: Shannon - a Professional Florist for the Wedding Channel

Author Introduction: Shannon - a Professional Florist for the Wedding Channel


Meet Shannon, a new author soon to be seen frequently on our Wedding Channel (mainly). She has over 23-years of floral experience and is so deliciously creative with her art, that we had to snag up some of her talent for our benefit!

Besides owning and running, Flourish, located in Sacramento, California, Shannon also blogs and manages, FancyPantsWeddings.com, a fantastic resource and fun place for wedding tips, floral advice and you name it.

Shannon has been a COLOURlover since September 2010 as FlourishShan, and constantly refers brides over to COLOURlovers.com to first create a palette before deciding on flowers. We'll get to learn more about her flower advice and a little DIY in the coming posts. Give her a big welcome and feel free to hit her up with any wedding flower related Q's! Enjoy! - Molly Bermea / Blog Editor


Hello, from Shannon herself...

Hi!  Let me start my intro post by saying that I LOVE color!  Color has always been a defining element in my life.  I clearly remember the color of my childhood bedrooms, the color of my high school's corridors and the colors of my own bridal bouquet.  Color drives my passion for floral design.  I consider the way I combine colors in my creations to be my strong point as a designer.  That is why I am so drawn to the COLOURlovers site and the tools it offers to myself and other color-philes (is that a word?).

Sarah Maren Photography

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Featuring Mugoplayer.com: Interview & Giveaway

Featuring Mugoplayer.com: Interview & Giveaway


Since society seems to be moving at an ever-increasing speed towards going all digital, the thumb drive is like the file folder of the past, except more compact and much more stylish. Retailers have cashed in on the market for people's desire to have cool gadgets in their pockets, and you can find all manner of interesting flash device out there.

However, when you combine storage space with something like an MP3 player, ask your favorite designers to come in and finish it off with a great look, you may just find you have a product on your hands that really catches people's attention. Such is the case with Mugo, a line created by Aaron Atchison that features big name artists such as Julie West, Shin Tanaka, Jon Burgerman and more.

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Fine Art Wedding Photography: Book Review & Giveaway

Fine Art Wedding Photography: Book Review & Giveaway


When I found out that one of the photographers that I stalk, I mean uh, follow on twitter wrote a book on the subject of wedding photography, I had to buy it. I really didn’t even think about it. I saw the post that Fine Art Wedding Photography was released, immediately went to amazon on my phone and Jose Villa’s book arrived 48 hours later.

So was it all I expected?

More.

What I expected was a book of some of his favorite images, how he goes about his day and then maybe some pointers. It is a comprehensive book about his whole career. He goes through all of the types of photos he takes during the wedding day, the technical aspects of it (down to his camera settings and film choices), his business practices, marketing, and how to move your business up to the next level. It is much more detailed than I anticipated… to the point that in some instances I thought, “I can’t believe he’s sharing all of this with everyone.”

One thing that I’ve always had a hard time doing is marrying my fine art background to wedding and portrait photography. Jose does just that, and does it beautifully. He taught me to not be afraid of grain or blur… that it can sometimes give life and energy to the images.

i.e. – this shot of the bride and groom dancing (on left). The groom has a bit of motion blur to him, but it shows the energy of what’s really happening.

For this shot, I upped the ISO and lowered the aperture for the low light. I love that the bride and groom have a little motion blur to them but you can still see the great expressions on their faces.

For reception shots he really focuses on capturing emotion. One of my favorite things is to capture those moments that nobody thinks anyone is watching.

The black and white image on the left page is an example of this with the focus on the emotions and reactions to the couple dancing. My take on emotion photography is similar.

Far Left // These ladies have such a different reaction to the dancing going on that it is one of my favorite images and makes me smile every time I see it.

Top Right // With the bride and groom dancing in the foreground, the parents of the bride look on. The mother wipes her tears away.

Bottom Right // The mother of the bride dancing with her new granddaughter-in-law.

I love the sweetness in this image. It takes a simple hug and turns it into a palpable moment between the bride and flower girl.

If you could only have one word to describe Jose Villa’s work I would say it would be elegance. There’s a beauty and sophistication to his images that comes with time and hard work.

One of the little nuggets of information that he gives is sections called “Lessons Learned” where he shares times that he’s made a mistake or two and what he’s learned from it. This gets a big “Hallelujah” in my book that even great photographers like Jose Villa can be real enough to share their mistakes. I applaud him for these little sections and make notes for myself.

During the marketing section he talks about getting featured on blogs and magazines. Most of the publications like to see lots of detail pictures. These are some of my favorite things to photograph because it brings individuality to each wedding. It also shows the bride that you’ve noticed all of her hard work in the small details of her day.

Far Left // Guests grab a glass of champagne after the ceremony

Top Right // Bride putting on her shoes

Bottom Right // Grooms shoes

Some of the other topics that he discusses are the importance of the bridal portrait, bride and groom portraits & family portraits. Here are a few of my favorites from recent weddings.

I think that the book says without actually saying, that there are lots of photographers out there that will create images that are very “now”… but will they stand the test of time? Fine art photography will always be beautiful and will always "wow". No need for gimmicky editing or post effects. No need for quirky props or backdrops. Even though those can still be fun at times, creating your business or selecting a photographer for your wedding that does high-end fine art portraiture will always stand the test of time. You’ll never look back at your photographs and think, “what were we thinking?”

His book is an instant classic for me and a definite “go-to” for inspiration. I will definitely be flipping though it again and again as a refresher and bout of encouragement before all of my weddings.

True wedding photography is a fine art. And Jose Villa is a fabulous artist.

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Want a Copy Signed by Jose Villa? We have three!

Basic rules to be a contestant in a random drawing from the comments:

  • - You must leave a comment with either your photography website/blog OR a photographer's site you adore.
  • - We'd also like to hear why you think you deserve/want this book.

 

Contest will run from today, Thursday, May 12th through Thursday, May 19th, 2011. You must be a COLOURlover to be entered (to be able to leave a comment) so register if you need to!


Jose Villa

Jose Villa is one of today's most in-demand wedding photographers with his cutting edge style of fine art wedding photography. Fine Art Wedding Photography shows you how to produce the lush, stylized images modern brides love. Complete with lessons learned and camera detail settings, a must have book for every wedding photographer.

You can purchase a signed copy of the book from the book website. The book is also sold at the following locations (on/offline): Amazon.com, BORDERS, Barns & Noble and INDIBOUND.

Jose's Blog - josevillablog.com | Book Site | Follow Jose on Twitter - @josevilla

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