Words and Images: Daisy Campbell


“They are simple tools – just a sketchbook and a pen, but the beauty is in the stories, the drawings and each person’s imagination brought to life in a little 5′ x 7′ book.” Illustrator Daisy Campbell on The Sketchbook Project.

It had been a few years, since I had taken part in one of The Sketchbook Project, but when their free, ‘Dreadful‘ brief arrived in my inbox recently, it was a great excuse to explore my interpretation of the dark side of human emotion involved in Victorian England.

The Sketchbook Project has harnessed a community within itself, to create its own evolving art library. The idea is that anyone, any age, from every walk of life, can contribute to the library. With creatives from 130 plus countries taking part, The Sketchbook Project is growing upon each year. You pick a theme or  you can have one chosen for you, they you are sent a sketchbook through the post, for you to fill with anything you like – a story (visual or written), a photographic montage or even an old recipe your grandma gave you, but loosely centered around the chosen theme. You then send it back and it is digitised with all the other entries, with the originals housed in a permanent collection of some 30,000 books and counting at its base at the Brooklyn Art Library.

Since 2012, The Sketchbook Project, branched out of its home to take the project on tour, stopping at select locations to create a pop-up library, bringing the books to the people. Each sketchbook carries a unique bar code, which means you can always track its journey, who may have picked it up and where in the world they have read it.  I got to take out my book when they brought the tour for the first time to London. It was a special moment, to see and feel my book again, knowing it had made this epic journey, prior to being in my hands.


Art House is an independent Brooklyn based company that organises global, collaborative art projects. Founded in 2006 in Atlanta, GA, then moving onto New York City in 2009, this small organisation has grown organically spreading worldwide, with over 60,000 artists taking part in their ever evolving list of projects. The Sketchbook Project, is Art House’s flagship endeavour.