Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sketchbooks and SXSW

Still in recovery from a busy, crazy week-end. We usually leave town the week of SXSW, because the entire city goes crazy. Influx of thousands of musicians, film folks, etc. from all over the world. Unless you have been, you can't even imagine what happens. Don't even dare to try to get a hotel room in this town right now.
Anyhow...the main thing that I wanted to see was the travelling sketchbook project.

When we got there at 11 for a 12.p.m. opening, we were told there had been a problem and the opening was pushed back to 2:00p.m. There were already a large number of people milling about in the museum. We left and went to a Teachers rally on the Capitol lawn. Then we went to a SXSW film at another location. When we got back to the museum, we got in line and were the first ones outside the door to where they were having the event. Hubby was peeking through the opening of the door and read the sign with the rules on it. First we had to get in one line and get a library card. Then line #2 to check out a journal, then line #3 to return, then back in the line to check out. There was such a mass exodus into the room that things got all jumbled and people didn't know what to do. The organizers hadn't done a real good job of explaining the system, and I think they were overwhelmed with the amount of people there. My hubby and another guy, who happened to be the two tallest people in the room, began trying to explain and help people out. A lot of people were grumbling about the small size of the room, and the disorganization. No matter, folks settled down, and started getting books. They let you check out two at a time, and you could give a name if you knew they had participated, or a city or a country. Since I was number 2 in line I actually got my first two rather quickly. On my second trip it took me 45 minutes from the time I returned two and got in the other line to check out two more! Then I had to weave my way across the room back to where my hubby had saved us a standing spot in a corner. Then he went to get his two, and so on and so on. We looked at books from people we knew, then just asked for random countries. It was really getting warm and crowded in the room, and it seemed like with this system we wouldn't get to see very many journals. I suggested to the people who were eyeball to eyeball with us that when we each got two books we all pass them around so we could view more at a time. So that worked out well, as long as we got them all returned to the person who had checked them out.

They were amazing, such a variety of styles and from all over the place. We met people close by who had participated, so we got to see their books. I wish I could show you all the books I saw. I started out taking photos and writing down names, but that didn't last very long. Here are some I can show, and I did them in collage style to try and take up less space.
Some have names, some I didn't get. Every person started out with the same size moleskine journal. Some were sketched, some collaged, every page used, some pages removed.

This person was from LasVegas, it was fabric and the pages had been removed from the book and the fold-out pages inserted.

Lenna Andrews- Bradenton, Fla. Know her from online.

Angie Beck from Australia. All postage stamps...see Russell Crowe?

Forgot to write this person's name and location

After I had looked at all the books from people I knew, I decided in light of what was happening in Japan, that I really wanted to see books from there. From that point on, both Hubby and I asked for two from Japan each time. So there we stood, with these books in our hands...praying and focusing on sending healing energy to the people living there, in the midst of this tragedy. Soon, there were several students who had been standing next to us, who did the same. In retrospect, I wish I had stood on the table and asked everyone in the room to do the same.

Kuniko Komaba-Tokyo Japan

This book really touched me. It was entirely filled with ink sketches, each one more fantastical than the next. These are just a few of them. They were really hard to photograph. This one appears to be the only one of the books from Japan I took photos of. One was from Kobe, Japan, and it was all rubberstamped words and quotes, all in Deutsch.

These were just some of the many books we got to look at. I would liked to have seen them all. One of the organizers told us that there were 10,000 sketchbooks that had been returned.


  1. It sounds like a hectic way to do things. Too bad it wasn't better organized but at least you got to see quite a few sketchbooks. I love the ink sketches in the one from Japan.

  2. I'm not sure I would have had the patience to stand in line all that time and I now my Gary wouldn't do it in a million years. Thanks for the tour of the sketch books you took photos of.

    I'm thinking in my mind all the sketch books could have been placed on tables at the edge and the folks viewing them could have walked around and looked at each one and then moved to the next one and then the next table etc. But maybe there were too many to do that.

    Nice you got to go, for a minute I thought you post was going to say it was cancelled or something.