Book Review: Sketchtravel

Sketchtravel - cover

From a project that started in November 2006, it accumulated into something that is Sketchtravel book today, a 192-page hardcover. In case you don't know, the Sketchtravel project invites artists to draw in the book, and then hand-pass it to another artist for drawing, until the whole book is filled.

A total of 71 artists contributed, including Bill Plympton, Enrico Casarosa, John Howe, James Jean, Scott Campbell, Dice Tsutsumi, Peter de Seve, character designers Carter Goodrick and Nicolas Marlet, veteran animators like Glean Keane and even Koji Morimoto and Hayao Miyazaki.

There are sketches, watercolour paintings, collages and of course, nothing digital. So it's not just a sketchbook. Some artists would use the Sketchtravel book as a common motif for their illustrations. Others would draw whatever they can imagine. Mike Mignola possibly has the fastest sketch, James Jean's piece features disturbing subjects (again), Robert Valley's panorama sketch of a party, Juanjo Guarnido with comic style, and Hayao Miyazaki with his familiar watercolour sketch.

Beside each artwork is the artist profile are photos, some are photos of the book passing can be quite amusing. From the photos, I noticed that the passing is not always continuous. Artist A would pass to B, B passes to C, and it could be A again who would pass to D.

The book is in French, strangely. It's strange because just behind the cover are, in English, the rules for submission for the book. After that page, everything else is in French. Secondly, most of the artists who contributed to the book aren't French. Thirdly, there are plenty of space on the artist profile pages to easily include an English translation. Good news is, there's going to be an English edition coming in 2012, I was told by Sketchtravel co-creator Gerald Guerlais.

There are plenty of white space in the book, that for layout purposes, I think is still effective.

There's also a limited collector's edition. It comes with a woodcase, the paper is stronger and there's a Nicolas de Crecy print. The book's the absolute copy of the original one plus embossed logo, which means there's a separate book for the comments, bios and pictures.

It's an unique and fun book for sketchbook lovers.

The full list of artists included are (in alphabetical order):

Sketchtravel - 01

Sketchtravel - 02

Sketchtravel - 03

Sketchtravel - 04

Sketchtravel - 05

Sketchtravel - 06

Sketchtravel - 07

Sketchtravel - 08

Sketchtravel - 09

Sketchtravel - 10

Sketchtravel - 11

Sketchtravel - 12

Sketchtravel - 13

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The hardcover edition is available at: | | | | |

The Limited edition is available at: | | | | |



I'm glad this is a french

I'm glad this is a french project. I've noticed that my french art books are way better than US produced stuff, in terms of the book itself (not necessarily the content). The quality of paper, the book sizes, the overall quality. At least that's been my experience.

I've been following this book since the project started, and at some point I thought it'd be forgotten, so I'm pretty happy it finally got released. What an impressive collection of amazing artists.

I would have loved to own the original, which was auctioned in October, but it was a bit over my budget. It got sold for 70000 euros.

Anyway, mine is on its way, I hope it arrives this week. I can't wait.

@Xiang ie : In the collector

@Xiang ie : In the collector version, you have a case in wood style with the sketchtravel inside, on another book with the complete history hom him (and some commentary of the artists). And you an limited draw by an artist of the book). The collector version was edited at 1500 ex. :)

Great review as usual Parka,

Great review as usual Parka, perhaps a little mention of the cause in the review that the book is for charity, i think it helps explain why the limited editions high price too in that its for those who can afford the donation :) If it was signed by every artist i think it would just be picked up by re-sellers rather than art lovers.

I contacted Gerald Guerlais

I contacted Gerald Guerlais about the English version and I was a little disappointed in the time frame given. So I am buying it in the original French version ( I loved the previews so much!) Art is art and is universal no matter what language. I'll brush up on reading French and get an added bonus from that aspect!!

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