Toni Lavery's sketchbook project

WASM Interim Secretary, Toni Lavery, completed her sketchbook, "Scrambled" and submitted it to The Brooklyn Art Library last month. Here is a video of the project and the story she tells. The last page contains her creative process that resulted in this poetic quarantine tale and Facebook game. 

Toni's creative process:

The Game

I photographed the content of the sketchbook, then posted the

images to my Facebook page requesting friends’ comments to identify each image that is theirs: a living space, an object, or animal. There are no prizes, it’s just for entertainment, and to understand a creative process.

The Process

All my artwork emerges from my unconscious thoughts; unplanned and random like dreams. Why? Because this art is a form of therapy to know myself, and proves my existence as a unique human. The art cannot be created with a camera, nor by artificial intelligence (not yet), only by me.

For this sketchbook, first I selected Facebook photos (mine and friends) and downloaded them to my phone’s gallery. I meditated on them until my design skills allowed me to piece several photos together like a jigsaw puzzle expressed through sketch. My friend’s animal may end up in a place I visited or imagined with another friend’s animal. Usually friends only know each other through the sketch.

The order of the sketches was also unplanned. A tad risky since I could not change their order as I committed to drawing them onto the next consecutive page as they emerged in my imagination. Miraculously, the resulting poetic narrative I wrote in phase 2 after all 14 sketches were completed, revealed my experience during the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s how the human subconscious mind reveals itself and releases the past. Fascinating!!!!

Only in step 3 did I apply production planning. In addition to the narrative connecting the sketches, I created coordinating cover art and graphic borders. The narrative pages to give the sketchbook a cohesive, finished feel. With the book completed, in step 4, the game was created. Last, step 5, the book is in the post on it’s way to the Brooklyn Art Library sent with wishes as it crosses the Canadian-U.S. border safely.

In the future, I will hold the book in my hand again accompanied by a friend whose object or animal appears in the book. We will stand in front of the stacks at the art library where the thousands of other sketchbooks reside. That will be a good day!


If you have not heard of the library's sketchbook project, we urge you to check out this link to their website. We hope you decide to complete one of their sketchbooks, or gift one to inspire creativity in someone you know. https://brooklynartlibrary.org/



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