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How do you feel about 2016 — on a personal level? As it winds to a close, can you look back and feel it was a time of positive change for you, a time of learning and growth?

A lot of people have been writing to us to say that this year was a vital step forward for their creativity. They tell us they finally shook off that nagging voice in their heads that had plagued them for years, sometimes decades, and began to embrace their creativity at last. They are drawing and painting and, page by page, feeling much more confidence and pride in what they make. We have also heard a lot of sad stories about the past. People tell us they completely gave up drawing back in high school because a teacher said something careless and hurtful about their work. Or they say they went to art school but ultimately felt overwhelmed and defeated by the competition. Or they studied at a top design school but then lost the freedom of personal expression that had originally made them love to draw. Then, in 2016, they finally came back to themselves. They joined our community, they watched one of Koosje’s Draw Tip Tuesday videos, they signed up for one of our kourses, and, finally, they felt the pieces shift inside them and the light come in.

Of course, nothing could make us feel happier. We started Sketchbook Skool because, frankly, we wanted to be students in it. We needed it too. We wanted to be inspired, to learn from the artists we admire, to join with other people who feel the same way we do about drawing in a blank book. And the fact that other people are discovering what we have learned — that making time for art is making time for yourself, that drawing is a wonderful way to connect to the world around you, that even the wonkiest sketch helps you see the beauty everywhere — well, we are just so grateful for all you have taken out of it. People tell us time and again that these lessons amount to so much more than just “learning to draw.” They are a way of life, a wonderful life. Koosje and Danny began this project three years ago. And since then, it has grown in ways we could never have imagined. Sketchbook Skool has gone from a side project, crammed in alongside various illustration jobs, and books, and workshops, and lectures, and has now finally become our full-time focus. We are enormously grateful that you have made it so. Because, of course, your support and participation are what have made all of this happen. Your willingness to join our kourses, watch our videos, comment in klass, share your homework, and give us suggestions and ideas, all your creative energy has made Sketchbook Skool possible.

Now, we are ready for a new chapter, a fresh page in our sketchbooks. That page will be filled to the margins as never before, chock-a-block with new and exciting projects at Sketchbook Skool. New teachers, new kourses, new ideas, new ways to engage, and more stuff than we have ever created before. We hope it will make 2017 an even more exciting year for you, full of thousands of new drawings and paintings and risks and challenges and ideas and discoveries. Recently, Danny and Koosje met up in Berlin to talk about 2016 and beyond. Watch this special video message to commemorate this past year and learn about some of the exciting plans we have in store for the coming months. Just click on the image above to go to the video.

Thank you again for all your dedication and hard work. We can’t wait to see what you create in the year ahead.

Wishing you a Happy and Creative New Year— from the staff and fakulty of Sketchbook Skool.

Filed under categories: Community, Draw Tip Tuesday, Fakulty, Inspiration, Klasses, Videos