Welkome to Sketchbook Skool

This may sound selfish but I don’t care.

Art makes my life richer and happier. And I want share that discovery with as many people as I can. The more people I meet who make art and are crazy about it, the more inspired I get to make stuff too.

On Wednesday, I spoke to a group of eighty people in Scottsdale, most of whom had never drawn since grade school. Now, a good number of them have caught the fever to keep an illustrated journal too. It was a day well spent.

I want more days like that. And I want to infect a lot more people with the passion for making art. I can travel around and give workshops and talks and speeches. And I can write more books. I plan to continue doing all those things. But I want more….

I’ve been blogging here for a decade. And I’ve been part of several great Everyday Matters communities, on Yahoo, Facebook, and Flickr. I’ve met hundreds of amazing artists and collaborated with many of them on my books.

And now, finally, thanks to an email exchange with my friend Koosje Koene, I get to be part of one of the most exciting online experiences anyone can have.

Koosje and I have been working with a group of insanely talented sketchbook artists to create an amazing project called Sketchbook Skool.  It’s sort of a high-quality online/video art school dedicated to illustrated journaling — to recording everyday life in a little sketchbook, to discovering how beautiful the world is, to getting a deeper sense of meaning and of creative confidence.

Here’s a film about it.  You can learn a lot more at the Skool’s website.

Our dream is to bring together people who love to draw and paint and record their lives into one large community and together to discover new habits, techniques, opportunities, friendships, and adventures. It starts today as we open our doors with our first online semester of klasses, taught by six artists who love to teach and share what they know. Hopefully you will join us and deepen your skills and passion, whatever your level of experience so far.

At the beginning of the summer, another group of artists will join us and we will begin the second semester of Sketchbook Skool. We already have  commitments from an amazing group, enough to fill the fakulty bench of Term Two. We plan to have four such semesters in the next year — more teachers with more stories, ideas, inspiration to get us all filling a library full of sketchbooks. And we have even bigger dreams beyond….

I know it’s selfish. It’s rare that you get to build a school just so you can take klasses in it with amazing teachers you idolize. Koosje and I think we’ve done just that. We’re lucky . And so are you. You get to join us.

Find out more about Sketchbook Skool.

37 thoughts on “Welkome to Sketchbook Skool”

  1. Oh, Danny, I’ve been a follower and a believer for quite a while, and feel as if you are a personal friend. This news is so exciting that I have tears in my eyes! Go forth and continue inspiring folk to DRAW their lives…


  2. Thanks Danny – I know we’ve all had the odd hint and glimpse of what was to come, and I’d wondered what the final digital product would look like, but the koncept and exekution sound spot on… (and I know how hard it must be for a kopywriter to willingly substitute Ks for Cs, even for something as noble as his art and an available URL… 🙂

    Since the Rowe weekend in June, I’ve been trying to get my mum and sister to break through their inner critics and start journalling to help them rediscover the simple joys of everyday life. And I’ve had to confront my own inner critic many times, as lethargy and fear have crept back in and stopped me sketching at times. I’m signing all three of us up tomorrow – and as we live literally on different continents, am looking forward to this bringing us together even more each week when we chat. Thanks to bring this to fruition, and cheers to everyone involved…


  3. Hi, this concept sounds great except for one thing: What are reasons for such a short time limit on the access to the program? For $99 I might be interested if there were at least a 6-month (better would be 1-year) access to each semester’s online resources.


    1. Each klass’s materials will be available from when it is posted until the end of the 6 week semester. You’ll have all that time to watch the materials as often as you like. Our goal is to help you develop a consistent creative habit rather than a reference work. I do hope this doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on a great experience.


  4. All my favorite artists and bloggers!
    One question, is there room for everyone or are the numbers limited? Just need to know if I have to sign up quickly to make sure I am in.


  5. I cannot even tell you how excited this makes me. You have assembled some of my favorite sketching teachers/artists/inspirations. And yes, I signed right up!


      1. Thank you for your quick reply and I apologize for technical questions so soon….that link didn’t work for me either but I typed it into a different browser and it worked. Can’t sign up until Tuesday but I’ll be there. Sounds wonderful.


  6. I am signed up and ready to go…I can hardly wait. As soon as I saw “Sketchbook Skool” I knew this was it. I feel like I am 5 again and waiting for Christmas! Thank you all and see you soon.


  7. Hiya Danny,
    I’m signed up and am very thrilled. I took Jane Lafazio’s online class using Ruzuku and loved the format. Just one question. WIll there be any individual feedback and comments from the instructors during your course? I see there are tons of students signed up already. Just wondering how you will handle that.
    Wish we could start today. I’ll paint like crazy in the mean time.


    1. Thats something we have discussed but dont want to promise. We see this class as inspirational as much as anything and we want the teachers to stay on a higher more general plane, sharing their wisdom and experience in the short amount of time we have with them. Some teachers may well join in the discussion but we dont want to promise that. We also want to create real community among the students so there some give and take there. And many of our teachers also teach their own courses outside f SBS and they may offer more hands-on input there.

      I hope this doesnt dissuade you from joining what I am sure will be an amazing experience for all,



      1. Thanks for the candid reply. I’m signed up and look forward to the teachers’ insights. I think that the format of using a different teacher each week is inspired and will keep things fresh.
        In the mean time, Danny, buckle up and enjoy a crazy ride! Looks like you have created a sensation.


  8. I have followed your life and work since I first learned about you and bought Everyday Matters. On your blog,you once used my drawing of the feet of friends who came to visit me when I had macular eye surgery and stayed face down for some weeks. I do keep journals already. Since moving to Coronado, CA last year, I have one journal recording the surprising flowering trees here, another for San Diego zoo animals, another for the restaurants I visit, one for the cruise to Panama Canal last month.. I know I can pick up more great ideas from your new Sketchbookskool.


  9. So glad about it!!!

    I’m going to register on sunday evening. I like to start my school on mondays :0)
    Hopefully there will be spots available still…

    I just wander …,if the time frame is 6 weeks while we have access to the materials, what happened if we miss 1 or 2 days? … or even worst?(in march we booked 1 week in Cuba and i plan to draw & tan ONLY but still if i don’t have internet access there…?)…
    Is my question dumb ? :0) ….or something…

    Looking so forward to learn from the Best !!!



    1. Nikita: Klass starts on April 4th so you have plenty of time. Each klass’s materials will be delivered on Friday and you have until the end of the semester to look it over. Actually, two weeks beyond that. Enjoy your Kuba Libres!


      1. I had to look up “C/Kuba Libres” and wikipedia “explain” :0) me …what i’ll be drinking, i meant drawing :0) …

        Thank you Danny!!!!!


  10. Signed up despite the “k” thing — my instincts tell me to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction. But once I’m over that I will be on board 100%. In the meantime, just biting my arm to get through it.


  11. Fantastic! This is going to be awesome & sure it will take my journaling to a new level. One thing though- there’s nothing ‘selfish’ about it. ‘Finishing’ a piece is making your thoughts real, even if it’s only an image. Art practice is revealing the content and function of our mind to itself, and now you are empowering others to do so. We also connect more deeply to the world around us. I’m having trouble coming up with something less selfish, maybe practicing medicine…(a different set of talents!)


  12. Danny, as soon as the dollars are saved I’ll be there as soon as I can. This has been a long awaited journey waiting for this.
    Thank you so,


  13. sketchbook school won’t let me enter a password (says it is taken) and won’t take me to the page where I can contact whoever is answering questions. I will be there when it starts. Kathu


  14. This has me full of Hope,because I’m a one handed person,being paralized in my dominate hand and side,and a wheelchair/armchair all day.I have taught myself to paint and draw again (was an art teacher at Uni).However,I have tried journalling,with out success,so am looking forward to Skool with great hope to see if I can do something on balanced on my knee:)


  15. I’m in and I announced my enrollment on my blog just in case someone visits my blog that hasn’t already heard of you… I’m really looking forward to this skool, I never got to take art as a kid (no talent you know)… but I’m a determined daily sketchbook drawer thanks to your book ‘Creative License’.


  16. I’m in, and delighted to be here…..the other day I saw a list of those who had already enrolled. I don’t seem to be able to find that link again……to see if I know anyone………is it still up and being added to?
    Danny. I too, am and absolute fan of ‘The Art of Breakfast’…..and whenever I feel a bit down, I watch it again and it picks me up….it’s so joyful. I’ve been scouring the Sydney stores ever since, to find a cup and saucer like yours.


    1. According to Anthony de Mello, there are three kinds of selfishness: 1. doing what you want because you want to do it. 2. doing nice things for people because it makes you feel good, and 3. the worst – doing nice things for people because you feel guilty.

      So, Danny is just a real person, kind of like an unselfconscious 4 year old. (smile)


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