My favorite ad campaign.

I spent several decades marketing other people’s products. Banks, cars, soft drinks, hamburgers, shoes, jet engines. I got briefed by clients, came up with ideas to communicate their messages, then helped spend billions of their dollars to share these ideas on TV, magazines, the Internet, etc. I made commercials for the Super Bowl. I helped win “Ad Agency of the Year” twice. It was a great experience and I learned a lot, working with so many smart and talented people.

For the last year, I have been working on marketing a new product. But this time, it’s a product I helped invent and it has the ability to change lives, all around the world.

The product is a special kind of art school unlike anything else that existed. A place where different artists can share their experiences, their techniques, and their sketchbooks with students worldwide — using state-of-the-art technology, beautiful videos, and the vast reach of the internet.

We call it “Sketchbook Skool.” A name that’s not too serious and a little bit, well, unusual.

We don’t have millions of marketing dollars. And it turns out we don’t need them. Instead we have a really good product and a really good network. Loads of friends who believe, as we do, in the core idea behind the product: art for all. To encourage creative freedom. To help people everywhere to conquer old fears. To be supportive. To make the world a more beautiful place because we are all drawing and painting and sharing together.

“Art for all.” It’s not just a slick advertising slogan. It’s a dream, shared by thousands. And they help us share the word about this dream with the people they care about. That’s how we’ve ‘marketed.’

After our first year, Sketchbook Skool has exceeded our wildest imaginings. We have been joined by nearly two dozen teaching artists and thousands of students from every corner of the world. We have filmed klasses on four continents, from Stockholm to Sydney, Barcelona to Brooklyn. And together, we have started a movement that does much more than share drawings — we share our lives.

beer-canIf you are reading this, you are already part of the Sketchbook Skool family. Whether you are in one of our klasses, on our Facebook group, reading this blog or just taking the leap by starting to believe you can be more creative, you are with us.

Our next big dream is to truly spread “art for all” and grow the Skool beyond just this community of our immediate friends. Starting today, we are going to expand our marketing efforts in lots of interesting ways. We’re going to invite the whole world to join us through conversations, online, radio, tv, magazines, blogs, you name it.

And we invite you to spread the word and to lend your voice to our story. To share the simple joy of putting a pen to paper and the way it can change how you see everything around you. It’s all beautiful and you helped make it so.

Thanks again for making me look like a marketing genius.

30 thoughts on “My favorite ad campaign.”

  1. Hi Danny

    l love to receive your emails……have completed Beginning and Seeing and my sketching improved out of sight…..I have a 8 year old grand daughter who is a keen story writer and I am looking for an internet based drawing course for her……she is in an accelerated writing program through her school and keeps getting in trouble because she ‘sketches’ on the edges of her writing paper……….I’m trying to encourage her to draw every day and have given her a Moleskin and pens……can you recommend a course that is internet based and suitable for kids…..maybe you could add one to your suite of Kourses……..thanks………Karen


    1. Your granddaughter may be too young for much of SBS at this point but we do have long term plans to establish klasses just for kids. Meanwhile, I recommend Mona Brooks’ book “Drawing with Children”


  2. A “marketing genius?” Yes!! Your heart is absolutely in the right place, Danny. Thank you for being you and for gathering so many other wonderful people together.


  3. Hi Danny….I share SBS everywhere with everyone (and I’m adding it to my social media connections) because SketchBook Skool has been pivotal and life transforming for me….and now I draw every day…what could be better?
    Thanks so much.


  4. I LOVE SKETCHBOOK SKOOL. I am a student. I didn’t think I would be sharing, but I am. The teachers have shown me techniques I have never understood from a book which is why I gave up on art in my early twenties. I was always drawn to art (pun intended). Now in my 70’s, through Sketchbook Skool my art has already progressed after only 5 weeks. It is exciting to meet and watch artist from all over the world. And, I HAVE ALREADY SHARED SKETCHBOOK SKOOL WITH OTHERS. They are excited to try it.
    Thank you Danny, for this opportunity I never thought I could have–drawing, painting, and enjoying it!!


  5. Reblogged this on Oil Pastels by Mary and commented:
    Sketchbook Skool is cool concept and catching on fast. It’s simply the neatest art skool and kommunity you’ll find anywhere.
    Here is to Danny and his team – I invite you to check them out!


  6. I have taken all three courses plus Bootkamp. SBS has connected me with friends from around the world, allowed me to hang out with great people who make and teach art, and given me tools to improve my skills. All of this has created a greater gift…self exploration and acceptance through art. You and Koosje have made magic and I can’t wait for more.


  7. I am currently in Beginnings. I think it’s a wonderful class, I have recommended sketchbook skool to many of my students (I teach oil painting) to improve their drawing skills. I have never been much of a “sketchbooker”, but always wanted to be more consistent about drawing. The Beginnings class has opened new possibilities for me, and introduced me to completely new materials. I like the different perspectives that each of the 6 instructors has in the series too.


  8. I enjoy being a self appointed spokesperson for Sketchbook Skool! I tell everyone I meet about it, I’ve met other artists around the world and in my own backyard through sketchbook Skool! I’ve made friends I’ll keep for life! People I go and draw with! I have been in Skool from its very beginning and its enriched my life in wonderous ways! My ability to draw & my love of drawing, which didn’t exist a few years ago continues to grow in leaps and bounds on a daily basis! I cannot thank you and Koosje enough for creating sketchbookskool! A link to enrolling in klasses is on my blog, “Getting My Feet Wet”! I’ll share this post on my FACEBOOK Page! It’s Art for All and everyone needs to know they can have this much fun too!


  9. Danny, I have not posted my SBS related blog posts on skool fb, though I have wanted to, and I do enjoy seeing others when they directly relate- Shall we share??
    I think my friends are worried that I’ve joined a cult, though I notice they love the results. I’ve snared at least 2 of them… ha! And I would like a button too…


  10. Hi Danny- I teach Illustrated Art Journal workshops and classes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I share your books with my students and many of them have been inspired to continue on to Sketchbook Skool and loved it. Showing people that everyone can make art and be a part of this amazing worldwide community is a great service to the world- and I am so happy to be a part of it. Keep up the great work!
    -Susan Dorf


  11. Ahhh…But you ARE a genius! You and Koosje, and all the other teachers that have participated thus far! I’ve been along for the ride since the inception, and I am currently getting my sketching muscles stronger in BootKamp! I can hardly wait to see what is next!

    Thanks for the opportunity to learn what makes my creative juices flow!


  12. Hello Mr. Gregory: I’m pleased to be joining you on your blog and hope to interact more into the future. First, I learned about you and your blog via @ShannonGrissom and her newsletter where she wrote a review on your book”Art Before Breakfast.” She did a wonderful job in that aspect! I’m an admirer of her work and follow her, as well. Second, my sincerest congratulations on the book and your Sketchbook Skool! I’m heading over to check out the “skool” and suspect it will be a fun and inspiring environment. Best wishes on all your projects…Adriana


  13. I have been trying to sign up for Beginnings for weeks and the Enroll Now page still shows that the next class begins on January 2nd. Any idea when the next round will be offered? I thought it might start in April, but no signs of this on the website. Thanks!


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