A Valentine's Day Sketchbook Story

 
 Sam and Matt at Brooklyn Art Library this past summer. They celebrated their one-year anniversary in January. 

Sam and Matt at Brooklyn Art Library this past summer. They celebrated their one-year anniversary in January. 

We've heard our fair share of unique and intimate stories behind what inspires artists to fill up their sketchbooks. There's no lack of books based on love, heartache and different types of romantic relationships. But for this post in honor of Valentine's Day, we wanted to share the story behind a sketchbook submitted to our collection in 2016. "Tinderitis" follows artist Sam Matthews' journey documenting her first online dating experience.

Sam, founder of the mobile art studio Art Across Borders, decided to use her sketchbook as a personal challenge to open up about her emotions about online dating. She even created a blog that chronicles the story behind each spread of her sketchbook. 

By the time Sam was finishing up her sketchbook and about to send it back to Brooklyn Art Library, she was embarking on her fifth Tinder date with a man named Matt. Long story short, they have now been together for over a year!

What we love most about Sam's book is her commitment to not only being open to a new and sometimes uncomfortable experience, but her honesty and compassion when documenting her dating experiences. 

 Both based in New Jersey, Sam brought Matt to Brooklyn Art Library to show him "Tinderitis." 

Both based in New Jersey, Sam brought Matt to Brooklyn Art Library to show him "Tinderitis." 

"I have learned more about myself and about humanity through this project than I ever thought possible. What started out as my artistic coping mechanism to deal with the thought of casual dating and meeting new people has turned into one of the most eye opening experiences," writes Sam. 

We think of Sam's sketchbook as something similar to what an everyday sketchbook is meant to be. Something that's never quite complete, a place to put your honest attempts and imperfect ideas. Sam says, "I had so many feelings about my experience [using Tinder] and deleted it for a time. But it dawned on me that I had the perfect place to process the feelings and opinions I had about Tinder: my sketchbook.'

However you view your own sketchbook - as a finished product to showcase your unique artistic skill, or as a straightforward and raw documentation of your creative process, we hope Sam's story gives you inspiration to draw what feels right to you! 

 
Emily Morin