My Theme Park

As my 2012 Arthouse sketchbook tours America searching for its 3rd checkout I’m starting to think about participating in the 2013 project.  The one thing holding me back is a lack of inspiration.

When signing up to the 2012 worldwide art project you had to select a theme from a list of 30 or so words, phrases or titles.  Whilst I found this list initially very constrictive, it provided a great starting point to get my creative juices flowing.

The 2013 is different.  Instead of whimsical themes that grab your imagination by the hand and lead it off into the sunset, there is a choice of 10 book “categories”.  This somewhat clinical starting point had just built a barrier between me and the 2013 project.  The Wife, who enjoyed her first forage in the woods if creativity with the 2012 project, was devastated: how was she going to find the spark to generate enough energy to overcome her nervousness towards being “creative”.  She found being forced to choose a theme in 2012 helped push her forward.  This year’s list was just too vague to offer her any direction.

The only way I was going to get over my own barrier and help The Wife find a starting point, would be to brainstorm like I’ve never brainstormed before.  Clichés, sayings, single words; they all spewed onto the page of my everyday sketchbook.

That was 2 months ago.  Arthouse have expanded the 2013 book categories to 20 and whilst some of them are more intriguing they still don’t have the same pull as last year.  I have now reviewed my mess of ideas and whittled them down to 20 themes that I hope will provide sufficient inspiration for me and sufficient confidence to The Wife.  And who knows, they might just come in handy to other sketchbookers!

Below is my list of theme ideas.  Please feel free to use them, all I ask in return is that you post a comment letting me know which one you’ve used and why. Enjoy!

Are we nearly there yet?
Building blocks
Home is where the heart is
How does your garden grow?
In the shadows
Making tracks
No signal
Opposites attract
Private! Keep out!
Record breaker
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Roll 6 to start
Sunshine and showers
True colours

For more about the Arthouse Co-op and their projects visit http://


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