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A blank sketchbook was sent to 71 exceptional artists around the world who each illustrated a page. After four and a half years of travel, the sketchbook was completed in January and auctioned last week to raise money for children’s libraries in third-world countries.

Illustrators Gerald Guerlais of France and Dice Tsutsumi of Japan started the project in Paris envisioning their artist pals hand-delivering the book from San Francisco to Tokyo to Barcelona, each added their personal vision to its pages.

The goal of Sketchtravel was to raise $45,000 to build a library in Laos and sponsor the publishing of a children’s book.

But the original sketchbook in its wooden box sold for twice that much with a winning bid of over $96,000 — enough for two libraries. Plus, there were also signed printed deluxe copies sold for a total of $8,000. Printed copies (regular and deluxe) are still selling at (the French language version).

Contributing artists to the sketchbook include such notable animators and comic book artists as Bill Plympton, James Jean, Rebecca Dautremer, Carter Goodrich, Glen Keane, Peter De Séve, and Frederick Back, with the final illustration contributed by the Japanese anime legend Hayao Miyazaki.

The red, bound sketchbook in its hand-carved wooden case was auctioned in Brussels on October 17, with proceeds going to Room To Read, a non-profit organization focusing on literacy and gender equality in education for children in developing countries.

Published copies of the book are also available for sale on and bookstores in France. Two editions are available – a regular hardback copy and a deluxe version with its own case. Plans are in the works to have copies available for sale in the U.S. However, for those who can’t wait, will sell and ship to the U.S. and Canada. Initial stocks were sold out, but more are on the way.

Gerald Guerlais is an illustrator and background designer for cartoons. He has done work for Vivendi Universal Publishing, Excelsior, Bayard Presse, Prisma Presse, Futurikon, Alphanim studio, Xilam studio, and Marathon Media. His work can be seen at

Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi has worked for Lucas Learning Ltd. and Blue Sky Studios, creators of Robots, Ice Age, and Horton Hears a Who! In 2007, Dice joined Pixar Animation Studios as an art director on the Academy Award winning film Toy Story 3. More of his work can be viewed at

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