Yesterday my Mom sent me a link to The Sketchbook Project.
What a cool thing! The idea is that you sign up for $25 ($20 additional to digitize the sketchbook), pick a theme from their ample list, and they send you a 32-page sketchbook to fill with art based on the chosen theme. The sketchbooks--ALL of them, whether you're famous or a no one or how talented you are judged to be by any given person--then tour North America. The 2011 sketchbooks are going to be near me at the end of July so I definitely have to go check that out!
After the tour the sketchbooks will be kept at the Brooklyn Art Library.
Although $45 is a lot of money for me right now, I signed up for the sketchbook and the digitization, because I love the idea of people being able to see such an intimate piece of my art and thumb through it and enjoy it without having to visit me and ask me to see it, and I like the idea in general. I chose the theme "Time Traveler" and I'll be filling my book with characters from my books and their historical trappings. Since it'll be digitized you can see it online even if you can't get to the tour stops or the Brooklyn Art Library.
I also love the "themed sketchbook as art piece" idea in general. I have slews of sketchbooks but none of them are themed. I think it will be easier to buckle down and create something good if I know it will be out in the world.