The Sketchbook is an alternative magazine in which Williams students can freely express their artistic ideas—from half-finished poems and creative writing to notebook doodles and finished drawings. Seniors and English majors Nandita Batheja and Margaret Moore co-founded The Sketchbook in 2010 to create an open forum that would spark dialogue among the student body and showcase artwork and writing in any stage of completion.
“Williams is overflowing with talented and uniquely creative students,” says Nandita. “But with all this talent comes the fear that you’re not as good as someone else. We wanted to create a magazine that didn’t have to be perfect and where students could work through their ideas or submit things that were only partially finished.”
“The Sketchbook,” adds Margaret, “is one of the few spaces on campus where students can share their thoughts and work with each other.”
The Sketchbook staff is comprised of six to eight students who participate in the layout process. Two editions have been published so far, with a third one in the works. “Our aim is to capture the artistic process in a communal way, ” says Nandita.
“We put all of the submissions on the table together and we see what works,” adds Moore. “A poem that might not be strong independently may become a lot more interesting when paired with a certain photo or drawing.”
“We love when people send in simple thoughts, writing exercises, or things that they might jot down in their own notebooks,” says Nandita. “We try to capture the creative process. Our main goal is simply to foster an open and supportive creative community at Williams.”
Above artworks, left to right by: Isabel Greer ’14, Jaimee K Comstock-Skipp, MA ’12, and Daniel B. Schreiner ’14.