It started as an experiment

One thousand blank journals were left in cafes, on trains, in bars. They were given to friends and mailed to strangers. Pasted inside were simple instructions: read the journal, add to it, then pass it on. When completed, the journals would be returned to the experiment's originator, the artist Someguy.

What developed is captivating, entertaining and inspirational. Some recipients wrote prose, others collaged, and still others doodled. The journals themselves had stories to tell. They traveled the world, have been the subject of treasure hunts, been brought to remote mountaintops, left in lost-and-found, and even stolen at gunpoint.

THE 1000 JOURNALS PROJECT assembles 250 of the best entries in one volume. You'll find a collage of African countries repositioned into a new continent, the musings of a teen trapped in a drug-ravaged community, and a student's humorous personal ad for his ideal girlfriend ("C-cup required!"). A faux leather cover and two beautifully embroidered pages bring the look and feel of the original journals to life.

"The project was inspired by my fascination with what people write on bathroom walls," says the project's creator, Someguy. "I had been photographing these public 'conversations,' and wanted to do a book about them. When considering the book, it seemed that the reader should also be able to participate in the conversation—to comment on what was written on the walls."

What compelled Someguy to lug boxes of the journals to the post office and coffee shops, and give them to strangers? "I'm one of those guys who has a lot of ideas," says Someguy. "But I never actually do them. If you've ever heard someone say 'They stole my idea! I thought of that a year ago!', that's me. This was the first time that I knew I had to follow through with one of my ideas. I don't know how better to explain it, other than I'm not sure I had a choice in the matter."

So far, Someguy has received back two completed journals, eight partially completed journals, and many more stay active, with "sightings" and scans tracked on the Web site,

The project has clearly resonated with and inspired its participants. "At first, I was surprised by the positive response," says Someguy. "I had no idea how many people would want to participate. Once people started emailing, it became clear I was on to something. I was also surprised how long it took people to contribute, and the manner in which they did. I imagined a short engagement, similar to being in a bathroom stall and scrawling some comments or making a drawing. It turns out, people were intimidated by the journals, and wanted to spend days, weeks, or months working on their piece."

Why did he choose to use the pseudonym "Someguy"? "I wanted the focus to be on what people do with the journals, not on me," says Someguy. "The book contains none of my artwork, it's all by other people. 'Someguy' has sort of become my artist name (since I don't get a rapper name)."

Browse some of the compelling journal entries from the book in this excerpt.

If you're inspired, you can start your own traveling journal in phase two of the project, named 1001 Journals. The site provides bookplates that will help you start your own traveling or location-based journal project. Visit:
"The 1000 Journals Project" by Someguy ● Foreword by Kevin Kelly


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