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The Sendak Artist Roll: A Walkthrough Video

We’ve watched all of the YouTube reviews of our Sendak Artist Roll (thank you!) and have made our own video to answer some questions and share our experience!

We are grateful for all the wonderful Sendak reviews, and for sharing videos and spreading the word!

Video Transcript

Hello, everyone! I wanted to give you a little walkthrough of our Sendak Artist Roll. I've been seeing a lot of other people's video walkthroughs and it's been inspiring me to do the same.


Here is my very well-loved and very well-used Sendak. This is the first "right one" that we made. We went through a lot of trial and error to get to this, so I want to show you what it has the potential to hold.

Supplies in my Sendak: Scissors and Glue (0:30)

I always have glue with me because I do a lot of messy collage work, so I love to glue things and I also have scissors for that same reason. I use small scissors if I'm traveling anywhere where I'm getting on a plane, and I use big scissors if I'm just traveling in a car. Both sizes fit into the Sendak nicely. I tend to put the big scissors on an end, in one of the smaller pockets. The smaller scissors fit anywhere, it just depends what else I have in my Sendak.

The Pencil Pockets (0:55)

One of the most common requests that we get and one of the things that people tend to comment on is that these pencil pockets are too small for fountain pens. While that's true of this Kaweco cap (the bottom fits, the top doesn't), this vintage technical pen is pretty chunky, and I put it in there all the time. I carry two or three. You can see how it kind of draws the Sendak together, so ultimately there's going to be a little bit less room in other pockets. It's making other things more tight, but really, it's fine.

When the Sendak is new, the waxed canvas might be tight to even just fit a pencil, but as you use it, it breaks in and loosens up, and then it doesn't loosen any further – that's where it's going to stay. Once you use it more, you can easily fit two standard pencils or paintbrushes into each slot, so it's really not a too small slot once you break it in. 

Art Studio Desk with journals and drawing supplies and sendak artist roll filled with pens, pencils, and paint brushes

Supplies in my Sendak: Pencils (1:35)

I love these beginners pencils that have really soft lead. I love making marks that are a little less particular than, for example, when I'm using my mechanical pencils (which I also love).

So, these are some of the supplies that I carry every day. I think where the variation comes in, is in which pencils I want, which softness levels, or if I want a water soluble pencil. I'll put the pencils together in this end pocket. It's important to note that the Blackwing fits in. This Blackwing pencil was sharpened once and it makes it a perfect fit. This one was never sharpened, and the eraser is worn down a bit, so it's just above that folding point (the Sendak measures 7.75″ tall at the folding point). The taller one will obviously still work, but I know these are awesome pencils that a lot of people have, so I wanted to show you that.

Supplies in my Sendak: Pens (2:15)

Another thing that I carry are dippy pens. I will put pen nibs into a tin. I love using antique tins to store pen nibs, and in this case, a kneaded eraser. These tins are great for little art supplies, and I just put them into the zipper pocket.

The Zipper Pocket (2:30)

In addition to the vintage tin, I put another regular eraser. When pencils get too small for the pencil pockets, then I'll put them in the zipper pocket. I also have some extra lead for my mechanical pencils, a pencil sharpener, and I often have a whitewash in there as well. You can fit a lot in this zipper pocket.

I like to not overstuff my Sendak so that it folds nicely. I really like it to fold up rather than to roll up, which happens when it is very stuffed.

The Interior Pockets (2:55)

We have 16 pen and pencil slots in the front, and then we have four pockets behind those. So these four are varying widths – you could see the width of the smaller ones that I use for scissors or pencils, which measure 2.5″ wide. The larger two measure 4.25″ wide. I use these two bigger pockets for sketchbooks.

We make these Landscape Orra Sketchbooks in our shop. We designed them to fit into both this Sendak and the Mini Sendak. They can also serve as a tool protector if you need it, for example, if I was putting in a dippy pen whose nib needed protecting, or paint brushes, that would be a great tool protector. We also sell acrylic tool protectors separately if you don't want to carry a Sketchbook or Painter's Palette.

The Iris Painter's Palette is another product that we make. It is for squeezing in tube paints, watercolors, or in this case, making your own paint and filling up these wells with homemade paint. This was made to fit in both the Classic Sendak and the Mini Sendak as well, in these large interior pockets.

I'm going to put my palette here, and these pens in the back here with some small scissors. I want to have another paint brush and then whatever colors I want to bring. Sometimes I get really organized and other times I just put stuff in. You don't have to be crazy overthinking this. It's just really supposed to hold what you need – what you need for the day, what you need for a week, what you need for a trip.

I also often have a bookbinding needle held in the top flap here, and I'll put some bookbinding thread here in the zipper pocket, in case I want to make a book. I'll also prepare by having folded paper here in these exterior pockets.

The Exterior Pockets (4:30)

These two outside pockets otherwise are great for random sized sketchbooks like this – this would have been one of those random ones that I made. I also love this tin. It's for 15 neocolors, but I've had it for years and I move pastels or other more delicate stuff into here that I don't want to crumble in the pen pockets. It's a really nice fit for these back pockets.

Exterior pockets on the Sendak Artist Roll, with thin sketchbook and tin reused for pastels

This is our Orra Portrait Sketchbook, which we made to fit into the Classic Sendak. We have three sizes of these sketchbooks – the Portrait, the Large Portrait, and the Landscape.

Closing the Sendak (5:00)

So when I fold up the Sendak – this one is pretty full with everything that I just stuffed into the outside pockets – but when I fold it up, I will hold everything down and pull down this top flap so that it folds nicely. Then I roll in the sides, starting with the zipper pocket, so that all the parts of my Sendak are where they should be. Then I just synch it closed with the leather strap and buckle.

I'd say this is pretty full – I have stuff in every pocket. In some instances, I have more than one thing in a pocket. There's still a lot of room on this leather strap. So that's it! This will fit nicely into my bag, and I've got what I need for a long time.

The Buckle Closure

Another question that we've had is about this buckle. This comes from a gun sling from maybe the forties, and it was intended to function exactly as we use it. We found that it just really holds the Sendak together nicely, and of course, we love incorporating old bits wherever we can, into whatever we make.

So there you have it! My Sendak, lovingly worn in and full of life.

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I absolutely love my mini Sendak. I use it constantly and I am saving for the larger one. Thank you for your talent. Genius design.

My Mini Sendak works just the same (but smaller), and I love figuring out where to put different items and discovering how much it will hold for me. It’s a truly useful piece — built to outlast me, I’m sure! Thank you for making such a thoughtful thing for whatever art I could want to make. <3<3

I love how you shared how you fill your Sendak. I think I’m trying to be too fussy about mine. Just grab what I think I’ll want and go!

I love how you shared how you fill your Sendak. I think I’m trying to be too fussy about mine. Just grab what I think I’ll want and go!