Everyone wants to be creative, but it’s hard to take that first step. We wanted to create something to make that first step easier. sketchmi is a portable, mini-lightbox that uses your tablet screen as both a source of light and a tracing guide.
In a world where electronics are becoming ubiquitous to daily life, sketchmi bridges the gap between the digital world of devices and analog fun of putting pen to paper!
We're really excited to get sketchmi in the hands of kids and adults everywhere, but we need your help to make it a reality.
How does it work?
sketchmi opens the door to lots of possibilities. Load your tablet in a sketchmi, flip the plastic flap and you’re ready to do a sketchlet or photo trace! The plastic keeps your hand from shifting the image while you draw AND protects your tablet screen. (Note: Just like traditional light boxes, sketchmi works best in slightly dimmer settings.)
Every sketchmi comes with sketchlets, which are nifty drawing activities that give your kid a place to start. Visit our webpage from your tablet to access our entire library of sketchlets, pick one out, and start creating!
Sketchlets come in a variety of different themed packs, so every kid can find something that gets them excited. (Note: Our sketchlet page will go live when sketchmis are shipped out.) Here are some examples of sketchlet exercises:
We’ve got lots of ideas for super cool sketchlet packs, but we’d love to hear from you! Vote and/or suggest sketchlets you’d like to see on our website.
With sketchmi, you can also practice drawing almost anything you want, allowing you to trace directly from any photo. Google a picture of a frog, try shading a portrait of your cousin, or take a photo of a cool building.
(Note: because of screen brightness resolution, sketchmi works best with photos with high contrast and defined lines. For photos, we find sketchmi to be really useful for practicing shading.)
You can use sketchmi with standard computer paper or any thinner paper (no special paper needed!). If you want to use sketchlets on-the-go, just download them from our webpage before leaving the house.
Specifications + other important stuff
Who is sketchmi for?
While sketchmi is designed for kids 9 to 14 years old, anyone between the ages of 9 to 99 with access to a tablet can pick up a sketchmi to explore their creative awesomeness. Customize your own sketchmi experience with our sketchlet packs of varying difficulty. Challenge yourself by creating your own font, prototyping your own app interface, or designing your dream home. The possibilities are endless!
People have already made awesome things!
Here are some of our favorite things created with sketchmi. You can see a full gallery on our website.
Design INSPIRATION: hardcover books
sketchmi is designed to look and feel like a simple sketchbook, so it's made with many of the same materials and manufacturing methods as a hardcover book (sketchmis and hardcovers are basically cousins!)
More about us + the birth of sketchmi
Hi! We’re Alex and Kylie, two seniors studying Product Design engineering at Stanford University. We’ve both had trouble when with drawing, and so we’re really passionate about inspiring creative confidence.
We started out on our mission by talking to a lot of real people, and we learned that no matter how old you are, creative exploration can be hard. And so, we were inspired to show kids that it’s not so scary to explore. By providing an experience of guided mastery, we want to show them that they can create awesome things, as long as they’re willing to give it a try. The name sketchmi actually comes from sketch + てみる (te-mi-ru), which in Japanese means "to try".
We’ve been interviewing and testing with real people, listening to feelings and feedback, and refining and prototyping and pivoting tons of times. After much iteration, we’ve landed on an idea that we’re really excited about, and we’d love for you to join us on our journey.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions!
A huge thank you to...
everyone who helped get our project to where it is today. We wouldn't be here without our dedicated mentors, willing and patient testers, and supportive friends and family. We love you!
Video music credit: "Summertime" by Nicolai Heidlas
For the month of our Kickstarter, we present: 30 days of sketchmi! We'll do a brand new sketch every day, to give you a sampling of the fantastic things you can make with sketchmi. Check 'em out here.
Risks and challenges
There are a few risks, but we’re confident that we’ll be able to handle them.
SHIP DATE: We have factored in extra buffer time for the manufacturing process and are confident that we will ship sketchmis to our backers living in the US and Canada by early August, and all other customers thereafter. We will definitely keep you informed if things take longer than planned.
PRODUCT: We’ve undergone many rounds of testing and refinement to bring you a product that we believe in. We have access to a great team of mentors with a depth of experience in developing and launching products. We’re thinking up exciting sketchlet packs (and accepting suggestions) to give you the best sketchmi experience possible!
MANUFACTURING: We have established relationships with experienced and reputable US-based manufacturers to reduce the risk of delay and ensure that we can deliver high-quality products to our backers. We will work closely with them to minimize any risks and to resolve challenges swiftly and effectively.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)