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Peter Bragino

Peter Bragino

Amityville, New York

At the age of 30, I almost lost everything to drug addiction. This book chronicles my pursuit to achieve my childhood dream of becoming an artist.

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About the author

Peter Bragino is a multi-discipline, mixed-media artist, designer, treasure hunter, and soul searcher. No matter the medium, his art has always been a manifestation of his personal spiritual journey and recovery. He shares his vision with the world in the hope of inspiring a deeper connection between you, the viewer, and your own life journey. He makes art to encourage people to live deeply, love fearlessly, and to appreciate this heavenly place called Earth.

After serving in the Marine Corps for five years, he began his artistic career as a freelance airbrush artist in California. He fell deeply in love with the process of creation and quickly moved on to painting on canvas and creating his own visions. Four years to the date of leaving the Marines, while deep in the throes of addiction--and experiencing recurrent suicidal ideations--he was arrested for drug possession and placed into a one-year court appointed rehabilitation program. Upon completion of the program he moved back to New York to study classical drawing and begin his career as a fine artist.

From the age of 30 on, he has spent well over 7,500 hours honing his craft, at least 5,000 of which were spent drawing the human figure from life. From this, he's created over 40 sketchbooks, thousands of drawings, and hundreds of paintings and three-dimensional works.
Message has always trumped medium. Whether through drawing, murals, sculpture, jewelry, or painting he wants the viewer to see through his eyes how beautiful he believes the world is: to appreciate the Sacred Mysteries of Life. He turned struggle into both art and music--both of which saved his life. Most of all he wants you to remember that dreams really can come true if you dedicate yourself fully to their pursuit and maintain the faith to allow them to be born.

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Success! I AM HUMAN sold 202 pre-orders by March 5, 2018, was pitched to 76 publishers, and will be published by Koehler Books.
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You'll get one copy of my sketchbook - I AM HUMAN, +2 to share with friends at discount, in print and ebook form, plus a HUGE thanks from me in the acknowledgements section. You’ll also get everything in the previous bonus.

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* You’ll also get a special group video session on "drawing the human form" with me.

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Sketchbook of an Addict

Sketchbook of an addict. How I overcame drug addiction to become a professional artist. Over ten years of my most inspired drawings in one book!

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Memoirs Art
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12 publishers interested


At the age of 30 years old, having just finished a one year program for drug addiction, I made the decision to turn my life around and fully pursue my childhood dream of living my life as a professional artist. Although I was already creating and selling art, I didn't know how to draw the human figure. I knew that if I wanted to have a career as an artist it was essential that I added that skill and understanding to my toolkit.  

I AM HUMAN is the sketchbook of an addict that went from destitute to professional artist by learning how to draw the human figure.

This book will connect with aspiring artists, addicts, professional artists, art teachers, art therapists. The market that this book will resonate with is:
- Aspiring and independent artists ages 16-45: (This is a $35B industry with an annual  growth rate of 1.8% between 2011-2016. Employment numbers are 864,318)
- Addicts in recovery: Well over 23 million adults in the US.
- Art therapists: 3.78 million
- Art teachers: 

This book serves the need of inspiring two segmentst of the population that are constantly in a space of struggle. Addicts and artists are consistently facing challenges that seem insurmountable. Both agents are constantly in search of role models that have walked the path to a successful outcome.
For addicts to become sober is a monumental task but the road to stay that way and to become successful in your life is a lifelong struggle. This segment needs to see, above all, proof that it’s possible. There’s nothing more inspiring than knowing someone that’s walked the path in front of you. It’s important to show that success is possible. 

For artists, it’s the same situation. It’s very rare that you see an artist that’s able to break through the starving artist paradigm. It pains me to see the struggle that the artistic community goes through to find pathways to success. Drawing the human figure is by far one of the most difficult challenges that an artist will face in their pursuit to become a professional. Most will never acquire this skill. 

It’s important for artists to see proof that the path which lies ahead is achievable. It’s also important to have insights from other artists that have walked the road ahead of you, especially when it comes to drawing the human form. This book offers a glimpse into the path that most aspiring artists seek.

The message of this book is unique because it’s a double barrel shot of overcoming limitations, struggle, and fear to achieve the illusive goal of self-realization and love. Facing down recovery and becoming a professional artist at the age of 30 is not the best place to start, but I’m proof that it’s possible.

To someone that’s younger than 30 that’s encouraging. To those later in life it’s still a testament of what can be done at any age. People need this message of success--It’s a vital part of how we rise each day and tackle this thing called life. 

This message is extremely important today. More and more people are struggling to find their way and getting lost in a distracted world. I should have never been able to overcome my limitations but I did and I did it in two very difficult spaces.
The other unique thing about my book is the fact that the reader will essentially own the best drawings from all of my sketchbooks. 

Owning an artist’s sketchbook is very rare. This is the raw, behind the scenes material that the general public never really gets to see. This is where the magic of creativity is formed. This is the source of all inspiration for the visual artist. 

I created this book to celebrate the journey of success in realizing a dream and the visual path in chronological order that I took to get there. The story and the images are a testimony, and a record, of how a dream is built: slowly, consistently, and persistently. It also documents the self-talk that you’ll find throughout the pages that was instrumental in encouraging and teaching myself along the way. In the end I created this book to show other people that dreams are possible. 

Readers can use this book in a number of ways: Artists can use it as a source of inspiration, learning, and encouragement. Teachers can use this means to highlight lessons to their art students. Addicts can keep this as a reminder that their road to a realized life is possible. I see this book as inspiring, educational, and entertaining.


Section 1: Fishing for Figures
In this section I’m presenting a visual journey of my quest to learn how to draw the human figure. I’ve mined the 40+ sketchbooks that I have created within a 12 year period from 2002 - 2014 and pulled the drawings that I felt were the stepping stones in my understanding of drawing the human form.

Section 2: Moving Mannikins
This section marks an important step in the evolution of me being able to draw the human figure. At this point I had been drawing from the live model for a long time. It’s currently the beginning of 2012 and I’ve decided to study anatomy for artists. I was looking to take my understanding of the human form to the next level. I chose an online anatomy class by Scott Eaton which was an incredible learning experience, but the thing that influenced me the most at this point was a recommendation from Scott. He suggested that, in order to draw the figure effectively, it’s important to be able to construct it from your imagination. He referenced a book by Andrew Loomis called “Figure Drawing for all it’s Worth”.  In this book I found a chapter called “Moving Mannikins” and it’s a fairly simple exercise. Construct a slightly advanced stick-figure-like mannikin and learn how to pose it in as many ways as you can from your imagination.

Section 3: Creating Characters
This section marks a place in my development where I’m looking to further my ability to draw the human figure. I’ve decided to take an online course called The Fundamentals of Character design offered through CGMA (Computer Graphics Masters Academy). Although I had the tendency to make characters out of my drawings up to this point, I had never actually studied the craft of character design. Some of the characters that appear on the last eight pages of the section before this were drawn while I was taking this class as well. The pages that follow comprise, in chronological order, one entire sketchbook dedicated to this course.


Primary Target Market:
- Aspiring and mid-career artists: This book is relevant to them because they always need inspiration, reference, and insights into the creative process of other artists. They are either starting out as artists or on their way to becoming professionals. They always keep reference books around them and love looking at other artists’ sketchbooks. They would keep this book close by because it’s informative, inspiring, and a great design reference for them. This book will be an indispensable tool to the developing artist.

- Aspiring and independent artists ages 16-45: (This is a $35B industry with an annual  growth rate of 1.8% between 2011-2016. Employment numbers are 864,318)

Secondary Target Market:
- Addicts in recovery: Well over 23 million adults in the US.
- Art therapists: 3.78 million


Strategic Marketing :
Mailing list: 375 - Facebook 2,600 - Instagram 1,010 - Linkedin 499
- Social media posts - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
- Live streaming - I host a live streaming show on Facebook
- Blog posts and influencers. I plan to publish teaser blog posts and reach out to top bloggers for interview opportunities.
- Webinars - I will be holding webinar previews to answer questions and give a sneak peek into the book. I'll also be doing live drawing demos.


- The sketchbook project ( is the only place that I can find that has done anything similar to this. Their incredible success was a key factor in determining the market desire for accessing an artist’s actual sketchbook.

- Nico Marlet has a sketchbook on the market but it's a shell of a book and utterly disappointing. You can find it here -
Although Nico is one of the leading character designers working today, his sketchbook is limited and essentially boring. It's not his best work by far. Whereas, my book is a fully -unedited look at what my real sketchbook is all about--with all of my best work placed into this volume. It will surely be a treasured part of anyone’s collection.

- James Gurney just released "The Living Sketchbook App"--This is a very interesting project where he's using the ebook or app format to offer insights into the locations where he sketched the images in the book. http://gurneyjourney.blogspot....

I could potentially do the same type of thing as Gurney with insights into drawing the human figure and teaching moments throughout the ebook. There could also be words of encouragement and added story between the pages. That would make the ebook a viable project on it's own above and beyond the physical book. This would incentivize people to own both...

12 publishers interested
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  • Anna Young
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 3:32 p.m.

    This is such an inspiring concept! I can’t wait to see how far it goes!

  • Peter Bragino
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 3:37 p.m.

    Thank you Anna. I’m super exciting for its possibilities. :)

  • Lynn Huguet
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 3:48 p.m.

    Can’t wait to read your story!!! Wonderful achievement to be able to share with the workd. I am sure this book is filled with anti g wisdom and lessons for all

  • Keith Kroger
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 4:04 p.m.

    I'm excited for this book and you! Great job!

  • Stephanie DeSimone
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 4:55 p.m.

    Thank you Peter for sharing your journey and congratulations on making this book! I can’t wait to read this and see your work in this format. This is such a great accomplishment and very inspiring! Much love!!

  • Mark Lange
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 5:21 p.m.

    Your devotion and prolificness are inspiring man!

  • Diana L. Tedone
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 5:53 p.m.

    We are so very proud of You Peter. You've always been like a son to both Al & I. And, Very good at keeping secrets that we never knew...Al agrees ! We Love You dearly....So proud of the Man you've Become. You've worked so Hard and deserve so much credit for all that you've accomplished. NEVER give up your Dreams ! xo

  • Peter Bragino
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 6:16 p.m.

    Thank you Stephanie!! I appreciate you my friend..

  • Peter Bragino
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 6:16 p.m.

    Mark Lange. You're a champion my friend. Much love man...

  • Peter Bragino
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 6:17 p.m.

    Thank you Diana and Al. You're both important people in my life. Mi Famiglia!!

  • Peter Bragino
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 9:05 p.m.

    Thank you Deanna!! Can't wait to get it to you..

  • Larissa Grass
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 9:08 p.m.

    Your such an inspiration to us! Good luck on your new venture!

  • Gina Lonardo
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 9:48 p.m.

    <3 so excited to own this sketchbook plus be able to share it with Anna and Frankie also ... love you tons and you always have our support xo <3

  • Sandra Jones
    on Feb. 3, 2018, 9:57 p.m.

    So excited to see this project moving forward. I am pleased at the opportunity to support this!

  • Gloria Rexer
    on Feb. 4, 2018, 6:23 a.m.

    Dear Peter, I truly admire your work - and the fact that you went through a difficult path to get where you are just makes it all more special. Hope you can get funding for your book and looking forward to it! All the best, Gloria Rexer.

  • Norma Tyson
    on Feb. 4, 2018, 1:21 p.m.

    God Bless you on your journey! You are not alone Peter many of us are praying for your success ❤️

  • Mario Morales
    on Feb. 4, 2018, 2:49 p.m.

    I wish I had a picture of that sketch painting you had hanging in your room in HB. I could look at that thing and always find something new.

  • Johanna Schneider
    on Feb. 4, 2018, 3:59 p.m.

    Wishing you all the best and wishes for a continued success as an artist who touches the world.

  • John Hendrick
    on Feb. 4, 2018, 6:26 p.m.

    Peter -- I'm so excited to see this book in person! I've always been a fan of your art style! And the personal journey makes this book even cooler! I think my students may find it an inspiration as well! -- Best of luck, brother!

  • Peter Bragino
    on Feb. 4, 2018, 9:13 p.m.

    Alright, you're gonna have to excuse the mass thank you post but I can't respond individually to posts on here so I'm going to do this one together. Larissa and Pete, Gina, Sandra, Amanda, Michael and Roxi, Johnny Ferrara, Meryl, Gloria, Norma, Mario, Kristin, Kate, Johanna, and John. I appreciate and love you all. Thank you so much for your support!!

  • Teresa Pena
    on Feb. 4, 2018, 10:29 p.m.

    Thank you for publishing this art that represents your healing journey. I'm honored to be able to see it.

  • Meagan Flaherty
    on Feb. 5, 2018, 12:06 a.m.

    I am so proud of you, my friend! I. Any wait to share your work with the children I teach.

  • Robert Jones
    on Feb. 5, 2018, 12:20 a.m.

    Solid work. Excited to see this. Love your exploration with the line and color.

  • Guy Vincent
    on Feb. 5, 2018, 7:30 a.m.

    Congrats Peter! This is an inspiring story. Wishing you success with your Publishizer campaign :)

  • Julia Brandt
    on Feb. 5, 2018, 5:49 p.m.

    gassho, thank you. keep inspiring and getting inspired! --julia

  • Louis Lemoine
    on Feb. 6, 2018, 6:02 p.m.

    peter...just preordered your fabulous book. can’t wait to enjoy and be inspired by your awesome work. congrats to you and best wishes on this new adventure my friend.

  • Peter Bragino
    on Feb. 6, 2018, 7:44 p.m.

    Here's another mass gratitude post - I want to thank Terri Pena, Meagan Flaherty, Robert Jones, Guy Vincent, Chris Silvestre, Julia Brandt, Kate Grasso, Uddit Sachdev, and Louis Lemoine. Each one of you is completely awesome and I'm honored to have you on this journey with me. Thank you, thank you, thank, you, thank you!!!

  • Rich Wright
    on Feb. 6, 2018, 10:34 p.m.

    Keep on, keeping on brotha!! Blessings

  • John Bragino
    on Feb. 6, 2018, 11:44 p.m.

    I am so proud to call you my brother and am in awe of where you have come from and where you are now with your art. You continue to amaze everyone who sees your work and always seem to surprise us with new, amazing, and absolutely beautiful work each and every time. No matter what happens, you deserve the world and I am sure that anyone who is blessed enough to make your acquaintance feels the same and is blown away by your generous, light hearted enlightened nature. You lift everyone's spirits around you and even if you didn't have a pot to piss in, you would make the best of your current situation, and that is all that matters in life. Stay positive, keep doing what you are doing. That door to recognition is right around the corner. You deserve the best. I have faith that these publishers will realize all of this and not be able to pass up this golden opportunity for what you have to offer. Love you bro!

  • Peter Bragino
    on Feb. 7, 2018, 12:31 a.m.

    Thank you Steve Martin - I loved you in "Father of the Bride" - HaHa, JK. You're awesome, and thanks for always being there for me...

  • Peter Bragino
    on Feb. 7, 2018, 12:33 a.m.

    John B - Your words touch me deeply and give me incredible strength to carry onward with this crazy creative life. I'm honored to call you my brother..

  • Zachary Humphrey
    on Feb. 7, 2018, 2:03 a.m.

    Love you, brother. Happy to see you continuing to follow your passion. You and your art inspires me. Aho!

  • Marino Bragino
    on Feb. 7, 2018, 7:03 p.m.

    Can’t wait to see all of the amazing ideas and sketches in this book. The Girls are going to be so excited to have this. Wishing you the best of luck with this incredible opportunity.

  • joan scafuto
    on Feb. 8, 2018, 9:18 p.m.

    "What can I say....except I LOVE YOU MY GODSON & HOLD YOU DEAR TO MY HEART ALWAYS. Best of Luck in this new endeavor....and may you NEVER EVER stop DREAMING & CREATING ART!!! Love Aunt Joan :)

  • Carolyn MARTINICH
    on Feb. 9, 2018, 12:22 a.m.

    I continue to be fascinated by your talents and drawn to your creative energy. Wishing you all of the luck and magic of the universe as you continue your journey. buddy

  • Dylan Williams
    on Feb. 9, 2018, 1:56 p.m.

    Much love Pete. I wish you great success and am so pleased to see you achieve what is so important to all of us, love and wisdom. thank you.

    Dylan & Amanda

  • Peter Bragino
    on Feb. 9, 2018, 3:07 p.m.

    Seriously, you guys all rock. I'm completely humbled by the response on this. Marino, Stelios, Christian, Mom, Aunt Joan, Carolyn, Carol, and Dylan and Amanda. So much love to each of you and thank you for the support!!

  • Naomi Wolf
    on Feb. 10, 2018, 2 p.m.

    I believe in all you do and I am encouraged by your strength and gifts and how generously you share them! Looking forward to seeing this book in print!!

  • Stevenson Khuon-Luy
    on Feb. 18, 2018, 5:18 a.m.

    Peter, I was deeply inspired by your story and of course your artistic journey and breakthrough that you shared through your sketchbook with me. You’ve inspired me to pursue an artistic path once again and to continue striving to fulfill my dreams in the process. Thank you and Godspeed!

  • Christopher Lekanides
    on Feb. 18, 2018, 7:09 p.m.

    Talented and inspiring. I’ve been in awe of Pete’s work since I was a kid and saw the start of these sketches while skating with his younger brother. He’s the most genuine person and it shows in all his art.

  • Peter Bragino
    on Feb. 19, 2018, 5:09 p.m.

    Thank you Blair, NIck, Naomi, Gabriella, MIchael, Stevenson, and Christopher. You're all amazing. I so appreciate each of you. Blessings my friend..

  • Dina Palma
    on Feb. 22, 2018, 12:39 p.m.

    So proud of your commitment to growth & Change. I’m inspired as always by your work!

  • Reno Venturi
    on Feb. 24, 2018, 6:22 p.m.

    Really looking forward to what I know will be an exceptional experience with this book!

  • David Hanley
    on Feb. 27, 2018, 7:24 a.m.

    Good Luck Peter. Hope you hit your quota, you deserve it!
    -D. Hanley

  • Kelly Smith
    on Feb. 28, 2018, 1:05 a.m.

    Good luck Pete! Can’t wait for the release.

  • Ian Cinco
    on March 3, 2018, 3:27 a.m.

    Best of luck buddy! Lets build together.

  • AJ Springer
    on March 4, 2018, 4:39 p.m.

    Peter, you are doing something really beautiful with this project. Its really meaningful and inspiring for me because I'm also trying to publish something that relates to my own battle through mental illness. It takes so much to put yourself out there with not only your work but your personal stuggles. I wish you the best of luck and cant wait to see the book!

  • Anupama Annam
    on March 4, 2018, 9:24 p.m.

    Thanks for making this sketchbook available to us Peter!

  • Julie Altieri
    on March 4, 2018, 9:46 p.m.

    Peter, we are so amazed at your talent and spirit. We can’t wait to see your book and to see you again! Rock on! Love, cousin Tom and Julie

  • Peter Bragino
    on March 4, 2018, 10:04 p.m.

    Kelly, Sam, Anthony, Ian, AJ, Anu, and Julie and Tom. Yes to all of you. I'm honored and humbled by your contributions and support of this project. A million thanks to each of you!

  • Yvonne Santana
    on March 5, 2018, 2:45 a.m.

    Lol!! Got your number 200. Also!! Who's better than me? Lol

  • Dorota Lobrow
    on March 5, 2018, 3:08 a.m.

    I’ve been waiting for a book!!! Such an exciting event to be sharing with you!!! So proud!! Can’t wait to receive it!!! Thanks

  • Anonymous
    on Jan. 17, 2019, 1:10 a.m.

    How wonderful Peter! Congrats and I am so excited and happy for you. And excited to read your book! Your talent is abounding❤