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Artist Loses Irreplaceable Sketchbook, But Community Doesn’t Rest Until It’s Found!

Dmitry reached out to his community hoping that someone had seen the book.

An artist always puts a piece of themself into their work. So, you can imagine how devasted Dmitry Bondarenko was when he discovered that he’d lost a sketchbook filled with his drawings and paintings! To make things worse, this wasn’t just any notebook. The black hardcover volume contained ten years of art.

“It had a particular sentimental value because there are things that are painted in there that I don’t think I’ll ever have access to again in my life,” said Dmitry, according to the Toronto Star.

Dmitry Bondarenko's sketchbook filled with his art.
Dmitry Bondarenko/Facebook

Dmitry was on his way to meet a friend when the sketchbook fell out of the basket on his bicycle. Unfortunately, he didn’t notice what had happened until later. Although he went back to search for it along the route he’d taken, he didn’t have any luck.

After striking out looking for the item on his own, Dmitry decided to reach out to his community. He posted about his loss on the Weird Toronto Facebook page, hoping that someone had seen it somewhere.

Dmitry reached out to his community hoping that someone had seen the book.
Dmitry Bondarenko/Facebook

“Normally I’d just let it go, but this book was different,” he wrote in the post. “It was full of paintings I made over the last 10+ years and of significant sentimental value. Some losses and mistakes simply hurt more than others, and I need to give finding this book a try.”

Eventually, the post reached 75-year-old Chris Ellam, who had found the sketchbook on the path where Dmitry lost it. After seeing the artwork inside, Chris had taken it home to keep it safe from the elements. However, he really wanted to find its owner.

A painting from inside Dmitry's missing sketchbook.
Dmitry Bondarenko/Facebook

“I was not settled with it in my home,” Chris said.

Luckily, other Facebook users were able to connect him with the artist. The two met in person so that Chris could return the notebook. Dmitry was more than grateful to have his prized possession back, but the other man refused to accept any compensation for his troubles. Instead, he provided a piece of advice.

A portrait inside the missing sketchbook.
Dmitry Bondarenko/Facebook

“I lectured him like an old man,” said Chris. “I told him, ‘Put your name and number in it!'”

Now that Dmitry has his artwork back, we hope he does just that!

You can find the source of this story’s featured images here and here.

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