"Reportage drawing has been the lifeline of my artistic life. It’s the way I was trained as a student, the way I work now as an illustrator, and the way I teach my students to approach their art. Reportage engages the world in a direct, emotional way, and allows for the personality of the artist to shine through. When I go on location to draw and paint, I experience the place and can feel a part of it in a way that is possible only through art. I have been plotzed on by pigeons in San Marco, chased by an irate jazz musician in New Orleans, surrounded by curious tourists in the Forbidden City (who were scattered by the Chinese army, no less), spritzed by holy water at a Japanese temple, jostled by excited fans at a bullfight and interrogated by a New Jersey highway patrolman, and I have loved every minute of it. Not to mention the many, many personal stories related to memory and place that have been entrusted to me over the years by people as I've wandered around the world, sketchbook in hand. Reportage is a way to understand culture, customs and ultimately, human nature. I've met so many people through the language of art and drawing, and heard so many stories: it’s been a wonderful experience for me. As a native of New York City, I thrive on multi-cultural urban environments, and whether I’m traveling around the world or drawing the world right here in Manhattan, reportage is my way of connecting with it all."
On the flag: Charlottesville, Virginia, USA sketcher Jessie Chapman sketching at Charlottesville train station with UVA Medical Center in the distance.
Urban Sketchers is a grassroots 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the art of on-location drawing. Consider making a donation today to help us continue to 'Show the World, One Drawing at a Time.' All donations in the United States are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.
1. We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
2. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
3. Our drawings are a record of time and place.
4. We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
5. We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
6. We support each other and draw together.
7. We share our drawings online.
8. We show the world, one drawing at a time.
The Urban Sketchers logo was created by Italian graphic designer Franco Lancio.