November 20, 2009

Five years later, Casarosa's sketchcrawls keep us drawing


Interview by Simo Capecchi
uSk Naples (Italy) correspondent [blog]

Right now, people around the world are dusting off sketchbooks, sharpening pencils and packing watercolors. Saturday is the 25th World Wide SketchCrawl, a day to indulge in non-stop drawing, recording every moment with pen and paper and opening our sketchbooks for others to see. To mark the occasion, we talked to Enrico Casarosa, the multitalented animator at Pixar, comic book artist, illustrator and sketcher who put out the first global sketching call five years ago.

When and how did you have the idea of Sketchcrawl?
sketchcrawllogo-sIn the summer of 2004 I came up with the idea of spending a whole Saturday drawing around San Francisco. I didn't want to stop drawing for a day. The name SketchCrawl came to mind right then and there, thinking of pub crawls and such.

The feeling of a marathon-like day of drawing was actually exhilarating, I filled 19 pages of watercolors in my sketchbook, I got really exhausted but also had a great time.

Slowly the idea snowballed into a more communal event and we started going out for a whole day with a few co-workers and found out a really fun part of the experience was sharing the drawings at the end of the day. Then in November of 2004 I decided to call out for a global drawing marathon day and with the help of the internet tried to get as many people joining in from all over the globe. Things took off from there and slowly but surely more and more cities and locales from around the world have joined in the fun. It is really a wonderful feeling to know that there are hundreds of people around the world going out and putting pen to paper at the same time as you are.

enricowatercoloringWhy is it so important for you to draw on location, and why to draw together and to share each others drawings?

The act of drawing has a meditative quality and that's what's great about it, it forces you to slow down and really take into account what you are seeing. Slowing down the frenetic pace of our lives and take in what's around us has immediately felt like an important and worthy side of these drawing marathon days. There's nothing wrong with doing it even indoors, there is plenty of things to appreciate and observe even just in our living rooms.

But meeting artists outside and holding SketchCrawls in a communal way enables us primarily to meet great people with our same passion for drawing and secondarily it gives us a chance to easily share the day's bounty of sketching with each other.

How is the Sketchcrawl evolving and how do you see the future of this amazing world drawing marathon?

The idea of the World Wide SketchCrawl is reaching more and more people around the world, each event — we hold roughly four per year — sees new and more artists joining in the fun. I hope that this momentum can continue and with a little luck even increase. I also hope we can find ways to make the sharing of our SketchCrawl drawings on the web easier ... one day I'd love to hold a San Francisco SketchCrawl weekend to invite all crawlers from around the world to. A weekend of drawing classes, workshops and just sketching around the city. I hope we can pull something like that together one of these years.


lapin said...

thanks simo for the interview. I admire enrico's initiative!

sanjeev joshi said...

lovely interview.We in pune, india, have sunday as painting and sketching day in a group.The yearly time tabe is worked out by an organisation called sanskar bharati and we all members meet at the spot directly from 9 am to 12 noon.some continue after lunch too.At the end we exchange views of our works.I find this Sketch crawl on these lines,so writing wishes.

R. LEON said...

YES! This guy is the master! I admire his initiative and the awesome work of Pixar. Really good interview also.
We discover one month ago USK and SketchCrawl, but we can not participate this weekend becouse we've an important event with the family. But the next time we will draw ;-)
Long life to SketchCrawl and Pixar!

Saludos desde Marbella. The south of Spain.

TIA said...

Great post. thanks Simo.

TenLayers said...

I so wanted to do the San Francisco sketch crawl this Saturday but probably will have to work instead.

gabi campanario said...

thanks for the inspiration Enrico! and thank you Simo for the interview!

Matthew Brehm said...

Many thanks to Enrico for getting the ball rolling! If you haven't seen it yet, his book "The Venice Chronicles" is fantastic, and apparently he has another book about SketchCrawling ... I haven't seen this one yet, but I'll be ordering it today!

matthew_c said...

Excellent article, and timely.
Meet-up in S.F. sounds like a really interesting idea.

matthew_c said...

Excellent article, and timely.
Meet-up in S.F. sounds like a really interesting idea.

Shiho Nakaza said...

Simo, thank you for the timely interview, and Enrico, thank you for starting SketchCrawl. Meeting up in San Francisco for a grand SketchCrawl event sounds like a fantastic idea.

Laureline said...

I loved reading this interview! Enrico, a prime mover in the great worldwide sketching mania, has been a drawing hero of mine for five years. I have his Venice Chronicles and look forward to following his work (and that of my fellow Urban Sketchers) in 2010!