Meet the Correspondent: Marina Grechanik > Tel-Aviv, Israel$show=/search/label/Marina%20Grechanik

"Sketching is one of my passions. I don't feel comfortable when I leave home without a sketchbook and some pens in my bag. I think that my way to put things in my memory is to draw them. And taking pictures isn't the same thing.

I live in a very dynamic surrounding — Israel is a warm country with warm weather and warm people. Of course, we have seashores, which calm us a little bit. I love to sit in a corner of some Tel-Aviv coffee shop and explore relationships: between people, their environment, between myself. All this unique local mix of cultures, languages and styles is always a great source for inspiration. You need to be fast, because, as I said, everything is very dynamic. But that's why I love it so much.

Sometimes, I look around, and I find some usual items like sugar bags or napkins. I use them in my drawings to show the atmosphere. Sometimes I draw directly on placemats."

• Marina's art on Flickr.
• Marina's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Tina Koyama > Seattle$show=/search/label/tina%20koyama

"The dictionary says that a hobby is “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation.” Although urban sketching certainly provides both pleasure and relaxation, I don’t think of it as my hobby. I think of it more as a way of life – something that has become such a normal part of my everydayness that it shapes how I view the world.

For most of my life I had both the fear of drawing as well as the desire to draw. In 2011, inspired by Gabi Campanario’s Seattle Sketcher column, I finally decided to overcome the fear. His drawings of Seattle – my birthplace and lifelong home – were of sights that I had seen many times, yet had never truly seen. I wanted to learn to see, and therefore experience, those locations (and any new ones that I travel to) more completely. Part 8 of the Urban Sketchers Manifesto, to “show the world, one drawing at a time,” has a flip side: Sketching enables me to see my own world, one drawing at a time.

In the last four years, it is not an exaggeration to say that Urban Sketchers has changed my life. I have met and sketched with many wonderful people around the globe, either at symposiums or during other travel, because the USk network brought us together. I sketch almost weekly with my local group, sharing sketches, art supplies and friendship. Even when I stay home and enjoy sketches online, I am still a part of that rich network, learning with every sketch about other people’s lives.

In May, my husband Greg and I went to France for the first time, and I sketched the Eiffel Tower. Sketching one of the world’s most famous icons felt like a dream come true – the ultimate in urban sketching. But although I can’t resist sketching world-famous icons whenever I’m fortunate enough to see them, for me, urban sketching is much more than that.

Urban sketching is a tree with its middle chopped away to accommodate Seattle’s ubiquitous power lines. It’s about a couple of women chatting over coffee, or about workers roofing the house next door. It’s about an excavator filling a hole where a cherry tree once stood. Or the Tibetan monastery I drive by frequently that I couldn’t resist because it’s bright orange. Urban sketching is a string band performing at a local farmers’ market – or perhaps in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Celebrating the mundane as well as the famous is what urban sketching is all about. My sketches are not necessarily about “special” moments; they are moments made special because I sketched them."

Tina has been editor of Drawing Attention since 2013 and now serves on the Urban Sketchers editorial board. See more of her sketches on her blog, on Flickr and on Instagram.

Meet the Correspondent: Pete Scully > Davis, Calif.$show=/search/label/Pete%20Scully

"I am from urban north London, but now live in urbane Davis California. I sketch, I write, sometimes do things and go places and my name is Pete.

When not Davis, I sketch Sacramento, San Francisco, London, or anywhere else I happen to be. I tend to erase people and cars from my cities, but I'm starting to get over this.

Davis: calm, old-fashioned, progressive, quirky, very very hot in the summer. I use micron and copic pens, with watercolour."

• Pete's blog.
• Pete's art on Flickr.

Meet the Correspondent: Suhita Shirodkar > San Jose, Calif.$show=/search/label/Suhita%20Shirodkar

"I was born in Mumbai (Bombay) and lived in different parts of India until I moved to San Jose, California, where I now live.

Travel inspires my art, but, traveling or not, I try to view the world around me as a traveller would; so whether I’m capturing a moment of calm on the banks of the Ganges in India, or sketching over coffee at my local coffee shop, I aim to look deeply, and with wonder, at both the everyday and the exotic, the old and the new.

I love color. My sketch kit consists of Extra Fine Sharpies (the fact that they bleed into the paper as soon as they touch it works really well for me—it forces me to work super-quick), a small set of Prismacolor pencils and a little watercolor travel set".

Meet the Correspondent: Omar Jaramillo > Berlin$show=/search/label/Omar%20Jaramillo

"I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where I studied architecture. I moved to Kassel (Germany) in 1999 to accomplish a master degree. Although I have always drawn and paint, it was not until I started studying in the Uni-Kassel, that I started keeping a travel sketchbook. I had a teacher there who used to do a lot of sketches when he travelled on university excursions. When he retired, I helped to organize an exhibition of his sketches. He brought a huge box full of sketchbooks he had filled since he was an architecture student. I spent a whole day selecting the most interesting drawings. It was a wonderful experience that opened my eyes to a new world. In the last 10 years I have the feeling of being in a long journey. I like to discover the cities where I live, to understand why a place is the way it is and what makes it different and unique from others. Drawing is for me a way to learn to love a place, to become part of it. I like to draw architecture but I am more attracted to urban scenery, portraying how people live in the city. Since I’m a foreigner, everything that locals find normal and taken-for-granted, for me is exotic. I always carry a small watercolor travel set from Windsor and Newton and my sketchbook in my bag. I always thought that drawing was a solitary experience until I found Urban Sketchers. It was amazing to find so many people doing the same thing. It is a great place to share!" • Omar's blog. • Omar's art on flickr. • Omar's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Luis Ruiz > Malaga, Spain$show=/search/label/Luis%20Ruiz

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.





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