December 6, 2010

Drawing Attention: Happy Birthday to Urban Sketchers!

November marked the second year of the Urban Sketchers blog and today, Dec. 6, marks the 1st anniversary of our incorporation as a nonprofit organization aimed at fostering the art of on-location drawing and helping sketchers around the world connect with each other.

Please join us in celebrating our achievements and consider ways to get involved and help us fulfill our mission of showing the world, one drawing at a time. (Keep reading to find out volunteer positions we are announcing today.)

The three-day Symposium in 48 photos.

Our first educational initiative: The Urban Sketching Symposium
In July, we organized our first major event, the 1st International Urban Sketching Symposium in Portland, Oregon, USA. The three-day, hands-on workshop was hosted by Pacific Northwest College of Art and drew nearly 100 sketchers from across the United States and from countries as far as Australia, Singapore, Japan, Mauritania, Dominican Republic, Belgium, Spain and Italy. Participants received sketchbooks and art supplies provided by Moleskine, Canson, Faber-Castell, Legion Paper and Portland art store Art Media. The event featured a blend of lectures, panels, exhibits and sketch outings led by a diverse team of international presenters with backgrounds in art education, architecture, illustration and journalism. Details are being nailed down for the next Symposium in beautiful, sunny Lisbon this July. Look for an official announcement soon!

O Estado de São Paulo newspaperIndonesia SketchersIl Corriere della SeraEl País. January 21st, 2010

In the media
In 2010, media outlets around the world continued to draw attention to the art of urban sketching and its practicioners. Our blog correspondents and members were featured on TV and radio broadcasts and in newspapers and magazines, including
The Artist’s Magazine, O Estado de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Red Report (Brazil), El País (Spain), The National (United Arab Emirates), Il Corriere della Sera (Italy), Kompass (Indonesia) and I Journal (Portugal). More articles here.

By the numbers
Since its launch in November of 2008, volunteer correspondents have published more than 6,000 entries on the Urban Sketchers blog, which has received 2.9 million visits. More than 7,000 readers subscribe to the blog feed.

The urban sketching community has grown to 3,555 flickr members and 9,961 Facebook fans.

Regional blogs
Our regional blogs have grown thanks to the initiative of many urban sketchers who have started sketching groups where they live. As you know, drawing together is part of our manifesto! Our current blog roll includes eight country-based blogs (
Singapore, Argentina, Indonesia, Portugal, Mexico, Italy, Spain, República Dominicana), nine city-based blogs (Seattle, Twin Cities, Indianapolis, Seoul, Moscow, Portland, San Francisco/Bay Area, Memphis, Washington DC) and one island-based blog (Sardinia).

Urban sketchers on Facebook
Some regional sketchers groups have formed on Facebook as well:
Málaga, Singapore, Bangkok, Penang, Indonesia, Portugal, Portland and Italy.

100630_Tiong Bahru Sketches

Group exhibits showcase on-location sketches
The work of Urban Sketchers correspondents and members has been featured in group exhibits around the world:
Several blog correspondents have published books this year: Sketches of Pulo Pinang by Kiah Kieahn (USK Penang), St Emilion by Lapin (USK Barcelona), Diarios de Viagem em Cabo Verde by Eduardo Salavisa (USK Lisbon), Diarios de Viagem em Lisboa by Eduardo Salavisa, João Catarino, José Louro, Pedro Cabral (USK Lisbon) and others, Flaneur by Edgardo Minond (USK Buenos Aires), Hier colonisés by Laura Genz (USK Paris).

USk_USA_HaitiPosterCanson-USK collaboration
  • Call to action poster: To call attention to the need to help victims of January’s earthquake in Haiti, Marc Taro Holmes produced a print-ready, call-to-action-poster with location sketches by Melanie Reim.
  • Canson ad: Canson selected NYC blog correspondent Veronica Lawlor to illustrate one of their ads for Juxtapoz Magazine. The urban sketching illustration project was possible thanks to a partnership between Urban Sketchers and Canson. Lawlor generously donated 10 percent of her commission to the nonprofit.
Here’s a breakdown of our nonprofit's finances since incorporation on Dec. 6, 2009.

Income: Our sources of income so far have come from direct donations, revenue from the Symposium (which was a joint partnership with the host art school), a Moleskine fundraiser campaign and revenue from Google Ads and Blog Ads.
  • Individual donations: $955.98
  • Moleskine fundraiser donations: $2,756
  • Google Ads: $337.50
  • Blog Ads: $558.07
  • Share of Symposium revenue: $11,978.41
  • Total income: $16,585.96
Expenses: Our expenses were associated with organizing the Symposium, shipping costs for the Moleskine sketchbooks fundraiser, filing fees associated with the nonprofit status and web account renewals.
  • Reimbursement of Symposium instructors travel expenses: $7,951.39
  • Tax exempt application to obtain 501(c)(3) status: $850
  • Miscellaneous expenses (Flickr pro account, domain renewal and P.O. Box): $110.05
  • Shipping of Moleskine sketchbooks: $677.71
  • Total expenses: $9,589.15
Balance: $6,996.81

We’re really excited to have raised enough funds to achieve our nonprofit status and pull off our first educational initiative (the Symposium). Our goal for 2011 is to offer at least one scholarship to the 2nd Annual Symposium and to develop other programs/grants for urban sketchers. By making a donation, participating in our events or visiting this blog, you are helping us fulfill our mission of showing the world, one drawing at a time! Thank you for supporting Urban Sketchers!


Today we are announcing two open positions on the Board of Directors and four focused positions. As with all roles in our organization, including the board, these are volunteer positions. We’d also appreciate any help we can get! If you would like to volunteer your time and/or skills on a less formal basis, please e-mail urbansketchers at gmail dot com to get more involved.

Here’s a brief summary of the positions and job descriptions:

Member of the Board of Directors: A board member is an enthusiastic sketcher or urban sketching advocate who actively participates in online board member meetings, promotes the organization’s mission and volunteers their time to help develop nonprofit activities and fundraising programs.
Executive Director: The Executive Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who works closely with the Board of Directors to implement our mission, coordinating all the nonprofit’s activities and programs.
Development Director: The Development Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who comes up with fundraising initiatives and works closely with the board to find ways to put them in practice.
Communications Director: The Communications Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who handles our social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter), relations with the media, “Drawing Attention” newsletter and any other communication needs.
Web Master/Information Technology Director: The IT Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who manages our network of blogs and helps us develop a strong online presence.

Happy holidays and happy sketching for the New Year!


Matthew Brehm said...

Happy Birthday to Urban Sketchers! It's been quite a first year for the non-profit organization. Let me be the first to say a special THANK YOU to Gabi for all his hard work, and thank you also to the rest of the Board and ALL the Correspondents and everyone who follows this blog. It's an honor to be part of this group, and I look forward to another fantastic year!

Sharon Frost said...

Good job Gabi, and everyone on the Board!

Orling "Arty" Dominguez said...

Congratulations to Gabi, everyone on the board and all urban sketchers for this amazing initiative! Looking forward more years of celebrations drawing together!!!!

Bajzek said...

Congratulations to Gabi, to the Board of Directors and to everyone who loves urban sketching!

TIA said...

Thanks to Gabi who works exceptionally hard. Looking forward to more good years!

memi said...

I'd like to add my thank you and deep appreciation to the stellar and ongoing efforts of all the Board Members- what you have accomplished in one year speaks to the high standard and work ethic of UsK.

Veronica Lawlor said...

Happy birthday to Urban Sketchers! Thanks to all the talented correspondents, the wonderful board members, and especially thanks to Gabi Campanario for all of his hard work in making this unique drawing community come to life!

Paul Heaston said...

Congratulations Gabi and Urban Sketchers! What a community to be a part of, all thanks to Gabi's vision and hard work, and all the amazing contributors.

kimberly said...

Congrats to Urban Sketchers! Canson has really enjoyed connecting with the Urban Sketchers and I had a lot of fun at the 1st Internation Symposium event in Portland. The blogs posts from around the world keep me inspired.

Steven said...

What an awesome year, USK! Congrats!

rob carey said...

A big thanks to Gabi and his great team of helpers for all their work with USk!

Don McNulty said...

Urban Sketchers is an absolute pleasure for me, so wonderful to hitch a ride with such a talented, worldwide group of people. A million thanks and congratulations to everyone involved. said...

Congratulations Gabi, great organization!

marina said...

This is amazing project and I'm proud to be a part of it. Personal thanks to Gabi and the others working so hard to make this happen!

Mário Linhares said...

Lisbon is already waiting!


kumi matsukawa said...

Happy birthday to Urban Sketchers! What a fruitful year we had!

James Hobbs said...

Happy birthday to Urban Sketchers and congratulations to Gabi and the team.

Kiah Kiean said...

Thank you Gabi & all the directors.

Isabel said...

wonderful work and results Gabi , thank you for having created such a creative community.

NORBERTO DORANTES arquitecto said...

Felicidades USK!
Gracias Gabi por la visión, entusiasmo y duro trabajo.
Hemos sido inspirados por la obra de todos los corresponsales y los participantes.
Vamos por más años!

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

Lovely and amazing post, Gabi!

VHein said...

Happy Birthday and Congratulations to Urban Sketchers and especially to Gabi. This is truly exciting and all wonderful to read...I'm grateful and proud to be part of it!

Cathy Gatland said...

Congratulations and Thank you Gabi and Urban Sketchers, from another proud and constantly inspired correspondent!

Alissa Duke said...

Thank you Gabi and all the Urban Sketchers team for setting this all up and for your enthusiasm. And thanks for providing the summary of the past year - great idea! I am looking forward to the announcement of the date of the next Symposium. I will book in immediately and plan my next holiday around it !

kami said...

Happy Birthday and Congratulations to Urban Sketchers .
warm regards from here to all USKs

mzsketchusa said...

My thanks to all who have made this blog so lively and engaging. It has been wonderful seeing the world through the eyes of all the sketchers and painters--a highlight of each day! The artists on this site and have motivated me to start a sketching group for Silicon Valley (south San Francisco Bay area, USA). View our initial efforts at

Buon Natale and Buon Anno!