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".
Blog
Flickr

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

PechaKucha Presentation


I love to draw.
On January first of 2009 I set a New Year’s resolution to post one sketch a day online. 
I had wanted to start a blog for over a year. 
It was surprisingly easy to post my first sketch and copy on Analog Artist Digital World.
My wife Terry and I moved from New York City, and for ten years I worked for Disney Feature Animation here in Orlando.
Perry, shown here, worked in the office next to me.
The studio was shut down in 2004, because Disney executives felt, that audiences didn’t want to see hand drawn animation anymore.
They only wanted to see computer animation.
I purchased a computer and taught myself CG animation at home.
After years of sitting in a dark room staring at a computer screen, I needed to get out and sketch.
Many early sketches were of buildings downtown, like this sketch of Church Street.
As I sketched, people would often stop to tell me their life story.
I help keep the tradition of hand drawn animation alive at Full Sail University, by teaching the principles of animation using pencils and paper before students start pushing buttons on computers.
When I began doing one sketch a day, I honestly thought Orlando had little to no culture.
I had spent ten years driving to and from Disney, and felt that Orlando must only have the heart of a theme park animatronic.
 I found these drummers in the Creative Engineering warehouse downtown.
I couldn’t imagine much culture happening in this service industry town.
 Yet with every sketch I did, I began to discover artists with talent.
I found people in every field, like Toni Taylor, shown here in her studio, who are striving to express themselves.
 I seek out artists who love what they do and promote them with a sketch and an article.
By promoting them, I get to share with my readers what I feel is the true heart of Orlando.
I am NOT an extrovert.
 I’m only comfortable when clutching pencil and paper.
When I drive to events, I pump up the music in the car to overcome stage fright.
 I used to walk around the block several times to work up the nerve to start a sketch.
That feeling has slowly subsided, being replaced by stubborn determination.
In a crowded room, I find it impossible to focus on any single conversation, I hear the overall din.
Small talk is not my strong point.
If I start to sketch however, a sense of calm washes over me.
While focusing on the sketch, nothing else matters.
By going out every day, I began to meet people who frequent the same events.
 They recognize my desire to sketch what is unique, and they include me in amazing sketch opportunities, like this gut wrenching blimp ride over Universal Studios.
Finding interesting stories is an ongoing challenge.
Though I tend to sit quietly observing, I am at times thrust into the limelight.
To get this sketch at the Bob Carr, the director, John DiDonna, suggested I sit onstage with the audience watching at the Red Chair Affair.
The act of sketching became a form of performance art.
I forgot about the audience as I struggled to capture the Cirque du Soleil performer on stage.
Doug Rhodehamel created this Sea of Green florescent fish hanging from the ceiling at Stardust Video and Coffee.
When I am in a room full of creative people, I feel motivated to create.
 Being isolated in a studio makes little sense, when there are so many vibrant events to sketch all around Orlando.
I found Bluesman Maxwell seated among the clutter of a flea market in Mount Dora.
He sang, “Flea Market Blues.”
No one else stopped to listen.
Each sketch usually takes about two hours to complete.
Time stands still.
When you stay in one spot for that long, some drama always unfolds.
At the Enzian Theater during the Florida Film Festival, the projectionist had to splice together the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” reels.
I always remain open to snippets of conversation which I often jot down on the back of the sketch.
Writing helps me to complete the bigger picture.
Benoit Glazer invites people to his home called “The Timucua White House”, once a month to experience live music and art.
It is amazing how often lyrics of a song, or the plot of a play, will seem to mirror what is happening in my everyday life.
The emotional message of some productions often hits home.
Andrew Spear created a mural at the annual Snap Photography Exhibit.
By meeting so many artists, and sharing their stories, my own art grows richer.
 Listening to a theater director talk about the creative process, the conversation could just as well relate to the process of creating a sketch.
I have often been asked to stop sketching by security guards, ushers and police.
In our fast paced world, someone who stands still tends to be suspect.
This accordion player at Earth Day was asked to stop performing by Lake Eola grounds keepers. Silence can be deafening……
I don’t believe art should be profiled as a deviant behavior.
Jazz still thrives in late night dives.
 The city grows smaller as I meet the same performers again and again.
 I’m starting to feel very much a part of the culture that I document.
Since starting the blog, I have posted over 2000 sketches about Orlando online.
Every art form has uncertainty, and blind searching, followed by revelation.
 I’m never satisfied with any sketch as I am working on it.
Only looking back, can I acknowledge that it isn’t the worst sketch I have ever done.
I love keeping track of all the arts organizations in town, on Analog Artist Digital World.
At times, I feel I have my finger on the pulse that helps keep Orlando alive and vibrant.
Some organizations have had to close, but there are always people who strive to make this city an interesting place to live.
Every time I sketch, I fall in love, be it with a gesture, setting, or people’s stories.
Mary Oliver gave simple instructions for living life, “Pay attention, be astonished, and tell about it.”
By sketching daily, I discover so many people who astonish me, in a city I now call home.





Analog Artist Digital World

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