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

On Your Mark! Standard Registration for USkManchester2016 Opens March 5

***Update: Standard registration is now closed. There's another chance to sign up when Late Registration opens. Check back for details.***

Standard registration for the 7th International Urban Sketching Symposium (happening in Manchester on July 27-30 2016) opens on Saturday, March 5 at noon GMT.

Here's a round-up of passes we're offering at three levels: Workshop, Activities, and Sketching.

The Workshops Pass gives you access to the full educational event, including all of the workshops, lectures, activities and demonstrations, as well as social encounters. This pass keeps you busy learning and sketching while meeting up with old and new friends.

With the Sketching Pass, you will have a leisurely experience, meeting with everyone for the morning gatherings, wanders in and around Manchester between meet-ups with others for organized sketch crawls twice a day, and topped off with evening meet-ups with all the other sketchers.

The Activities Pass gets you a social time with a little bit of learning. It also gets you an educational time without the commitment of the full workshop schedule. With this pass you have access to all the lectures, demos, and activities plus you'll have time for more open sketch crawls! You also have access to the Welcome Reception, Closing Party, and of course the nightly gatherings.

Programming and faculty details are available on the Symposium Site, and the schedule is available on the Schedule page.

Keep in mind that this event is likely to sell out. We’ve increased the total number of participants to 500 - the largest number we have ever hosted!

Don't miss it! To register, please visit the registration site

Here are some tips for a successful registration
  • For best results, we encourage you to sign up for an Eventbrite account before registering.
  • The registration site currently says Sales Ended, which will be updated on Saturday, March 5 at noon GMT to allow you to register.
  • If you log in to Eventbrite prior to the start time of noon GMT, be sure to refresh your browser at noon, or the registration information might not display.
  • The amount of time you have to register once you select a ticket is set at 8 minutes, which is standard for Eventbrite events. It ensures that unsold tickets aren't held up for others to purchase.
  • Be prepared to select your workshops and activities when you register.
  • As workshops and activities become unavailable, they will appear crossed out. This means the workshop or activity is full.
  • Lectures are first come, first served.
  • Make sure you fill in all fields with a red asterisk (*) next to them. 
  • To "upgrade" your pass, you will need to purchase a new pass and email us to request a full refund for the original pass.
  • Once you are registered, you can log back into your Eventbrite account at any time to make changes to your personal information or selections, up until May 27. 
  • If you have any questions, please email We cannot guarantee an official response if you post your question on the Facebook page.
Important Dates:
March 5: Standard Registration begins with full schedule. All participants can select all workshops and activities at this time. Please click here to register. 

Standard Rates:
Workshops Pass US $455
Activities Pass     US $215
Sketching Pass    US $40

May 7: Late Registration Begins
Late Rates:
Workshops Pass  US $475
Activities Pass     US $235
Sketching Pass     US $40

May 27: Registration Ends (no onsite registration)

For more information, contact

See you in Manchester!





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