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

Travel Tips: Manchester

Manchester has a lot up its sleeve from murals to graffiti, sanctums, alleys, relics, modern skylines, antique architecture, vintage signage, hip and happening people; and numerous breweries and watering holes! Not only for urban sketching, it's an all-around pit stop for just about anything! The unofficial capital of the north, it’s one of the nation’s largest cities and a hotbed for culture and the arts.

Manchester is a very savvy, well-connected city with an airport that is strategically the only gateway to Northern England. Whether it’s online, offline or on any device, all flight information can be accessed via the web or smartphones. The efficiency of the transport system will get you to your hotel in no time at all. From the airport, trains to the city run in intervals of 10 minutes into Piccadilly station. The average travel time is about 20 minutes - sweet! Just enough for a good train sketch to clock your arrival. And of course, the taxis are always there for an even quicker drive to the city!

It’s also a breeze to get to Manchester from other UK cities. Direct trips from Manchester to London run conveniently every 20 minutes with Virgin Trains. Local rail services connect Manchester Airport with Greater Manchester districts and the city centre. The main train stations are Deansgate, Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria. For all trains times and fares, visit or call +44 (0)8457 484950.

For a scenic fast ride, the tram is a fantastic way to go in and around Manchester. The Metrolink connects all major railway stations and are as frequent to indulge your spontaneous whims! Just go out and catch one without a timetable. They run from early morning to late at night and tickets can be purchased conveniently at the platform. Get their free smartphone app or use the Metrolink map to plan your journey ahead. For more information go to or call Traveline on +44 (0)871 200 2233.

Buses offer an ever-reliant comprehensive coverage of the city. There are free shuttle buses that take you to major train stations, shopping and business destinations. National Express has coaches from major UK cities to Manchester.

If you’re an avid cyclist, Manchester is a bike-friendly city with dedicated lanes and routes that will give a unique way and slower pace to explore. Visit the Transport for Greater Manchester cycling website for everything you need to know about cycling in Greater Manchester. You can also rent a bike at Manchester Bike Hire -

An excellent place to explore by foot, Manchester is peppered with pedestrian-only areas.  That’s really good news for sketchers as it is a pretty safe, vehicle-free place to be out and about on the roads. Traversing by foot along main central areas from one end to the other can easily be around 20 minutes.

It's a gastronomic delight to explore the city by the gut! There are excellent choices in terms of food, so be ready to walk and sketch after you indulge :) Beyond all that daytime sketching adventure, the breweries will be open until late to catch up on the sketching tales of the day and the usual drink and draw! The brews to choose from can be tough like a really big palette of watercolours.

The weather usually averages from 18-20°C (64-68°F) during the day and about 10-13°C (50-55°F) in the evenings. The probability of rain is always there, so an umbrella is always a handy thing to have! Now with the weather considered for packing clothes and necessities along with your sketch gear, where to stay during the Symposium is the only thing left to sort.

We are so pleased to announce that for this year's Symposium we have a site specifically for accommodations, in partnership with Use this link to book accommodation for this event. See this post for more information about the accommodation site from Visit Manchester.
You can also compare hostel rates and book accommodation at

See you in Manchester!





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