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

Call for Symposium Host 2017

Previous Hosts: 
Portland 2010
Lisbon 2011
Santo Domingo 2012
Barcelona 2013
Paraty 2014
Singapore 2015

Current Host:
Manchester 2016

We are seeking a host for the 8th International Urban Sketchers Symposium in 2017!

Important proposal information:

  • See the Selection Criteria here
  • Send your questions to 
  • Request a PDF of previous winning proposals from
  • Selected city will be announced on July 30 at the Manchester Symposium! 

What is the Symposium?
The International Urban Sketchers Symposium is an annual educational event organized by Urban Sketchers (USk) with workshops, lectures, demonstrations, sketch crawls and social gatherings organized for sketchers who attend from all over the world.

The goal of the Symposium is to celebrate and practice the art of on-location sketching in the host city. The event offers a high-quality educational experience in field sketching instruction, and opportunities for participants to network and socialize.

To align the Symposium more closely with the original spirit of the event and to maintain the emphasis on providing a high-quality educational experience, we are simplifying the event in a few ways. We have learned the Symposium works best when sketchers can easily connect with each other to sketch and share, so we will limit the number of attendees to no more than 400. We are offering two pass types, Workshops and Sketching; the Sketching passes will now include attendance at lectures and demos in addition to organized sketch crawls that may include educational components. Registration will be offered at two times: early registration prior to programming being announced and regular registration after programming is announced.

Geographical diversity is important to us! Following our spirit of showing the world, one drawing at a time, we aim to bring the Symposium to new cities and countries every year.

How is the Symposium organized?
The Symposium is a true team effort led by USk’s Symposium Team and representatives from the host city. Local organizers work with an international team, keeping in contact via a Google group, Google docs, Skype chats, and project management site You should plan for a small number of core local organizers to work on the planning, and have more local volunteers present at the event.

These are some of the basic responsibilities associated with the Symposium:
USk responsibilities:

  • Pay all costs associated with the event
  • Provide scholarships to sketchers based in the Host city or country
  • Recruit team of instructors (USk has final say on instructors and workshops)
  • Determine and collect registration fees from participants and manage registration
  • Manage travel arrangements for instructors and Symposium staff
  • Manage Symposium web and social media presence
  • Manage sponsors in conjunction with Host
  • Work collaboratively with Host to ensure the success of the Symposium

Host responsibilities:

  • Determine dates for the event 
  • Secure a venue for activities (opening and closing receptions, demos and lectures)
  • Recommend sketching locations for workshops
  • Oversee local scholarship selection process and select scholarship recipients 
  • Help manage lodging arrangements for instructors and Symposium staff
  • Assist with participant check-in
  • Local logistics (including but not limited to selecting and coordinating local volunteers; receiving shipped materials; production items such as badges and brochures; working with local sponsors)
  • Work collaboratively with USk to ensure the success of the Symposium

Joint responsibilities:

  • Determine number of participants
  • Determine schedule for events
  • Creation of a Symposium logo
  • Promotion of the event
  • Create printed material (brochure, maps, etc.)





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