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

Registration information for the 8th International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 26-29, 2017

Registration Site
The registration site is live! Click this link for the registration site:

Symposium Passes

Are you interested in the full learning and social experience of the Symposium?
The Workshops Pass gives you access to the full educational event, including the Welcome Reception, all of the faculty-led workshops, all lectures, and one demonstration, as well as the Closing Party and social activities.
This pass keeps you busy learning sketching techniques from top artists while visiting with friends old and new.

Are you interested only in the social experience of the Symposium?
The Basic Pass includes access to the Welcome Reception, organized sketchwalks, lectures, and one demonstration, as well as the Closing Party and social activities.
With the Basic Pass, you will have a leisurely experience. You’ll meet everyone for the morning gatherings and then explore Chicago between meeting up with others for sketch crawls twice a day. You’ll be able to meet all the other sketchers during the receptions, lectures, demo, and social activities.

Dates and Prices

Early Bird Registration
Opens February 11 at 8 am CST (14:00 GMT)
​Workshops pass US $415
Basic pass US $120

Click this link to check your local time.

Standard Registration
Opens February 18 at 5 pm CST (23:00 GMT)
​Workshops pass US $475
​Basic pass US $160

Click this link to check your local time.

Programming and schedule will be announced a few days before Early Bird registration opens.
Keep in mind that this event is likely to sell out. There will be no onsite registration in Chicago.

Tips for successful registration:
  • For best results, sign up for an Eventbrite account before registering. Go to and click Sign up.
  • If you log in to Eventbrite before the symposium registration start time, be sure to refresh your browser, or the registration information might not display.
  • Be prepared to select your workshops and demo when you register.
  • When workshops are full they will appear crossed out. Please select a different workshop.
  • All participants (both Workshops and Basic pass holders) can choose one demonstration to attend.
  • All participants are welcome to attend the lectures and sketchwalks.
  • On the Eventbrite site, make sure you fill in any fields with a red asterisk (*) next to them.
  • Once you select a pass, Eventbrite gives you 8 minutes to complete your purchase.  This ensures that passes still unpurchased after that time are released  for others.
  • If you purchase a Basic pass and then wish to upgrade to a Workshops pass, you will need to purchase a new pass and email 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 symposium selections until June 18.
  • If you have any questions, please email Sorry, but we cannot guarantee an official response if you post your question on the Facebook page or other social media.

Payment Options
On Eventbrite, you can pay with an existing PayPal account OR checkout as a guest (meaning you don't need a PayPal account) using a credit or debit card.

Note: Urban Sketchers reserves the right to apply a $85(USD) cancellation fee for all refunds. Due to the need to finalize facilities, supplies and programming, no refunds will be offered after May 11, 2017.

Updating Registration Information
The last day to change your symposium selections in Eventbrite is June 18. After that, you will be able to see your selections but not make any changes. Click here to see how to update your symposium information and selections in Eventbrite.

See you in Chicago!
The Symposium will be held at 501 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605, United States

For more information, contact:




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