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

Asia-Link Sketchwalk: Kuching 2017

[By Marni Zainodin in Kuching]

I was looking forward to this event, 'An event for nerds or introverts' as Peggy put it. In fact, Asia-Link Sketchwalk Kuching 2017, might be the best thing for introverts to get together and be extroverted together. Sketchers like ourselves love it when Asian regional chapters come together to sketch and share, learning and discovering through one sketch at a time.

All four days were full of sketchwalks, sharetalks and eating delicious Kuching delicacies. It was lively, full of joy and fun, mingling and getting to know each other. As urban sketchers, we normally share through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Flickr, sharing admiration towards fellow sketchers, but here we met them face to face and it was as though as we actually knew each other already! What enriches the experience of being at an event like this is to meet and connect with them in person – it’s an open library of urban sketching art.

Follow me through my sketching adventures at the Asia-Link Sketchwalk: Kuching, Borneo, Malaysia. 5-8 October 2017.

Welcome Day
Ewe Hai Street (image above)
These scenes are some of my favorite to capture in sketchbooks. Those wooden windows of which the residents hang dry their clothes. It is a great scene and the view isn't blocked by any passing cars.
The Granary Kitchen & Bar
Our main place to gather is The Granary Kitchen & Bar. The talks and workshops are conducted here for the three days of Sketchwalk: Kuching.

As usual, the Asia-Link Sketchwalk offers two passes – the Sketch Pass and the Workshop Pass. If you aren't able to get a workshop pass, it doesn't matter, you can still learn among friends with the Sketch Pass. These get togethers are the best way to seek advice, share and learn.

Day 1: AM

Main Bazaar & Waterfront

Our first day of the sketchwalk started not far out from our base at Granary Kitchen & Bar. Walk along the river Sarawak, it is simply awesome. The park of shady trees stretches along the road providing shelter for sketchers to capture the pleasant scene.

Day 1: PM
India Street & Kai Joo Lane

For the evening sketchwalk I went to the front entrance of India Street to sketch the colourful entrances. Further along India Street, Kai Joo Lane offers lots to sketch too.

Day 2: AM

Old Court House, Gambier Street & Java Lane

The Old Courthouse was once the administrative center of the government of Sarawak. It has a nice garden with a big lush tree. Further along the street is Gambier Street and the spice market – an interesting morning was spent capturing the local daily life there. Every now and then, local passersby were intrigued, they were curious as to why so many sketchers lined the road sketch/painting drawing all at once. Most of them would have thought it is an international drawing competition!

Day 2: PM

Market Street, Power Street and the Brooke Dockyard

These two places were not really on the suggested places to sketch list, but once we discovered the Brooke dockyard is nearby, we continued our sketching there for the day. The guard was concerned for our safety as the dockyards are old (they are listed as a Unesco heritage site) but our organizer and the guard are able to come to an agreement and we sketched there safely.

The guard himself, Mr Aon, is worth to sketch too, he was by himself most of the day and it made his day seeing all these sketchers, each creating their own unique drawing. He did a great job of looking out for the safety of everyone while answering questions regarding the history of the dockyard. He managed to answer and look cool about that.

Day 3: AM
Kampung Boyan

Our third and final day featured a very special morning sketchwalk. Early in the morning we crossed the river by boat – just as locals have always done. A new bridge is completed but Peggy Wong, the Kuching lead, had the special intention of our next sketches taking place crossing the river, so we could experience the boat ride and absorb and understand the history despite progress.

Day 3: PM
Sarawak Museum & Padang Merdeka

It was raining heavily on that Sunday evening so some of us arrived late. While most of us were unable to sketch outside on the lawn of the Sarawak State Museum, some of us did manage a sketch by sheltering in a building surrounding the Museum, others sketched inside the museum too. It rained so heavily, we didn't get to gather at Padang Merdeka (a big field nearby) for the big group photo as suggested. Instead we managed to photograph all 300 sketchers back at The Granary Kitchen. It may have been raining for much of the day, but that didn't stop us sketching.

Marni Zainodin is a postcard illustrator, mail art artist and travel sketcher who loves walking too. She works in a souvenir shop in the Cameron Highlands, in the region of Pahang, Malaysia. She often travels five hours to join the Urban Sketchers Penang Sunday Sketchwalk. See more of her work here and here.





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