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

14. Story of USK Chapters

April 11, 2021 "Story of Chapters"

Jeewon, Keesung, Jyojin (USK Suwon), Dongsik, Michelle, Jasmin (USK Gyeongju), Charlie Lee (USK Seoul), Anne Taylor (USK Wellington), Murray Dewhurst & Eric Ngan (USK Auckland)

USK Chapters represent the diversity, spirit, and richness of the Urban Sketching movement. In this episode of USk Talks we get to know two countries through the eyes of urban sketchers living and drawing there. We virtually travel to South Korea and New Zealand, two examples of chapters where urban sketching has grown quickly and the sketchers have adapted to the challenge and constraints of the Pandemic world by staying connected and showing their world one sketch at a time.

USK Korea (USK Suwon, USK Gyeongju & USK Seoul)

Charlie Lee started by telling us a little about the history of urban sketching in South Korea. At the moment there are 5 official chapters active, but there are many more.

The Koreans have found that their events play a huge role in the growth of the chapter, even during COVID times. An example of the events they like to share is getting together after the Symposium, so the ones that couldn’t join, could still learn and participate. Another great idea to get the community going, is to invite instructors from abroad. In all of this, they stressed the importance of always getting the right permits, creating a good relationship with your municipality.

Michelle talked about how USK Gyengju organised Sketch Festa during COVID times. They provided masks and were proud to be able to say that during the Sketch Festa there was no infection of COVID-19, keeping in line with every guideline.

USK Suwon had the honor to announce they will be hosting Asialink after Indonesia.

USK New Zealand (USK Wellington, USK Auckland)

Murray Dewhurst (USK Auckland) talked about his experience traveling by bike for 1100km, talking about what his own country has to offer, meeting all the locals everywhere.

Anne Taylor (USK Wellington) shared with us her story of how sketching helped her to create a connection and get involved in her community. One day she was sketching on the beach when she noticed people were picking up rubbish. Moreover, they were registering what they were cleaning up, to be able to act on it: an environmental campaign for litter intelligence. Her sketches were a starting point for a conversation, leading to Anne herself to become a citizen scientist, creating a strong relationship. The sketches help the word on the project get out even more: the sketches help the cause.

Eric Ngan, sketcher and events manager, talked to us about what it is like to produce an event and how to redesign events to be in line with the guidelines and still have impact. He showed us examples of how to integrate sketchers and sketches into events and displays.

Challenge: Creative Contributions to your Community

Post a sketch of a local festival/occasion you drew at, if it’s safe you can go out. If not, just post something from a past event.

Tell us about this event. Think about how you can connect with the event organizer for something that is going to happen in the future and how you can make a creative contribution.

Be sure to share your USk Talks Challenge sketches on Instagram using the hashtags #usktalks and #usktalkschallenge. Tag our guests in your challenge sketches, and follow them on Instagram: @uskauckland, @uskseoul, @usksuwon and @uskgyeongju and of course our  host Rob Sketcherman @robsketcherman.

Watch again




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