What is Urban Sketchers?
Urban Sketchers, also referred to as USk, is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, incorporated in the state of Washington, USA, supporting and representing a grassroots global community of sketchers. Our mission as a nonprofit is to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing; promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel. We aim to show the world, one drawing at a time.

What is the Urban Sketchers Manifesto?
The USk Manifesto aims to define what urban sketching is all about. But it's not a binding set of rules. The basic idea behind these 8 points is to provide a unifying vision for the global urban sketching community. We encourage diversity in subject matter, style and technique.
  • We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
  • Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
  • Our drawings are a record of time and place.
  • We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
  • We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
  • We support each other and draw together.
  • We share our drawings online.
  • We show the world, one drawing at a time.
(See translations.)

How can I participate in Urban Sketchers?
USk offers different methods and outlets where drawing enthusiasts of any skill level can meet one another and share their drawings made on location:

How can I contribute to the blog at urbansketchers.org?
We work with a team of regular contributors, known as correspondents, who have direct access to posting on the blog. But we also welcome submissions!

To submit a guest post or express interest in becoming a correspondent, please contact us at editorial@urbansketchers.org.

To contribute to a regional USk blog, please contact its administrator.

What does the Urban Sketchers logo mean?
The Urban Sketchers logo was created by Italian designer Franco Lancio. According to Franco “It represents a sketchbook as well as different windows or ways to see the world from every sketcher’s vantage point.”
The Urban Sketchers logo is displayed on official Urban Sketchers communications/merchandise as well as by approved Regional Chapters, with the Urban Sketchers Mission Statement and Manifesto.

What is an Urban Sketchers Chapter?
A Regional Chapter is a community that wants to meet, sketch, and share, and that promotes the Urban Sketchers mission and manifesto. USk started as a group of international sketchers sharing their drawings in one single blog. But pretty soon these and other sketchers formed groups with closer geographical ties, some in cities, such as USk Seattle, some in countries, such as USk Portugal.

These USk chapters have an online presence, such as blogs, Flickr, or Facebook groups.

How can my group be recognized as an Urban Sketchers Chapter?
To be recognized as an Urban Sketchers chapter, please complete this form. The USk Membership Committee will review your request and get back to you.

To be successful, you need a minimum of three administrators who are committed to the USk mission and manifesto, and who meet regularly to sketch, and/or post regularly on the USk Flickr site, the Facebook group or another USk blog. Being a regional chapter administrator requires a strong involvement in your community of sketchers, including planning sketching events, sharing work online, offering feedback to fellow sketchers, and communicating with USk and other regional chapter leaders.

While Urban Sketchers recognizes these communities, the organization is not liable for the actions of any group that identifies itself as Urban Sketchers, or any person who identifies him/herself as an Urban Sketcher.

FAQ last updated March 2, 2015