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

Submission Guidelines

The USk Editorial Team is not reviewing new guest post submittals at this time.

We accept submissions of storytelling sketches made according to the Urban Sketchers Manifesto that depict a place, culture, slice of time, or event. We encourage posts from sketchers worldwide. We encourage posts from individual sketchers as well as posts by a group of sketchers.

To be considered for publication, an individual's submission must include one or more sketches. A group post submission should include up to a dozen sketches. Whether individual or group, a submission should be enhanced by written narrative.

Here are some examples:

Places and trips:
Slices of time:
Sketches of culture:
Group posts:

We also may consider other types of articles, such as interviews and book review. Promotions of commercial activities are not accepted.

See the following examples:
Book reviews:
Book reviews should be impartial observations of published works written by other artists.

Please e-mail your submissions for the Urban Sketchers blog to and include the following (new guest post submittals are not being reviewed at this time):
  • One or more images in JPEG (.jpg) format. Resolution must be at least 800 pixels wide but no larger than 1,600 pixels at 72 dpi. 
  • Text in the body of the e-mail. See examples of text copy in links offered above. 
  • Each image should have a brief word description. 
  • If you are submitting as an individual, a brief biographical statement (two or three sentences) about yourself, such as the following: Joe Sketcher is a (profession) based in (city, country). He is a member of Urban Sketchers (local group). You can see more of Joe’s sketches here (links to Flickr or personal blog are preferable to Facebook). 
  • If you are submitting as a group, a brief statement about what defines your group and how your collaboration came about. If your group has come together through an Urban Sketchers Regional chapter, include a link to that group. Individuals within the group may supply links to their personal blog, Flickr, or Facebook. 

Other things to know:
  • Even if English is not your first language, we will work with you to edit text for clarity if needed. You may also submit posts in other languages, and we will try to find volunteer translators to work with you. 
  • For best reproduction of sketches, we recommend using a scanner. If a scanner is not available, photograph the sketch and use photo-editing software as needed to make the image as sharp and bright as possible. Tutorials are available online by searching “tutorial how to take photos of paintings for web.” Here’s one tutorial
  • Limit photos of sketchers sketching. 
  • Please do not include group photos. 
  • Show us through drawings rather than photos of the places. 
  • All accepted guest post submissions go through a collaborative editorial process. 
  • We reserve the right not to include all the sketches originally submitted. 
  • All submitted text may be edited for accuracy, grammar and clarity. 

Website Flags

The masthead (flag) on the Urban Sketchers website features a new sketch every two weeks. To submit your sketch for the flag, please include:
  • A high-resolution photo of you sketching, or a photo of your sketchbook page shown next to the background where you're sketching (photos taken with smartphones are OK as long as they are at least 960 pixels wide. Landscape/panorama format is best.) 
  • A high-resolution scan of the sketch 
  • Location of the sketch/photo (city, country) 
  • Your website/blog/Flickr site with your location sketches 
Send the above to with this subject line: "Flag Material from (your name)"

Please note that flags are used on a two-week cycle, so it may be a while before you see your sketch featured.

Last edited October 2018



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