Saturday, 31 October 2009
Happy Birthday, Urban Sketchers
It's happy birthday time for Urban Sketchers, the group blog of 100 invited artists - including me - from more 56 countries who post their sketchbook drawings on the site that lets you "see the world one drawing at a time". During that time its 3,500 posts have, incredibly, attracted more than a million visits. Running alongside the blog is the Urban Sketchers Flickr site, which hosts more than 20,000 drawings by 2,000 artists.
For some it's been a catalyst to draw, for others the chance to get feedback from artists around the world, and feel part of a wider community. I started blogging for Urban Sketchers in January, and what I enjoy most about it, beyond seeing some fantastic drawings by other bloggers, is that my work gets seen by artists in far-flung places whereas most of it would probably have lingered unseen in a sketchbook on a shelf at home. Draw in the morning, get feedback from Bhutan in the afternoon. There's the feeling that the internet is the ideal vehicle for our kind of work.
Its founder, Seattle Times artist Gabi Campanario, already has plans to turn USk into a non-profit organisation to promote drawing and offer grants and fellowships. There are plans for a book and international face-to-face meetings. The statistics for the group grow every day. It's gone a long way already, but its journey may just be beginning.
Guess what? You can find out more on Twitter and Facebook.
Top, Green Lanes, London.