Travel Sketches

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Ongoing illustration project

On a trip to Europe in April 2013, I brought my camera and sketchbook and used both to record my experiences. However, I found that I enjoyed drawing much more than taking photos. In taking photos, I felt obligated to capture as many things as possible and felt that it drew attention to me as a tourist. However, in choosing just a few scenes to capture by drawing, I felt more relaxed and connected to my environment.

In one of my first drawing sessions outside ("en plein air"), sitting in the Piazza della Signoria in Firenze (Florence, Italy), a girl and her parents came over to me and spoke to me in Italian, asking to see what I was working on. Very often when I draw in public, people around me approach me, and are excited to talk about the drawings and places.

As it does take some extra time, I try to be considerate of my travel companions and often am a bit self conscious of how much time I spend drawing on site. Often, I'll do a base sketch and establish textures (e.g. branches, bricks, etc.) and then fill in the rest of the details later during downtime, in the airport, on the plane, or back home. To capture my initial impression and avoid second guessing myself, I usually draw in pen/marker (i.e. no erasing). Starting in 2016, I've been incorporating color.

I like to draw both natural landscapes and architecture, especially where they intersect. Since people move around the scenes I'm drawing, I usually exclude them. I really enjoying picking up details meaningful to the place, such as the boar mascot of Firenze, Cabana shirts in San Juan, and dolphins in southern California. I like to capture big iconic places such as the Eiffel Tower and Sleeping Beauty's Castle alongside beautiful, private places like my cousin's backyard. I have found this project to be very special, because who I was traveling at the time with showed me around places important to them, or was also discovering a place for the first time.

Please e-mail me if you are interested in high-resolution prints/files, or if you have an exhibition opportunity for this project.