travel map sketch

Let’s Make A Map: Danny Gregory on Drawing and Travel


The start of the summer season means traveling and vacations. Whether you’re going across the ocean, across the country, or across the street to a coffee shop on your day off, drawing is a way to tell stories about the places you’ve been. And our kourse Urban Sketching will show you how to document and remember your trip in a whole new way. Here’s Sketchbook Skool Founder Danny Gregory on how travel can take you to places deep inside yourself that you’ve never been to before. And those moments are worth remembering with sketches.

Playwrights say that if a gun appears on stage, somebody will use it before the curtain falls. Photographers say that the best camera is the one you have with you. The New York Lottery says “You gotta be in it to win it.”

I just spent ten days in a car with a journal on my lap. As result, I did a lot of drawing. Not that drawing in a car is ideal. I am prey to carsickness so jolting highways and juddering views are usually not the ideal environment for the delicate stomach of my muse. Nonetheless, as I looked out the windshield for four thousand miles, I was constantly drawn to draw.

Aphorists say when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And as I spent my whole day with a pen lightly gripped in my hand, everything looked like a drawing. The only effort required to start a drawing was to shrug off the cap and, whenever I wasn’t at the helm, I seized every excuse to draw (thank you, Tommy Kane).

The unfolding miles inspired me to use the pen which in turn defined the journey we were on. I saw connections between things, I saw unusual shapes, I saw common things suddenly looking very uncommon. I was hyperaware of the light, of the weather, of the ravages of time. Holding a pen can be like donning polarizing sunglasses, sharpening everything in your field of vision.

Now I am back on terra firma, I want to hold on to that urge and habit. To keep recording all the days that pass under my feet, to keep seeing even the most familiar landscape with the fresh eyes and open mind of a traveler.

Inspired? Come along on a creative adventure and join us for Urban Sketching!

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