This is the drawing Koosje made in the tea cafe, which led to lots of lovely encounters. Art: Koosje Koene

This post is from Sketchbook Skool co-founder Koosje Koene, who writes about a recent Urban Sketching adventure.

Every time I see the drawing posted here, it brings a smile to my face because I am reminded of that small event.

I like sketching in groups because it’s great to meet other sketchers. I love flipping through their sketchbooks, checking out other people’s art supplies, sharing sketch adventures. But on sketchcrawls I don’t draw as much as I’d like to, because of all of the above!

Maybe I’m more of a solitary sketcher. I enjoy drawing on my own, getting into The Zone and opening all my senses while letting pen and ink flow onto paper.

Sometimes I’m happily surprised and amazed by what kind of connections can be made just during an hour of drawing on my own. The other day I sat down with a Matcha Latte (that seems to be the new thing! Chai Latte is so 2016) and started drawing the people and interior of the tea cafe (yeah, that’s a thing too!).

One hour later, I left with a finished drawing, had a chat with an old neighbor, gave my instagram handle to three (!) people who asked me for it, and had someone take a picture of the drawing I made, because she was in it.

If I had been sitting there with someone else, or with a group of sketchers, this direct contact wouldn’t have happened.

Twenty minutes into the drawing (and my Matcha Latte getting cold), a man stood on the other side of the window, and from the corner of my eye I saw him hesitate. A few seconds later, he came inside and approached my table.

Then I recognized him. I once secretly drew him when sitting outside of my neighborhood cafe. I thought it was secretly, but the man (who turned out to be someone living in the neighborhood as well) noticed, and asked if he could see the drawing. We got into a very nice conversation about art. It was one of those surprising and delightful encounters, driven by art.

And now, this same man came in just to say hi and to tell me that he follows my blog and really enjoys seeing my drawings. We now always wave when we see each other in the neighborhood, and sometimes we chat for a while. If it wasn’t for that one drawing I made back then, I would have never known this nice neighbor.

When I was done with my drawing, I got up to leave, and just as I headed out the door, someone called out, “Wait!” It was a girl who earlier had spotted me drawing when she came in. Now that I was leaving, she and her friend wanted to see the end result of the drawing. Then the lady behind them stood up and joined us to look at the sketchbook. She was actually in the drawing and was delighted about it, so she snapped a few pictures of it. They all wrote down my name to follow me on Instagram.

A few days later I ran into the girl again, who immediately asked, “Ooh, are you going to draw again?” I just love that I’m making friends through art. This is part of the magic of Urban Sketching!

Become an Urban Sketcher—there’s nothing quite like it. You’ll learn everything you need to know in our next kourse, Urban Sketching.

Nina Johansson, one of the teachers in our Urban Sketching kourse, did this drawing of Café Valand. Art: Nina Johansson

Another teacher in Urban Sketching, Miguel Herranz, sketches a cafe during a meet up of other Urban Sketchers. Art: Miguel Herranz

Filed under categories: Fakulty