Three weeks have passed since I first set foot in Rome. I fell in love with the city, I morphed in to its rhythm, and the one thing I can say about it is that there is so much more than just architecture in this beautiful city.
I’ve read a piece of insight in a book published by the Urban Sketchers organization on the art of urban sketching, which states that one of the best ways to pay tribute to a great foreign culture is throw drawing it. At the time I thought it was such an incredible remark and have kept it in my mind ever since. Taking this study abroad opportunity, I decided to testify that statement with my own experience. So everyday I set out drawing the city, in the city and with its people.
Drawing, sketching, painting, doodling, whichever name you call it, has exclusively been something that I enjoy to do on my own time and is quite a personal process. Changing that habit and turning my personal leisure inside out was definitely not an easy thing to do. However, the uncomfortableness eventually subsided and the joy and surprise it brings have yet to fail making every single day the best one.
Because of my drawings, I’m able to communicate with people without knowing their languages. A glimpse of the paper, flipping through the pages or even passing my Moleskine sketchbook around the café bar, I’m able to convey myself as a person and make a bunch of friends with ease. Gesticulation and a mix use of English words and my ultra limited Italian vocabulary also add to the fun and draw me and my new Roman connections that much closer.
Thanks to my now-established public drawing habit, I’ve got that chance to know four local architects including one from Paris. And be friends with more that five baristas at cafés that I frequent. I’ve also networked with people from Spain, the UK, and Germany because they were intrigued by what I was doing. In addition, I’ve also emailed a bunch of finished work to my awesome models that I met on the go. One last thing to mention, as a result of drawing outside, I also scored myself a book illustration deal for an upcoming book in Italy, which is a whole other story onto itself that I will cover later in another post!
FYI the name of the book that I mentioned:The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World