After this Joe’s transit-sketching article came out at Metro’s website, the Metro Motion video folks asked to do a short video feature on me sketching on transit. You can see my segment here – at about the 24 minute mark:
If you want my musings on sketching in public, watch that vid and read that article. I just came across some really articulate stuff about this sort of on-transit sketching from illustrator/sketcher/artist Lynne Chapman. She even has a page with excellent tips on how to sketch in public, especially on transit.
It doesn’t feature me, but I suggest also watching this video about sketchbook work:
I really like what Lynne Chapman has to say about sketching – on trains, yes – and about sketching in general. Chapman says, starting at about minute 2, that sketchbook work, even if one never uses it as a preparatory work for other pieces, helps to bring joy and a good approach into the rest of one’s work. Chapman says what you sketch “doesn’t have to be anything special” – just draw “bits and pieces of stuff.” Further that sketching “keeps your skills honed” and “keeps it fun.” Well said.
I know some commenters look at some of my sketches (like this 3-hour sketch/drawing at the L.A. River) and say things along the lines of “that’s not a sketch” because it’s I am not going to use the sketch as a basis for some other work. Yes – my sketches are pretty finished and I almost never use them as the basis for a painting or anything else. Somehow, though, they very much do, as Chapman states, hone my skills and give me joy… which helps bring good energy to my other work.
A lot of the work that artists do is done alone, late at night. Sketching in public is much more social. More immediate gratification when someone looks over my shoulder and says “wow!” which I love. I love working alone, too, though.