Has this ever happened to you? You are drawing, doodling really, just to occupy your hand and your mind while you're killing time and then it happens--the critic shows up.
Critic: "What are your doing?"
Me: "Oh, I'm just sketching the napkin in front of me, having some fun."
Critic: "You call that a sketch? It doesn't really look like the napkin."
Peeehhaaahooooooo! That sound of a descending missile dissolves all of your confidence and your day ruined with an explosion inside your head. Funny how you suddenly remember that you didn't ask them what they thought. You were just trying to have a little fun with your quiet time.
Remember we are "Urban Sketchers." This is what you do. We take ordinary, forgettable objects and things and make them suddenly cool by turning them into a sketch. Ever notice how that TV remote that you handle every day looks more interesting once you turn it into an artistic expression? Or that book of matches, that styrofoam cup of coffee, and even the make-up supplies and brushes on the bathroom vanity. I have often thought about doing a sketch of my sketchbook complete with the sketch that it happens to be showing at the time. That sounds a little bit like the old joke about drawing your image in the mirror and there is a mirror on the wall that also has your image and then the reflection continues on into infinity.
While it is true that there are Urban Sketchers who produce some amazing sketches that would be worthy of framing and including in a Chicago art gallery, we all have our very own gallery of which we should be proud. The good sports teams do not focus on their overall win-loss record. Instead they always talk about going "1-0" (one win, no loss) every single game. The same can be said about your sketchbook. Focus on one page at a time, sketch what you see in front of you, and continue to learn from your experiences. 1-0 with every new page, even if your page is on an iPad like my red basket sketch from above. And much like a good sports team, USk Chicago gets together once a month for sketch crawls to share in our love for sketching and exchange cool tips and tricks on how to sketch on location. Think about joining us when you are in or near Chicago. Visit our Facebook group page to find out more and see examples from our members.
Go to Facebook and search "Urban Sketchers Chicago."
To paraphrase the almost cliçhe Nike campaign from years ago, "Just Doooodle It."