Now we've hit the start of the symposium! It was my first, but the 8th annual International Urban Sketching Symposium. 570 artists from 34 countries poured into Chicago to sketch! Check in at "the hub" (the heart of the symposium) didn't start until noon and the kick-off sketch walk started at 2:30 so I took the morning to do some other extracurricular sketching. Since I was staying with a friend on the Northern end of the city, I got off the subway a little early and sketched Wrigley Field. I figured it would be just wrong to pass it every day and not stop to sketch it. As I sketched a member of the custodial staff, decked out in Wrigley Field gear and a Cubs hat to match, swept around me, making me infinitely glad I had left my Yankees cap at home.
Then I walked over to the lake and started walking down the shore until I got the perfect view of the city from afar, sporting a rather different view of the Navy Pier ferris wheel than I had the day before!
After that I grabbed some food and headed into the hub, where I quickly checked in and grabbed my goody bag full of art materials provided by our fantastic sponsors. I also quickly found a handful of my fellow NYC urban sketchers; we're hard to miss. Many were sporting new "NYC Urban Sketchers" shirts or pins, and we definitely agreed we were the loudest (read: most obnoxious) group. And I wouldn't have it any other way! As we headed towards the first sketchwalk, I saw other familiar faces. Some sketchers who I had met before (perhaps on their visits to NYC), or ones who I had seen and been following on social media. Throughout the week I made fast friends with sketchers from Germany, California, Australia, Singapore, Chicago, Canada, and the list continues. I even found people who knew me from my instagram! I felt famous. It was easy to bond with people when you know EVERYONE THERE shares a common interest.
Our first sketchwalk was in the Art Institute gardens; here are my two sketches! It was really great to see literally hundreds of sketchers pouring into the gardens to sketch. Also, very hard to focus! I wanted to see what everyone else was doing!