Host Nishant Jain has conversations with artists around the world who draw or paint their environment from observation, in the practice known as urban sketching.
Doing What's Fun with Koosje Koene
In this episode, I speak with Amsterdam based art-educator Koosje Koene about how she used the restrictions of COVID lockdown to "discover an extended version of the artist" in her, with a simple philosophy of doing what's fun. How much can be achieved by doing what is fun? Can it spark new ideas? Can it help us accomplish big, important goals too? Koosje used this period to write a book and discover a new creative outlet in abstract art, and we talk about both of these interesting projects. Koosje has been an educator and art-entrepreneur for a decade, and we speak about that with relation to her journey at Sketchbook Skool and her successful YouTube channel. We talk about the unique task of being an independent creative - the burdens and responsibilities of such a job title, and also the unique opportunities it offers in today's landscape.
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This episode comes with a bonus section exclusively for SneakyArt Insiders. Insiders receive bonus material from various podcast episodes - Ep 15 with George Butler and Ep 28 with Tomas Pajdlhauser.
Best ideas from the episode in my free email newsletter. Transcript of the conversation on my website. Find links to Koosje's work here.
Unlocking Creativity with Tomas Pajdlhauser
I speak with Ottawa-based Tom Pajdlhauser (aka Captain Tom) about his years of work in the animation industry. I ask him about the many responsibilities of an art director, and the hierarchy of workflows involved in the creation of an animated show. We talk about how he sees the relevance of traditional drawing skills in the age of digital art.
But as a career illustrator, what does Tom gain from the practice of urban-sketching? He tells me about a motorcycle trip through SE Asia when he arrived at the intersection of travel and art, and how it changed everything for him. We also share our respective experiences self-publishing books of our art, with reference to Tom's excellent Palestine Sketchbook, and my SneakyArt of Eau Claire.
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Understanding Light with Katie Woodward
In the new episode, I speak with NYC-based artist and urban-sketcher Katie Woodward. Katie has made paintings that are both very large and very small. As a scenic artist for the theater she has worked on backdrops spanning several feet, and as an urban-sketcher she makes tiny watercolor cityscapes just a couple of inches wide.
What’s it like to make art for the theater? What is inherently different about painting big and small, and what is strangely similar to both?
Working in stage design demands a wide array of crafting skills, and Katie shares wonderful stories of some of her memorable work. We also talk about her upcoming book - Understanding Light - where she brings together the art and ideas of her favorite artists across different media.
Follow Katie's work on Instagram. To pre-order her book, visit here or find it on Amazon. Find a summarized transcript to this conversation on my website.
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Becoming an Illustrator with Anna Wilson
In this episode, I speak with urban-sketcher and illustrator Anna Wilson. Anna is what I describe as a 'deliberate artist', in that she has taken strong decisions to change her career trajectory towards art and illustration.
I am always interested in speaking to 'deliberate artists', because they have such motivated and well-considered reasons for the things they do. What does a path of self-education in art look like? How do they gather influences, images, and inspirations, to guide this path? Anna tells me about the role that travel plays in shaping her perspectives, the lessons she picks from photography and carrying a little sketchbook, and what she carries from her formal education in human geography.
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Applying Imagination with Felix Scheinberger
In this episode, I speak with Berlin-based illustrator and artist Felix Scheinberger. Felix once described illustration as "applied imagination" and in this conversation I try to learn more about where this imagination comes from, and how it can be nurtured.
What is the role of on-location drawing in feeding this imagination? What are some ways to strengthen your imagination over time? What is the role of observation, what is the job of interpretation, and how can the artist translate the ideas in their mind into a visual language universally understood?
This episode took me into the mind of an illustrator whose work enchants me because it seems effortless, even though it is anything but. Felix makes his art with a carefree finesse that takes many, many years to master.
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Looking in Layers with Ian Fennelly
In this episode, I speak with Ian Fennelly, an artist and urban sketcher in the UK. Ian paints his urban environments in vivid, rich, and sometimes fantastical color-scapes. His lines and colors cleverly contrast the tussle between representing objective reality and subjective emotions. As Ian likes to point out, he is not recreating a scene, but creating art from a scene. The title of this episode is based on the title of Ian's latest book and is an apt description of his artistic process. His paintings are the result of looking and looking again, patiently building layer upon layer of observation, emotion, and artistic judgment.
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For anyone creative
A really interesting interview each episode with an artist. Even if you’re not an urban sketcher, you’ll still find the artists talking about their creative processes fascinating. And Nishant, the host, is knowledgeable and curious.
I’ve enjoyed listening to every podcast because each one gives me a new gem to think about and incorporate into my work. Nishant’s questions come from his own curiosity and always unveil an insight into the artists work. Totally worth a listen!
I’m a relatively new urban sketcher and I’m enjoying these conversations with some sketchers I’ve been following and others who are new to me more than I thought I would. Very thoughtful conversations and very motivating.