Believe it or not, here in Fortaleza there is a large group of people who periodically get together to draw. No, I'm not talking about my sketch club project at the university - although it is also, essentially, a group of people who draw together. But, here, I mean Urban Sketchers, an awesome project that I had the pleasure to get to know last Saturday, January 27, 2024, at a meeting at the Sabiaguaba lagoon.
Urban Sketchers actually has international origins. It started in 2007, when Hispanic-American artist Gabriel Campanario started a blog and a community on Flickr with the goal of bringing together people who, like him, enjoyed to go out on the city streets to draw. He must have realized that the idea had potential, since, in the following years, the digital group gave rise to the NGO Urban Sketchers, whose purpose and part of its manifesto is to “show the world, one drawing at a time”. In fact, the project has expanded throughout the world and, today, promotes events, meetings, courses and opportunities for artists in more than 50 countries.
Here in my homeland, one of Urban Sketchers Brasil's national correspondents is Marcos Bandeira, who is an architect, teacher and artist. There are also Alesson Matos, Lucas Forte, Fabrício Porto and Dennys Silveira, who, together with Marcos, lead the local group, Urban Sketchers Fortaleza - and it was at the 62nd meeting of this group that I debuted!
On Saturday, the meeting started early… and, since I'm not much of a morning person, I arrived quite late. Still, we had a lot to enjoy. I was welcomed by Lucas Forte and Jucleiton at a table near the edge of the lagoon and I even managed to draw an entire page in my sketchbook. After the meeting, there was an “exhibition” on the floor and - wow, this group is all about amazing artists! There was a giveaway raffle, and I was presented with a cool sketchbook with high quality watercolor paper. I felt honored.