Miami Design Preservation League has partnered with the Urban Sketchers Miami group to help promote their activities around historic places and urban spaces. We sat down with Ana Andras, the leader of Urban Sketchers Miami to learn about this growing movement.
Urban Sketchers is a non-profit artistic movement taking place in major cities all over the world.
In 2007, a global community of urban sketchers began to form when Seattle-based journalist and illustrator, Gabriel Campanario, created an online forum: “For all sketchers out there who love to draw the cities where they live and visit, from the window of their homes, from a cafe, at a park, standing by a street corner… always on location, not from photos or memory.”
Andras, born in Madrid, Spain, fell in love with the arts at the young age of sixteen. She began by sketching drawings at school, then progressed to painting with oils, acrylics, and even hand-crafts jewelry with fire enamel. You can see a portfolio of Ana’s beautiful artwork and jewelry on her website, AnaAndras.com. She will be also be selling her sketches of Miami’s most iconic sceneries, at the Urban Sketchers booth during Art Deco Weekend, taking place Jan 12-14 on Miami Beach.
Some of her sketches are below:
Ana sat down with MDPL staff writer Ava Salina in advance of the Art Deco Weekend Urban Sketchers program.
MDPL: What inspired you to get involved with Urban Sketchers…
Ana: My journey as an Urban Sketcher commenced back in 2020 at the Urban Sketchers Orlando meetup. I had such a good time gathering with a group of locals and our sketch-pads, that I was immediately hooked! Later, when I returned to Miami, I was disappointed to realize that our group was completely dead and non-existent! This was due to the pandemic and social distancing. I soon realized something had to be done, and today, Urban Sketchers Miami has dozens of members.
MDPL: How has Art Deco Weekend’s Urban Sketchers Program helped grow the local community?
Ana: I used to draw alone, but nothing compares to the joy of coming together as a community for the love of the arts. The program instructors are all volunteers, so it is very nice to see so many passionate individuals gather around for this artistic movement. Everyone gets together with a similar goal: to sketch!
MDPL: What advice would you give first-timers who are apprehensive about sketching buildings during Art Deco Weekend?
Ana: Time is your best teacher. If you show up consistently (and on time!) you will eventually get better with a little patience and dedication. One of my tips would be to stand closer to the buildings, for a better sense of perspective. There are also no rules! Feel free to only draw a portion of the building and add in other details surrounding it, such as people, trees, etc. You may use color, or stick to black & white – the choice is yours! The practice of sketching your surroundings in real-time results in the artist paying much more attention to the scenery vs. a regular tourist who wouldn’t typically stop to truly notice the minute details.
MDPL: Do participants need previous experience as an artist?
Ana: No, everybody is welcome! Their level of expertise does not matter. Just show up and have a good time! Drawings can be detailed or more abstract. You are capturing a moment in time with your very own unique vision and perspective.
MDPL: What materials should participants bring, and how can they better prepare for the program?
Ana: All they need is a sketchbook and a pencil or ink pen. More experienced artists sketch really fast, so they prefer using ink. Some artists use watercolor or colored pencils, others prefer to make their sketches black & white. If you seek some further drawing tips and tricks, we have a website called studio56boutique.com where you will find numerous resources to level up your drawing skills.
The Urban Sketchers have a code of Visions & Values called The Manifesto. It is a list of 8 rules:
1.) We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
2.) Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live, and where we travel.
3.) Our drawings are a record of time and place.
4.) We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
5.) We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
6.) We support each other and draw together.
7.) We share our drawings online.
8.) We show the world, one drawing at a time.
Miami Design Preservation League is proud to be featuring the Urban Sketchers Program at Art Deco Weekend 2024 and welcomes you to come out and join them at one of our local meetups.
To learn more about Urban Sketchers, visit their official website: urbansketchers.org
“Urban Sketchers is more than a local meetup, it is a global artistic movement.” – Ana Andras