Animation legend and nice human being Glen Keane recently visited SPARKCQ in Vancouver, and I was very fortunate to volunteer and sketch at the event. I know! How can I NOT sketch when Glen Keane is talking, gesturing, explaining and drawing! The night he received his lifetime achievement award, I only carried markers and some immigration forms… and I did not hesitate: I sketched on them 🙂 The next day though, I came prepared with the sketchbook I use when sketching with markers.
During his talk, entitled “Thinking like a child”, not only he shared his thinking process behind his designing the Beast, sweet family anecdotes, fun memories from the time he worked at Walt Disney Studios and wise advice. He also showed what a humble, sweet, caring person he is.
My wish is that Glen Keane’s set of values will soon constitute the new normal, so it will feel safe to explore ideas, passions, enthusiasm and vulnerabilities in a creative environment, without fear of rejection or judgement.
Arts Umbrella organized recently a free 4-hour life drawing session with two dancers, during BC Culture days at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (Vancouver, BC). These amazing dancers would perform at different speed and stop at a given time for 1, 2, 5, 10 minutes. They changed costumes as well, giving me the rare opportunity to sketch some ruffles and tutus… which was, I confess, my favorite part.
This was my very first Urban Sketchers symposium, it would take place in Chicago! I had been planing this adventure for months. I assembled the materials I sketch with and decided to travel from Vancouver (British Columbia) to Chicago by train. This was due to a combination of several factors but mainly because… why should I take a 7-hour flight when I can spend 55 hours sketching, meeting interesting people and seeing a different part of the planet? What an adventure!
First I took the Amtrak Cascades from Vancouver to Seattle. I immediately realized I had forgotten my sound-cancelling headphones…
So I moved to the dining lounge, occupied a table and spread my sketching gear to immortalize the moment. Still feeling a little bit rusty, I was hoping to sketch as much as possible – so by the time I arrived to Chicago, I would be ready for the challenge!
In Seattle I killed some time at the amazing Zeitgeist coffee place. I started sketching the actual indoors of the place, but noticed quite immediately that what I was truly interested, what was catching my attention, was the gazillions of coffee pots of different shapes in perfect formation, saluting the senior coffee pot in the middle. From the windows I could glance some interesting stuff as well.
All aboard the Amtrak Empire Builder! Tons of interesting scenery and people to meet, greet and sketch (often with their permission, just in case). I found out that I am not fond of grits and that earplugs can save your journey, particularly to catch some sleep.
The observation car is the perfect place to spend most of my trip. Not only I can observe the world outside the train but also the world inside it! People of all backgrounds, ages and cultures lean on the windows and mingle. And I meet and sketch ’em. Stuart is our guide. He knows. I mean, he KNOWS. It is a pleasure to thank him afterwards and get my sketchbook stamped.
A final pleasant surprise. Do you remember the musicians that made our waiting time in Seattle’s train station sweet? They were on the train all this time! Only at the end they came to the observation car – and I was able to enjoy their music again… and sketch them.