Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sketching, teaching... nonprofit, what a year!

2009 was packed with sketching activity. I'm grateful for all the opportunities I had to draw and for all the friendships I made. I only wish that 2010 brings as much excitement and new chances to draw in such good company as I had this year. In 2010 I'll try to update this blog at least once a month. For now, here are the highlights of the year that ends tonight:

January — Met local sketchers for 21st World Wide Sketchcrawl at the University of Washington campus.

February — Started a portfolio site using Google sites, which is free and super easy to use. I've only taken a couple freelancing projects this year though (La información and IESE Magazine.) Hope to be able to do more in 2010.

March — I taught a visual journalism class at Western Washington University Journalism School in Bellingham. A great experience that I had a chance to repeat again in October. I really enjoy every time I have the opportunity to step in a classroom. In August, I was also invited to speak to the students of the Interior Design program at Bellevue College.


April — Spent two weeks with my family in Spain, most of the time in Extremadura and also a few days in Barcelona, where I had the chance to meet fellow urban sketcher Lapin in person for the first time.

Seattle Sketcher at The Seattle TimesMay — First month of my illustrated column "Seattle Sketcher" at The Seattle Times.

June — The World Association of Newspapers annual report is out. The report was edited by my former college professor Juan Antonio Giner, who had asked me to contribute this article about illustrators as storytellers.

July — The first official sketchcrawl of the Seattle Urban Sketchers took place at Fishermen's Terminal. After July we've been sketching every month at different locations. It's been a blast and I look forward to more sketching outings with the group in 2010.


August — I covered the Barcelona-Sounders game at Qwest Field for The Seattle Times, sketching at field level right next to one of the goals.

September — Thanks to the invitation by Clara Marta, a professor from the Aragón School of Design in Spain, I taught at a sketching workshop in beautiful Jaca, a pictoresque town near the Pyrenees. I met in person for the first time my fellow urban sketchers Simo Capecchi, Enrique Flores and Eduardo Salavisa. Lapin was there too. It was like being among family. More photos from the workshop on this flickr set.

October — I had the honor to have my work included in the exhibit "Diários Gráficos. Desenho en cadernos" that took place in Lagos, Portugal. It was curated by my friend Eduardo Salavisa.

November — On Nov. 1st, the first anniversary of the Urban Sketchers blog I had started in 2008, MyMidwest magazine published a 7-page spread article featuring my work alongside other U.S. based sketchers. It was a great piece and great recognition for USK. I also spread the news about the blog's anniversary with an interview for La Vanguardia, my hometown's newspaper, Italian newspaper La Repubblica, and Seattle's NPR station KPLU radio.

December — Urban Sketchers becomes a nonprofit organization. (We haven't made these t-shirts yet, but hopefully soon, and in different colors! Would you buy one and wear it?)

Happy New Year!!!


  1. Congratulations on such a successful year! Your work and Urban Sketchers pieces are such a treasure every day when I look through my RSS feeds. It's a real inspiration for those of us who wish we could capture life the way you do.

  2. Many congratulations Gabi on a spectacular year and you have truly made an impact in the blogosphere! It's been incredible to watch the growth of Urban Sketchers and seeing it gain recognition and reputation so quickly! Fantastic achievement!

    If it's possible ;) I wish you a year just as great if not better - Happy New Year Gabi!

  3. Wondeful!!! I REALLY LOVE THAT SOCCER MATCH SKETCH WITH BARCELONA!!! I couldn't do that at a match, the perspective and dimension to it is powerful.
    What a great achievement for 2009 Gabi!
    I'll love to have that T-Shirt-Hope it would have that inscription at the back too!


  4. Wow! What an incredible year you've had! Congratulations! Really, you've had such a huge impact on the world. You've brought such richness to peoples lives. To mine. You're making people think about art and it's value to society. Thank you so much! Wishing you and your family a prosperous and Happy New Year, Gabi!

  5. clara1:03 PM

    ¡Enhorabuena por tanta actividad¡. Enhorabuena por llevar acabo tus planes y crear la organización. 2009 fue un buen año. Nos presentó y tuvimos la suerte de compartir la experiencia inolvidable del Curso de Jaca. Espero y deseo que el 2010 sea para todos todavía mejor, nos depare muchas ocasiones para compartir estupendos dibujos, y estupendos momentos.
    Feliz Año, besos

  6. what an incredible year of accomplishments, congratulations! and yes, i would love to buy and proudly wear one of those shirts!

  7. I LOVE urban Sketchers. It's rekindled my love of sketching and given me a reason to keep it up!Thank you gabi!

    I like the t-shirt idea especially if we could supply our own shirts to print on. that way we could get the color and style we like.

  8. I too like the t-shirt, but I think the words "urban sketcher" would be enough.

  9. I would buy not 1, but 2 of these t-shirts :)
    When will they be done!?

  10. if i were to wear a graphic t-shirt then yes, most definitely. it's a wonderful design.

  11. Wow, wow, wow! Gabi...what an amazing year you've had!!!! Cheers to you. It's so inspiring!

    And yes! LOVE the t-shirt!!!!

  12. i would buy one and definitely will wear it!!! :D

  13. You are an inspiration. I am looking through everyone of your illustrations now.