Saturday, April 22, 2023

It’s Pity Party Time!


4/17/23 Uma's Pity Party on Zoom

While actual drink-and-draw parties are ongoing in Auckland, those of us who are not attending the 11th Urban Sketchers Symposium are finding ways to good naturedly console each other. Uma invited friends to join her on Zoom for commiseration while sketching – a virtual drink-and-draw party!

We all joked about our misery, and I do miss friends that I get to see only when I attend the international symposiums. As the first symposium since 2019, Auckland is likely an extra-special reunion for many. But I’m happy for everyone there this year, especially all the sketchers in the southern hemisphere who are finally able to attend a symposium closer to home. (All but the Paraty, Brazil, symposium have been held in the northern hemisphere.) As I wistfully view sketches and photos that symposium attendees have been sharing online this week, I can’t help but remember with fondness the thrill and joy I’ve experienced at past symposiums. It’s an experience like no other to be among hundreds of one’s tribe and to see that the Urban Sketchers community really does wrap around the globe. I wish all sketchers could enjoy that experience at least once.

If you want a visual taste of what a symposium is like, watch Teoh Yi Chie’s (also known as Parka) well-edited video coverage of the entire event.

To read about my own symposium experiences, see these posts: 

Barcelona, Spain, 2013
Paraty, Brazil, 2014
Manchester, UK, 2016 (This symposium was especially significant to me because I served as one of four sketch correspondents covering the event.)
Chicago, USA, 2017
Porto, Portugal, 2018
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2019


  1. I forgot all about the Pitty Party so I missed it. Glad you were able to connect with some other sketchers and chat about the fun times at prior symposiums. Those were such fun times! I miss connecting with so many like-minded people and seeing old friends.

    1. Yes, seeing everyone's Auckland photos sure brought back found memories of symposiums past! It was so wonderful seeing you in Chicago and again in Amsterdam!


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