|My beloved symposium tin collection|
During all the social media buzz around the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Auckland last month, of course I was wistful (perhaps even a bit self-pitiful) that I wasn’t joining the fun and excitement this year. Sure, I missed all my sketcher friends whom I happily reunite with in exotic cities around the globe. Certainly I enjoy attending workshops and sketching sights I never see at home. But we all know what I regretted missing most: the Cretacolor pencil tin with the symposium logo!
Luckily for me, a dear friend who attended isn’t attached to symposium souvenirs, and the Auckland tin was happily given to me (is it still considered a gift if I beg?). When I missed the Singapore symposium in 2015, I had put out an entreaty on Instagram, and I was touched by the number of friends who had offered their tins.
|The tins contain varying assortments of Cretacolor|
pencils. I don't hoard the contents, though -- in fact,
I let the donor of the Aukland tin keep the pencils.
Begging for pencils? Please -- I have some pride.
Since Paraty was the first symposium with a logo’d Cretacolor tin, I thought my collection was complete – until 2017. That was when I spotted a photo on Instagram of a tin with the Barcelona logo – which I didn’t receive in my swag bag! My first symposium, Barcelona is particularly special to me, and completing my collection with that tin would be especially sentimental.
I went to great heights that year to inquire among friends who had attended Barcelona, but they didn’t get one in their swag bags, either. Perhaps only a select few had received one – symposium organizers only? I even pleaded with a couple of executive board members, but they didn’t have them, either. Perhaps it was a Cretacolor sample, which was ultimately not provided as part of the sponsorship? I may never know.
Someday years from now, perhaps a Barcelona tin will appear on eBay for an astonishing sum that no sane person would pay. Or perhaps, needing a down payment for a house or to put a child through college, the owner of the only Barcelona tin on earth will recall my original plea and offer it to me – for a suitable price. I know which country she lives in; I haven’t ruled out theft.
How far will I go to complete my collection? Only time will tell. In the meantime, I’m ever grateful to kind friends who are willing to indulge me.