168. I am (officially) drawing on the trains.
an art-residency on wheels and year-end deadlines.
I have exciting news. Starting this Friday, I will be an artist-in-residence on the Translink BC, Vancouver’s public transit system.
In today’s post, the details of this unique residency, some art that led up to this opportunity, year-end deadlines, and some people I follow.
Drawing on the SkyTrains
Intrepid readers will know that I love to draw on - and travel by - public transport. It is my favourite way to understand a place and its people.
When a rep from Translink BC reached out with an idea for a unique art-residency, I leapt at the opportunity. They shared with me their goals, to which I added my overenthusiastic ideas, and together we made a plan:
On Fri 2 Dec, I will be on the Expo line (in dark blue below). Afterward, I will draw on the Millenium Line (yellow) and Sea Bus (dark brown), and once at the iconic Waterfront Station.
An important goal of my month-long program is to engage with people, which means that I cannot be sneaky. My idea is to combine this (necessarily) public performance with my other big resolution of 2022 - to give away as much art as possible.
Throughout this residency, I am giving away my drawings! To make things easy, I will draw on coasters for passengers to take away.
Dear reader, if you live in Vancouver and would like to meet me on the train, and maybe grab a coaster, get in touch in the comments!
I love public transport.
Train stations fascinate me. Like airports and bus stops, they are hotspots of public activity. Complete strangers will congregate here, people who have nothing to do with each other, people who want nothing to do with each other, united briefly over a common goal - to go from Point A to Point B.
In a city, public transport takes people to work. Later it brings them home again. It empowers the poor and liberates those with special needs or disabilities. It helps tourists navigate an unfamiliar maze.
In most places, it is also the best way to get out of there. In Vancouver, it is the Canada Line that takes you to the airport.
Travelling by public transport is a way to bond with the people with whom you share your urban environment. To buy a ticket (or swipe a pass), to observe the norms around seating, to follow the rules of public conduct, is an essential human ritual.
And it happens even when we choose to be unaware of the people around us, even when we are plugged into our phones and screens. Any train journey is a way to be part of a larger whole, even if you are inside your own private bubble.
I want to use the residency to share this sentiment with my fellow travellers.
The plan is to draw quick portraits and offer them to people. And the goal - like all of SneakyArt - is to bring attention to the world in which we live, work, and commute together.
Wish me luck!
🛫 Upcoming Travel Plans
Next month, I will be in New York City for the week before Christmas. Any readers who would like to meet, say hi in the comments. This will be my first drawing in NYC too!
I will be in India for a few weeks in February 2023. The tentative plan includes time in Kolkata, New Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, and Pune. Friends and sketchers, please reach out. I would love to meet!
This month, I did an Instagram giveaway with artist Sarah Nisbett. The lucky winner is receiving copies of both of our books! I am sending SneakyArt of Eau Claire while Sarah is sending her new book:
“Drawn On The Way: A Guide To Capturing The Moment Through Live Sketching is a lovely, accessible guide to making quick sketches of our world, designed for busy people on the go who only have a few minutes in their day for creativity. Using simple, portable tools like a pen, sketchbook and markers to draw the people, places and things that make up our lives, you'll learn how to find — and draw — the extraordinary in the everyday.”
Just like me, Sarah loves to draw people, a practice she picked up while travelling in the NYC subway system. We had a lovely chat about her work on Ep 12 of the Podcast.
Learn more about Sarah and her work here.