I started the #walktosee hashtag in February 2018. It is to remind us all of the importance of drawing from life, to generate new ideas and flex our drawing muscles. #walktosee is becoming a wonderful supportive community of people who love to draw from life. It is a place to share tips, and people are meeting for walktosee sketchbook crawls. There are over 9000 contributions so far, people from all over the world, artists from every continent.

A bit about why I started the Walktosee hashtag project: When I first left art school in 1994 I made the mistake of thinking I had to work hard at being an illustrator, just get my head down and work. I thought it would be frivolous to draw from life or take days out to play at sketching and exploring. I quickly became miserable, I found it hard to generate new ideas, and my work didn’t excite me any more. It took me a while to realise why, I had forgotten the pleasure and importance of play. I took a year out of illustrating picture books, and lived on my meagre royalties, and pasta. I drew every day and worked out a bridge between my drawing and my illustration. I went back to illustration a year later, a much happier person. I realised lots of people go through the same thing, and that is why I started #walktosee.

Thank you for posting all of your amazing sketchbook drawings. Anyone can join in, just post your drawings on Instagram using the hashtag #walktosee. I post a selection of the contributions on my Instagram Stories each weekend.

My #walktosee sketchbookzine (a word Gerry and I made up to describe a zine full of sketchbook drawings) is back in my shop, and if you sign up to my newsletter you will get some free downloadable goodies for illustrators, including my Top Tips on drawing from life.

©walktosee Feb 2018 ©#walktosee Feb 2018

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