Meet the Correspondent: Stephanie Bower > Seattle, USA

I am so honored and thrilled to be an Urban Sketchers blog correspondent! I am a fairly recent arrival to this amazing, friendly, and supportive community that connects online and around the world, seemingly erasing all boundaries on a map. What a wonderful way to keep drawing-by-hand alive in a digital age. I am inspired and motivated by you all!

For most of us, drawing is a way of seeing and learning. I leaned how to draw in architecture school, worked as an architect in NYC, and now work primarily as an architectural illustrator here in Seattle. I have a passion to travel and learn about the buildings and spaces I see through sketching.

Sketching is my form of meditation. The part of my brain that keeps track of time turns off, and I am transfixed in a time and place, capturing on paper what I see and experience the way no click of a camera ever could. To draw something you have to look so closely, it becomes imprinted in your memory. Looking at a sketch I did 20 years ago, the sights, sounds, the feel of the sun and the air and more, all flood back. Sketching is a powerful way to really SEE our world.

The past few years have provided some amazing opportunities to travel, sketch and paint…trips to Spain, India and Nepal in 2011 followed by architecture fellowships to France (Gabriel Prize) and Italy (NIAUSI) the past two summers. Sketches from those trips were honored with the KRob travel sketch award two years in a row! I am also a signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society. 

Learning to draw was a struggle for me and has inspired me to help others learn to sketch. For 20+ years, I have taught architectural sketching and perspective at the college level both in New York City (Parsons) and Seattle (Cornish and UW) and am now teaching workshops around Seattle and in Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy. I attended my first USk Symposium in Barcelona, then taught a workshop called 180 Degrees at the 2014 USk Paraty Symposium, and I’ll give an interactive sketching lecture on demystifying perspective basics called Good Bones at the upcoming 2015 Symposium in Singapore. In August, I’ll be filming an online class on perspective sketching for Craftsy, and I’m also thrilled to be writing the fourth book in the Urban Sketching Handbook series (#1 and #2 by Gabi Campanario, #3 by Veronica Lawlor), mine is called Understanding Perspective and will be out Summer 2016.

Thank you for this opportunity, and I look forward to posting my sketching adventures near and far…see you soon in Singapore!

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