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Todd Cumpston’s Journaling Journey: Sketching

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A few years ago a friend and I went to Manassas, Virginia for a weekend getaway. Part of this getaway was to meetup with some of her sketching friends at a neat little coffee shop downtown. This is when I met Todd Cumpston and several other really awesome people. I was in awe of the work these people where doing, and while I did some sketching of my own, I mostly enjoyed watching what they were doing. It was a really great time, but most importantly, I walked away from that gathering with a new appreciation for how other people journal.

Recently, I contacted Todd and asked him to share a little bit about his sketching. He even agreed to send some pictures to show his amazing work. I hope his words and work will inspire you as much as it has me. So let’s get right into the interview and see what Todd has to say about his sketching journey.

Todd, I asked you specifically to talk about your sketching because I wanted to let people know that there are different kinds of journaling, and that sketching definitely fits that category. So let’s talk a little about your sketching experience.

How long have you been sketching?

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Well, I’ve drawn my whole life, but I’ve been “officially” keeping sketchbooks since 2012.

What caused you to first start sketching?

As a visual thinker, it helps me process my life. I remember things much better if I sketch them- even better than if I have a photograph of the same scene. 

What kinds of sketching do you do, and do you have a favorite way to sketch?

The style of sketching I do is called URBAN SKETCHING. It is an online community of sketchers, and the goal stated in its “manifesto”  is to depict the ENERGY and SPACE of a location from life, to share the work online and to meet up and encourage each other sketchers in person. Wherever I am, wherever I go, there is a subject in front of me.

I start with pen and ink line work, and then add color selectively- to draw attention to the focus of the sketch. More recently, I have also started adding some text and framework/borders to some sketches, to add context as needed. I have even pasted things onto a sketch (receipts or tickets).

 I post all of my sketches on Instagram (@toddpop1) and Tumblr (toddpop1.tumblr.com).

Do you sketch every day? And for how long do you have a typical sketching session?

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