Sketching our Town

A few weeks ago, the DCA team took to the streets of our Wellington West (Ottawa) neighbourhood to explore our community with fresh eyes.  Sketchpads in hand, we took the opportunity to return to our roots.

Many of us have had training and experience with old-school pencil-to-paper drawing but rarely have the opportunity to flex those muscles during our day-to-day work lives.  We rely heavily on technology, emerging trends in software and the latest gadgets to guide us but sketching remains at the core of communicating, developing ideas and concepts, or working through challenges and possibilities.

We began our sketch tour with an exercise: Draw a familiar image but invert it in order to force the mind to focus on the lines rather than the subject.  The idea is to train our minds to draw what we see rather than projecting on to the drawing what we THINK we should see. This is the fundamental principle of “drawing on the right side of the brain”.

From there we proceeded to explore our neighbourhood with a fresh perspective.  We explored Wellington West and Island Park with keen focus, and without electronics and similar distractions. Along the way, we found benches and retaining walls on which to perch so we could sketch, draw, and doodle what we saw around us. Some members of the FDAI team have little or no drawing experience but found the overall exercise both enlightening and exciting. No two sketches were the same, no two team members drawn to the same subjects in the same way.

As the tour drew to a close, participating staff were gifted with fresh sketch pads, pencils, and sharpeners; a sketching kit to take away and build up with thoughtful drawings and inspiration.

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