Some of you may be familiar with Flickr, where artists keep on-line portfolios. It's a brilliant way of quickly finding other creative people out there, and keeping up with their most recent work.
It was on Flickr that I came across fellow illustrator Rick Tulka who, like me, is a tad obsessed with sketching people in public places (Rick's the one in colour in the montage above).
His character observations, drawn in pencil in a small sketchbook, are always exquisite, sometimes poignant, often hilarious. I love his eye for detail.
For a couple of hours almost every day, Rick sits sketching in the same Parisian Cafe: La Select.
So, when we decided to go to Paris for a few days, I thought it would be fun to look in on him. I was a bit nervous, but dropped him an email.
We got on really well and it was lovely chatting over a coffee (in La Select of course). We talked about the sketching, as well as all sorts of other things. Turns out, when Rick is not in the cafe, he works as an editorial illustrator, which is what I used to do too, before I got into children's books.
It would be nice to report that we sketched each other, sketching, but we both agreed that we hate drawing portraits 'on demand' and much prefer clandestine scribblings under a table.
Also, it hadn't occurred to me before but, because his work has more caricature to it than mine, Rick said he never ever shows the victims what he's drawn. Fortunately people rarely spot him at it either. Interesting.
I'm really glad I made the effort to look him up, and it'll be so nice now to be able to picture exactly where Rick's sitting, when I look at the new drawings he posts to Flickr.