Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Meeting a Flickr-Friend in the Flesh

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.


Jill said...

It is always fun to meet a flickr friend, I have manged a few photography meet-ups.

Nikira said...

Amazing adventure, I love Rick Tulka"s work on Flickr.

Trudi Esberger said...

Brilliant - would love to meet some of my Flickr friends. Very brave of you!

E du Plessis said...

Thank you for the post. It's wonderful to realise there are so many different people out there. And it's inspiring to see someone who loves to draw incessantly.

Jessie said...

I'm going to pop over to Flickr right away and take a peek!x

Liz Steel said...

Hi Lynne, great to see Le Select isn't it! Pity we were not able to meet up - maybe my next visit to the UK!

Lynne Chapman said...

Yes, I love the way that the internet has helped me to find new friends, who I have then got to meet in person. We illustrators are an isolated bunch, so Flickr, Blogger and Facebook are a wonderous development for bringing us out of the woodwork!

Ria Mendoza said...

Hi! Lovely blog - found it by blog hopping from Illustration Friday.

Question though, if you don't mind - do your subjects ever know you're sketching them?

I would love to draw more from real life but I really get self conscious, I feel like I'm intruding on people's privacy.

Lynne Chapman said...

Hi Ria - glad you found me and like my ramblings.

Sometimes people spot me and sometimes not - I try to be discrete and hide my sketchbook behind my handbag, under a table etc. It's better if they don't notice as there's much less pressure to do something good, and they are more natural too.

Re intrusion: my tip is to pick your venue. I have never had any problems drawing on public transport, in waiting rooms etc, but friends have been challenged for drawing in pubs and in restaurants. People seem more likely to consider it an intrusion when they are actively 'at leisure' and on private time, rather than the 'hanging about in between time' slot that I catch them in.

Why not start by drawing them from behind, so they have no chance of seeing you?

sasha said...

wow, i always admired his work on flickr and was really suprised to come across the link between you and him through your blog. made me smile =)

Lynne Chapman said...

Excellent - the world can't get enough smiles!

戴佩妮Penny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.