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Stressbusters 2022: Sketching New Brunswick

Self Portrait by Art Librarian Megan Lotts

Finals coming? Stressed out? Try grabbing a pencil as your next distraction tool. You can’t draw? Oh well, these are actually sketches, meant to give you a short mental break (just like reading). The point is to do something completely different which is engaging, creative, and enjoyable. Then, if the outcome is decent, you never know––your mom may put it up on the fridge, just like she did many years ago.

As the participants of several Urban Sketching workshops can attest, after only a couple of minutes of sketching, you will notice a lot more details––all the nuances and colors around you that you might have missed without this activity. Immersing fully in something creative, whether drawing or writing, is the best way to discover new perspectives, or to discover perspectives to begin with.

Stressbuster Galleries: Urban Sketching New Brunswick

What is Urban Sketching?

It’s a movement created in 2007 by Seattle journalist and illustrator, Gabrile Campanario, encouraging drawing spaces and places on location, rather than drawing from photographs.

The goal is simple: sketch what you see, in- or outdoors, and share it online. It’s diverse and inclusive, bringing together an international group of people who “show their world one drawing at a time.”

The best part: you don’t need to be an artist, an expert, or someone who draws all the time!

Using the hashtag #Rutgersurbansketching, it is now a tradition at Rutgers to dedicate the month of November to walking around on campus and sketching, with or without weekly prompts or instructions. Urban Sketching workshops are open to anyone who wants to try it. As previously stated,

The Rutgers Urban Sketching project encouraged the Rutgers-New Brunswick campuses to think about life in new ways during a stressful time. During the pandemic, people are in need of activities, like urban sketching, to help them connect, share, and escape their everyday lives. Sketching scenes from daily life elevated seemingly mundane moments, allowing us to see our own world from a different perspective. Urban sketching also relieves stress, hones observational and analytical skills, and forces us to take a moment to stop and “draw the roses.”

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