Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Symposium?

The International Urban Sketching Symposium is an annual educational event organized by Urban Sketchers (USk), a nonprofit dedicated to fostering the practice of on-location observational sketching. The goal of the Symposium is to celebrate and practice the art of on-location sketching in the host city. The event offers valuable field-sketching instruction and opportunities for participants to network and socialize. Following our spirit of “sharing the world, one drawing at a time,” we aim to bring the Symposium to new cities and countries every year. Portland, Lisbon, Santo DomingoBarcelona, and Paraty have hosted previous editions of the Symposium.

Who can participate?

The Symposium is open to anyone with an interest in drawing on location, no matter their skill level or professional background.

What is the programming? Who are the instructors?

The Symposium includes workshops and activities taught by professional educators, architects, illustrators and artists. Participants will have many opportunities to learn and socialize with sketchers coming from all parts of the world, including demos, lectures and guided sketchcrawls. The Symposium offers a unique learning experience that will inspire attendants for years to come.

How do I register?

Please see the Registration page for full details about how to Register, the three pass levels, and related dates and prices.

Why do you charge a registration fee?

While the Symposium is organized and staffed by unpaid volunteers, we have to charge a fee in order to cover our expenses: space rental, travel and lodging of international instructors, materials and supplies, and those free drinks at the closing reception! If the event yields a profit, it goes directly to the Urban Sketchers nonprofit to help fund future educational programs and Symposiums.

Can I share a pass with another person?

No, each pass is meant to be used by only one person. Each participant will receive a badge that corresponds to his or her Symposium pass.

Is there a place where participants will gather?

Yes. The event will be hosted by the National Design Centre, which will be the central meeting point for all sketchers attending. Temasek Polytechnic (TP) is co-hosting this event.

How can sponsors get involved?

The Symposium offers local and international businesses a unique opportunity to reach a global audience of people interested in sketching and drawing, and is ideal for art-supplies dealers and manufacturers; schools of art, design or architecture; and any type of business interested in supporting our growing international community of urban sketchers and the mission of our nonprofit organization: To Show the World, One Drawing at a Time.

We offer several sponsorship levels that give your company or institution a diversity of options to engage with the participants and the thousands of fans who follow the event through our social media and blogs.

Contact Omar Jaramillo, our Sponsor Coordinator, at to get all the details about every sponsorship level.

What language(s) will be spoken at the Symposium?

The official programing will be in English.

Who is organizing the Symposium?

The Symposium is organized by a team of very dedicated volunteers: Elizabeth Alley (Memphis, TN, USA), Tia Boon Sim (Singapore), Jason Das (Brooklyn, NY, USA), Orling Dominguez (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), Patrick Ng (Singapore), Fernanda Vaz de Campos (São Paulo, Brazil) and Paul Wang (Singapore).

I live far from Singapore. Why is there no event near me?

We are a global group committed to diversity in all of its forms, including geographic diversity. Urban Sketchers’ mission is to show the world, one drawing at a time. The Symposium brings this passion for drawing our communities to a different part of the world every year.

In an effort to foster educational opportunities for sketching enthusiasts, USk also offers the Urban Sketchers Workshops Program, which supports artists interested in teaching urban sketching. It is an extension of our international urban sketching Symposiums and aims to bring the educational experience of the Symposiums to any city where a qualified instructor can impart a workshop. See the Urban Sketchers Workshops site for more information.

You didn’t answer my question here. How can I contact you?

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