Why I sketch while traveling, and why you should too.

Thaliah Cardenas
June 18, 2022

Hello, I am Thaliah an architectural engineering student on my first ever trip abroad to London, England. While here I’ve seen so many amazing things and places that I haven’t experienced before in America! Like most people who travel, the urge to capture the memories is great and I find myself taking photos of everything I see! I have pictures of the food I devoured, the great buildings we saw, and the people I’m with. With a small camera in your pocket at all times, why wouldn’t you? But let’s be honest after the trip is over and you have hundreds if not thousands of pictures to sort through, it can be a bit much, and each photo becomes less appreciated. At that point, the purpose of taking the photo in the first place is meaningless because you can’t even remember it properly. That’s why I’m here advocating to attempt to sketch your surroundings. Now, I’m not against taking a good photo of a landmark now and again, but have you ever tried to draw it?

When you start to sketch a place, you begin to form a deeper connection to that spot and pick up more details you may have initially looked over. Maybe the building you pass by every day has cool detailing that you never noticed, or your favorite café has a neat tile pattern that you usually overlook. For example, when looking deeply into the stained glass at King’s College Chapel I was able to gather so much more information and symbolism in the windows, that I wouldn’t have noticed before.

As an architectural engineering student, there is even more incentive for me to be able to sketch great buildings. I can develop my skills of thinking critically about what I see and viewing things from an architecture or engineering perspective. Additionally, the more buildings I look at, analyze and learn about, the better architect I can be in the future, not only creatively but also from a technical perspective as well. After a while you can grasp, for example, how many columns a building that size will need before the roof collapses or how far apart or how thick they can be. Furthermore, knowing how to sketch architecturally and with correct proportions and shadows is a highly valuable skill! In an age where many things are digital, it is refreshing to see an architect that can produce a quick drawing of their vision to the client without having to go through the time and effort for a 3D rendering.

Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons you should sketch your surroundings. You get an awesome drawing out of it as an additional souvenir from your trip, which is free and much more meaningful. By studying this place intently, you can form a stronger memory than when you simply snapped a photo. And finally, it's fun! Even if you’re not the best at drawing you can still gain so much from your poor sketch than any picture. All you need is a pencil and a piece of paper and that’s it! (Maybe watercolor and pen if you’re feeling advanced). So, what are you waiting for? Get out there are make some art!

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Thaliah Cardenas

<p>I'm Thaliah! I'm just a gal from Texas who loves being outdoors, reading, and hanging out with friends. I am currently at the University of Texas at Austin studying Architectural Engineering. I am so excited to be traveling to London and discover new architecture, try new foods, and finally use my British accent. Fun Fact: I am the oldest of 5 and the youngest is 2 years old!</p>

2022 Summer 1, 2022 Summer 2
Home University:
University of Texas - Austin
Austin, Texas
Engineering - General
Explore Blogs