Magazine Home
Sketching: Capture and Creation
Mar. 12, 2023

by Alejandro Anaya, text, art

Visiting London's Victoria & Albert Museum, 17 years ago, I made a decision that impacted the rest of my life. During the tour of that renowned cultural space, I went out into the courtyard to buy a sandwich and a bottle of water. In one of the worst heat waves to hit the UK, I sat in front of a fountain into which children were jumping to beat the intense heat so rarely experienced in the region.

The pieces that I had just seen in the museum were still spinning in my head. Each begged me to interpret it with pen and paper in drawings. After a while, I felt calmer as I saw my sketches on paper. It was at that moment that I decided that my life needed to be devoted to drawing and art in general.

From a very young age I had dedicated myself to drawing incessantly, I enjoyed making my own comics more than I did reading about Batman or Superman. The creative exercise in the museum gave me a rush of happiness that took me back to my childhood and made me remember how much I enjoyed creating worlds and characters with my drawings. When people ask me when I started making art, I show them the photograph that my brother took of me submerged in my notebooks with crayon in hand.

Today, in el Centro, I ran into the group, "Urban Sketchers" in which several friends participate. Most of the group are extranjeros (foreigners), who see in San Miguel the perfect opportunity to capture its colonial beauty in ink and watercolor. In their faces I see, coming to the surface, children, hungry to draw the world around them, to capture the beauty of everyday moments in their notebooks, through the filter of their gaze and their imagination.

I remembered that hot afternoon in London and how much my life has changed as a result of having resumed the exercise of drawing every day in cafés, on the street, in squares and on a bench in front of a church as my friends were now doing.

Dopamine flows in those moments. Problems take a backseat. The only thing that matters is drawing, expressing and interpreting what we are discovering in our environment. For me, it is capturing the moment to create my characters; strange beings, sometimes half geometric, or the result of free strokes with a fountain pen and colored inks applied with a little water.

The culture of sketching certainly offers us an alternative to snapping photos destined to be lost in oblivion of a hard drive or cloud. Sketching pays attention to that unique moment, without which it would vanish, or maybe never exist.


Alejandro Anaya is a visual artist and writer, originally from Torreon who, for almost four years, has lived and actively participated in the San Miguel community. His collaboration with Lokkal is part of his philosophy as a storyteller, and his commitment to share his discoveries and reflections on this beautiful part of Mexico, with all who seek to live a unique experience in our magical town.



Please contribute to Lokkal,
SMA's non-profit community publication:


Discover Lokkal:
Watch the two-minute video below.
Then, just below that, scroll down SMA's Community Wall.


Visit SMA's Social Network

events @

Subscribe / Suscribete  
If you receive San Miguel Events newsletter,
then you are already on our mailing list.    
Click ads
copyright 2024