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Drawing On-Site | Documentary Illustrator and Street Artist SASHALYNILLO



I remember my first college Documentary Art class; once the teacher said “drawing on site” I was terrified, but became hooked soon after learning the beauty of capturing people and places on the spot. Since then, I’ve been invited to several events to draw people, including Fashion Forward at The Metropolitan here in New York City. My love for drawing people became so strong, I took it upon myself to go out into the world to see what was out there, and began to take my sketchbook everywhere.

The first few drawings were fairly large, about 11×17, I was drawing people at museums, at the park, and many different locations in NYC was fun, relaxing and gave me time to think. I soon scaled down my sketchbook size, and started drawing on the subway. Since then, the love has become an obsession. I draw everyday, everywhere I go.

Over the past few years, I developed a great interest in protests. I have attended the Occupy Wall Street march, along with a few others, but most recently have been involved in The Millions March, which fights for the rights of African Americans, who have been heavily mistreated and killed by New York City Policemen. Yes, drawing and walking at the same time is a challenge, but a privilege when you hear the passion and feel the energy of the people who surround you. There is something so lively and exciting about the screams of others, it makes me want to keep moving and drawing, and very quickly. I learned how to get everything down, pen to paper, with lightening speed. If I couldn’t get the man marching by with the sign, I’d snap a photo and finish drawing him at home.

I am hoping that my art can shine some sort of light on these important matters. So much is talked about and seen on the news, and written about in articles online and magazines, that something visually pleasing to the eye can be another helpful way to understanding. Art is interpreted, and people can agree or disagree. But with my style of drawing, people can at least find freedom to express and to feel. Even if at times our laws can’t give us that freedom, I can give that to others through what I do.