As we've all become more isolated during lockdown, us artists and illustrators have had to find inspiration without access to the same resources. In the past I have done a lot of location drawing. That is: drawing on location. Outside. With real people, real buildings, real nature! Suddenly we had to stay indoors and I lost my main source of inspiration. As I mentioned in my last post, one of the ways I resolved this was to draw in the back garden, using the fact I was drawing the same place repeatedly to explore materials, techniques and colour. However, although I enjoyed that challenge, it also became pretty limiting and missed the variety of drawing on location.

I think it was Emma Carlisle who first introduced me to MapCrunch, who herself had been introduced to it by Louise Gouët, in the way these things mysteriously spread themselves around becoming a "trend" before you have barely even discovered them!

MapCrunch is a website that randomises webcam views from around the world. You click on "Go" and it shows a new webcam view each time you click. I have found that it brings the same sense of serendipity you can get from drawing outside. In the way you might see a particular view and get the urge to draw it while you're out on a walk, it feels like you can replicate that "accidental stumble" of inspiration on MapCrunch.

Doing it with friends has been a really wonderful way to catch up whilst being in isolation. MapCrunch almost replicates the relaxed chats, feeling of camaraderie and shared experience that sitting and drawing with friends on location creates.

Below is a selection of drawings and paintings I've made from these sessions.

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