My name is Chris and I'm from Southern Cal. Like many of you, I have a lot of balls in the air. I teach architectural illustration at Orange Coast College where I drag my students off the computer and outside to sketch in their sketchbooks. They whine at first but thank me at the end of the semester. I also design websites and do arch illustrations using photoshop when there is a paying client, which isn't often these days. I've spiraled through design fields: graphic, architecture, set design, illustration, website and so on.
My big secret is that I rarely get to sketch. It used to be a travel thing for me, but traveling has been scarce and my small family takes up all my discretionary time. In my dreams I'm traveling and sketching, which is why the symposium sounds so great.
In high school, my art teacher handed out Berol 314s with with a slice of wood carved off the end to write our names on and I've never really looked back. Good soft fat leaded pencils that can do a full range of lines are what I recommend to my students. I used to always use the black hardbound sketchbooks because I liked the look on a shelf, but now I'm coming around to spiral bound because they are easier to fold back and out of the way.
I can't say I'm accomplished as a sketcher. My goal is to capture the essence with an economy of line but that remains as elusive as ever. Usually I end up over working it.
I'm really looking forward to meeting you all and finding some tasty food carts. Please bring your suggestions for good eats.
See you in a few days!