Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Symposium Participant: Todd Serrano

Hello everyone, my name is Todd and I am an Artist and Product Design Consultant from Chicago. For the last 5 years I was in sales management in the Contract Furniture Industry until about a year ago, with the support of my wife, I went back into art full-time. The company I was working for was also very supportive and asked if they could hire me as an independent Product Design Consultant with flexible hours. I happily agreed and this has allowed me to use my art degree to its fullest, consulting on the design of products as well as just having designed two products for the company this year.

Prior to this, I had been drawing my entire life and studied Fine Art and Communication Design in College. After graduating in 1997 I began doing some post graduate semesters in Europe and studied plein air painting. Upon returning to Chicago, I continued to work on location but found winters frustrating as well as not being able to set up painting equipment in the areas I really wanted to work. When I couldn't work on location in pastel or oil I kept a sketchbook in pencil and made notes about color.

Surfing the web about 4 months ago I came across the Urban Sketchers Site from another artist who had the link on their page. It was exciting to see a forum and very talented community available for something I was already doing, so I joined Urban Sketchers right away. The site also led me to investigate using ink pens and watercolors, two mediums I had very little exposure to in college. I am really just re-learning how to use the ink pen these last few months as well as watercolors. My goal this summer is to fill up my sketchbooks to make larger pieces in the studio during intolerable winter days. Having a great community to share and receive feedback on this has been invaluable.

I am looking forward to meeting everyone in Portland and learning as much as possible. As fellow Urban Sketcher Linda from Portland mentioned we already met while she was in Chicago in May and we both happened to be downtown drawing, it really is a small world! Below are some of my sketches as well as are some of the items I sketch with, not including a small folding stool or my pochade box and tripod. I just throw everything into a small backpack.


  1. Great drawings, Todd! I'm assuming they're all from Chicago--a city of fabulous architecture. I'm glad you mentioned your folding stool. I mustn't forget mine--a folding tripod. (Others might appreciate this reminder too as us out-of-towners pack our bags.)

  2. Hi Todd,
    Wonderful drawings--I think I recognize the one of the Wrigley Blg.!
    I look forward to meeting you again,this time in Portland!
    Safe journey.

  3. Thanks everyone for the comments. The middle two drawings are of Aurora, IL the rest are Chicago. You are correct Linda that is the Wrigley Bldg drawing you saw in Chicago. The stool is a huge help and allows one to remain balanced and attain angles you otherwise might not get. One week to go!

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