Friday, October 31, 2014

London Is My Boyfriend: a love letter to the city

We often tell ourselves little fairy tales about the cities we live in, casting them as major characters in our life story. Paris can be a beautiful woman, full of mystery and elegance. Venice might be an artist, energetic in the daytime and contemplative at night.

"He can be stately and dignified."
One half of the wonder | wander | women has an unusual idea of London: for her, London is like the ideal man. He has spent many years working out his identity and place in the world. He has rough spots, but his handsomeness and accomplishments outshine them.

"He understands the poetics of space."

London Is My Boyfriend is a half-joking, half literal love letter to the city. It started with photographs of a few famous landmarks, then of curious art and surprising buildings, happened upon during the blogger's daily life.

"He's prone to flights of imagination."
"He has his own ways of telling time."

Photos are a great way to keep a record, but it's hard for an artist to keep from expressing love for a beautiful city in the way they know best.

Photo reference helps, but whether drawing from life or a photo, try laying pen to paper without a preliminary sketch. While inaccurate at first, this method can help you capture more of the feeling of a place.

Sometimes thinking of a city as a person helps in writing about it. All the scale and complexity of the place is still there, but in a smaller shape, a little easier to describe. It's also a good thought to hold in our minds as we walk around and get to know this new friend a little better.

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