Meet Your USkJ Friends: Grover

USkJメンバーをインタビュー形式で紹介するシリーズ、Meet Your USkJ Friends。今回フィーチャーするのは、香港出身で2年前に東京に移住されたGroverさんです。スケッチを始めたきっかけや、好きなスケッチャー、使用しているスケッチ道具など定番の話題のほか、彼が...

USkJメンバーをインタビュー形式で紹介するシリーズ、Meet Your USkJ Friends。今回フィーチャーするのは、香港出身で2年前に東京に移住されたGroverさんです。スケッチを始めたきっかけや、好きなスケッチャー、使用しているスケッチ道具など定番の話題のほか、彼が取り組んでいるプロジェクト、Sketch My Tokyoの立ち上げの背景についても伺いました。いただいた回答は私の日本語訳付きでお届けします。お楽しみください!

A new episode of Meet Your USkJ Friends has just arrived! This is a series of interviews with USkJ members. This time we are featuring Grover, a designer from Hong Kong who moved his business to Tokyo two years ago. Aside from his story of starting sketching, favorite sketchers, and sketch kit, he also shared the background of his personal project called Sketch My Tokyo. Hope you enjoy!


1: When did you start sketching? How did you get involved in the USk community?


Top: Sketch when I study graphic design on 1994
Bottom: Sketches from sketch crawl event on 2007

I start sketching when I’m studying graphic design in Hong Kong about 20+ years ago. At that time I have friends who study interior design and they invite me to go for outdoor sketching and that’s how it started.

A few months ago I felt I’m losing passion in my job. So I start browsing my old sketch books and I re-discover my passion about sketching, especially outdoor sketching with friends. I found some outdoor sketches while I joined a sketch crawl event with online friends in Hong Kong on 2007. I really want to sketch with a group of people again so I start researching online and see if there’s anything similar in Tokyo. That’s how I found the Urban sketching Japan community and joined my first USKJ gathering in April.


数か月前、僕は仕事への熱意を失っていました。そこで昔のスケッチブックを眺めていると、スケッチ(特に、友人たちとの屋外でのスケッチ)への情熱が甦ってきました。2007年に香港でオンラインの友人と参加したスケッチクロールで、屋外で描くスケッチャーを知りました。あのようにまたグループでスケッチしたいと思い、インターネットで検索し、東京に似たようなものがないか探しました。そしてUrban Sketchers Japanを見つけ、4月に初めてUSkJの集まりに参加したんです。

2: What do you like to sketch (people, architecture, nature, etc.)?


Top: Hikawa Maru Left: 6.4 event Right: Strangers on train

I like sketching urban scene, architecture and mechanic parts. I especially love to sketch things that are meaningful and emotionally connected with me. When I draw I love to draw every tiny details of the subject. I learned a lot about the subject and how they work / built by drawing the details.

Recently I love sketching people, especially in trains. Finishing a quick sketch within a few minutes feels very challenging and rewarding.



3: Show us your favourite sketch done in Japan and tell us about it.


Top: Ikebukuro East Exit Bottom: Retro car and engine

1. Ikebukuro east exit: I love busy street scene so when I stop by Ikebukuro I decided to draw this view right outside the east exit. While I’m sketching I notice there are so many billboard ads so I end up draw them all in the sketch.


2. Vintage super car: I don’t like driving / cars but I like the mechanic details of the car engines.  I’m so excited when I knew there’s a Showa Retro exhibition with 3 Retro super cars exhibited. This is the first time I sketch super car and their engines and I love the result very much.


4: Name your favourite sketcher(s) if any.


I have many favourite sketchers that I have made a list of videos here:

But there are 2 sketchers that I like most:


1. Felix Scheinberger: I really admire his wildness and freedom in his sketches and illustrations. I’ve watched almost every YouTube / interview videos about him.

Felix Scheinberger。彼のスケッチやイラストの荒々しさや自由さがとても好きです。彼に関するYouTube動画やインタビュー動画はほとんどすべて見ました。

2. Kim Jung Gi: I admire his huge visual library inside his brain that he can draw anything out of his memories and without any reference. I especially love his on-location sketches in his early years of his career. Link:

Kim Jung Gi。彼の頭の中には膨大なビジュアルライブラリがあって、どんなものも何かを参照せずに記憶から描くことができるところに感服します。特にキャリア初期の現場スケッチが好きです(上記リンク参照)。

5: Show us your sketch kit (sketchbook, pen, watercolor, etc.)


I mainly use simple tools like fine liners and mechanic pencils. When sketching people in trains I use fude nib fountain pen or brush pen.

For sketchbooks I use Daler-Rowney hard cover 150gsm sketchbook. And a craft paper sketchbook for sketching people on train.



6: What has urban sketch brought to your life?


Sketch while travelling to Istanbul, Turkey on 2008

Urban sketching helps me record my own life in my own way. Instead of taking photos with smartphones, sketching with my pens and paper, observing with my eyes, spend time focusing on the moment, all these combined becomes a special meditation experience for me. Sketching and drawing keeps me on focus and points me to the right direction when I felt lost in life and work.

And in the past I used to made sketches when I travel abroad. I found these sketches very precious and valuable when I look and read them nowadays. I feel like I’m meeting my younger me and gained back a lot of lost memories!



7: You are working on your personal project, Sketch My Tokyo(*). What about Tokyo attracts you?

Sketch My Tokyo(*)という個人的なプロジェクトに取り組まれていますが、東京のどんなところに惹かれますか?

Sketch map at

For me, in the past, Tokyo is the number one sight-seeing choice for travelling. It’s a city of contrast where modern, traditional, futuristic, east and west elements all mixed together. 

But my feelings towards Tokyo changed a little bit since I moved my business to Tokyo 2 years ago. It becomes a city where I work and live that everyday life becomes a routine.

I kind of lost the interest of exploring Tokyo. And I don’t like that. I want to keep my curiosity and my heart as a tourist, keep exploring and record interesting things in Tokyo with my sketches as much as I can. That’s why I start my personal project “Sketch my Tokyo” to remind myself to “keep my heart as a tourist” everyday.



東京探索への興味を失っていて、それが嫌でした。旅人の好奇心と気持ちを持ち続けて、探索し、東京のおもしろいものをできるだけたくさんスケッチに残したいと思いました。それがSketch My Tokyoを始めた理由で、このプロジェクトは毎日「旅人の心を忘れずに」と自分に言い聞かせるためのものなんです。

*Writer's note: Sketch My Tokyo is Grover's art project to sketch every interesting spot along all 280+ metro and subway stations in Tokyo. You can find his sketches using the map on the website.

Sketch My Tokyoは、Groverさんが東京都内の280を超える地下鉄駅を訪ね、その各駅周辺でスケッチを描いていくアートプロジェクト。ウェブサイト上のマップからスケッチを探すことができます。



I find his story a little different from the others featured in this series. It’s a story about rediscovering. It was very interesting to learn how sketching has been helping him open his eyes to Tokyo again and reclaim back his lost passion. As he said in the interview, sketching lets us focus on the moment, gives us the chance to stop and observe, and help us find the context even in a mundane everyday routine. In the last interview (with Hai), I re-learned that urban sketching enables us to keep things that come and go every day frozen in our sketchbooks. But this interview reminded me of another important aspect of urban sketching – it gives us the power of storytelling.



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Urban Sketchers Japan: Meet Your USkJ Friends: Grover
Meet Your USkJ Friends: Grover
Urban Sketchers Japan
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