Category: Before & After

Lone wandererBig Sur, CA

Big Sur sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I just got back from two and a half weeks of wandering in California—and by the time you read this, I’ll be on the road again, after just a few hours at home. The pre-trip scramble is never the most fun part of traveling, but I know that the trip ahead will have plenty of… More

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Frozen & festiveSaint Paul, MN

Saint Paul Winter Carnival sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I had to go back quite a few years to dig up this sketch—it’s been some time since I lived in a place where the new year meant a real, no-kidding winter. But no matter—I love changing the calendar no matter where I am. Whether you’re starting 2015 in an ice palace or a tropical… More

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Curtain callSeattle, WA

Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker (with sets by Maurice Sendak) performance sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m sad to report that one of my favorite holiday traditions came to an end this weekend. For the past thirty-plus years, the Pacific Northwest Ballet has staged a unique version of The Nutcracker—complete with unusual choreography, nontraditional storytelling, and incredible kinetic theatre sets by one of my illustration heroes, Maurice Sendak. I’ve seen the… More

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Book bonanzaPortland, OR and Seattle, WA

Powell's City of Books sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Bookstores are a big part of our annual holiday shopping rounds, and my two most sketch-able favorites are Powell’s in Portland— —and Elliott Bay in Seattle. Of course I’m probably going to love any indie bookstore, but both of these places have such inviting spaces that I could stay and sketch for a year. If… More

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Kitschy kitchenettesColorado Springs, CO

Skylark motel signs sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Just like the neighboring town of Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs is filled with midcentury neon signs and fabulous Googie lettering. This sign is one of my very favorites. It’s been altered a bit over the years, but the fact that a relic like this still exists in a town that’s changing and expanding at a… More

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Both sides, nowTwo views of Fox Island, WA

Fox Island sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Much as I love the excitement of sketching in an unfamiliar place, I also love exploring my own corner of the world. The best part, for me, is returning to the same place over and over again, and seeing it from a new angle— —or in a whole different light.

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A room with a viewTacoma, WA

Tacoma sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The Tailor and I haven’t done a whole lot of traveling this year, because we’ve spent most of our time since January searching for and finally buying our first home. After what has seemed like an eternity (though it has actually been a lightning-fast whirlwind!), we finally moved in a week ago. Now we’re surrounded… More

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Serves four (hundred)Long Beach, WA and Seaside, OR

Giant Frying Pan sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Well, I can’t feature the Winlock Egg without giving you something to cook it in, can I? Just over the coast range from Winlock is the town of Long Beach, home of the perfect roadside companion to the World’s Largest Egg. Since it’s not exactly as flamboyant as, say, a giant orange, people often blow… More

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