It's nearly impossible to capture an entire city in a single shot, or find the perfect frame captivate your experience in a place in one frame. But 22-year-old Egyptian product design student Hania Sedky did just that – she used her lifelong companion of drawing to document her trips. Or, to be more accurate, she started capturing the spirit of the cities in a drawing. The result is a sketchbook that takes you to a whole new world with every page.Sedky was introduced to colouring at the age of six to help her stay focused, and by the age of 15 she had started dedicating more time to drawing and committing to courses that led to exhibitions. Her relationship with the art escalated when she started studying architecture in Germany and had a yearlong assignment to fill a 160-page sketchbook. One thing led to another and she found herself switching colleges and being asked to submit a portfolio and an outdoor-themed project, which is when she recalled a personal sketchbook where she'd sketched three or four different cities she'd visited. She added to the sketches and transformed them into postcards; at that point she had eight postcards she wasn't entirely convinced with but posted on Instagram anyway. The reaction she got shocked her, and that was back in April 2018.
This pivotal moment made her start keeping a separate sketchbook for her trips, and start a postcard project that was mainly meant to document her trips. This approach made her experience places differently; the whole situation created a visual memory that makes it more special as she created this memory with her own hands, so she has in a sense interacted with the place. Someone once commented, “Hania you visualize the spirit of the place,” and she's since been focusing more on the places she choosed to draw. Sedky normally draws buildings or places that capture the spirit of the space, whether that's represented in the colours or the people, but more importantly she follows her heart to direct her to the spirit of the city. Every drawing has its own story, and that adds to the experience, but not only did it give her a different perspective on the places, it made her encounter the people differently – especially in Italy where people kept interacting with her and complementing her work.Sedky's passion has now grown to become a passion of traveling in order to draw, not only to see and experience new places. The artist/traveler, who is an Egyptian who lived in Saudi Arabia for a while and is now studying in Germany, has been to so many cities within her short 22 years, and there's plenty left to see. Sedky still wants to go and draw Switzerland, and Hallstatt in Austria, among other places. She knows that she doesn’t want to draw cities she hasn’t been to because it ruins the authenticity of the city and the whole experience. Yet, for all of her travels, Sedky's favourite sketch is of Cairo’s Abed El Moneim Riad Square and the well-known 6th of October Bridge; according to Sedky, “it conveys the spirit of the city, and it is my definition of Cairo. The big buses, the billboards, the crowd, the colours, and people crossing the streets.”
Sedky's drawings don't only represent each city’s spirit, but you'll be able to recognize her spirit through each piece, though that doesn’t in any way diminish the portrayal of the city’s spirit since the drawing is the interpretation of her feelings and experience in the place. You will find her vivid, joyous tone jumping out of the sketch yet complementing the city. In her own words, “I love mixing colours. I’m a mix. A mix of the 5 languages I speak. A mix of my dentist mom, musician dad, and engineer sister. I’m a mix of all the situations, experiences…the colourful and the colourless. A mix of houses I ‘ve lived in, the cities, the places that I’ve ever called home.”