In Photos: the Opening Night of my Exhibition in Brooklyn

In Photos: the Opening Night of my Exhibition in Brooklyn

A few weeks ago, I boarded a Concord Coach bus in Portland, carrying a black portfolio filled with two years of drawings, photographs and plans to install my first solo show at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. It seemed almost surreal to hold two years of work in my hands. Thinking about...
Teaching Travel Illustration on Skillshare

Teaching Travel Illustration on Skillshare

Happy holidays! I’m very excited to present you all with my first Skillshare class titled, “Travel Illustration: Draw a Scene from your Favorite Place.” I’ve spent the past two weeks documenting my process, filming, and piecing together my teaching videos. Here’s my introduction video: Doesn’t that make you want to start...
Illustrating Salento

Illustrating Salento

These days, I’ve been illustrating scenes from my daily life in Colombia. It’s given me the opportunity to really observe my surroundings, slow down and reflect. A few weeks ago during the Easter vacation, I ventured to Salento, a small town in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle. Surrounded by lush vegetation, patterned houses,...
Sharing Stories: illustrating for others

Sharing Stories: illustrating for others

Recently I’ve been sketching and illustrating scenes from Colombia that have been present in my daily life for the past year. I’ve shared several of these images on Facebook and Instagram, and to my surprise, I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback. Some Peace Corps friends have even commissioned me to illustrate...
#4, Collaging Colombia, The Street Below

#4, Collaging Colombia, The Street Below

 [Magazine pieces in 7.5″ x 10″ sketchbook] La Boquilla, Bolívar, Colombia. November 2013. Squeaky pedals on a bike, roosters crowing, stray dogs barking, a man rolling his cart down the street and selling a dried corn drink by yelling “PETO!”–these are the sounds of the street below. The sun shines through the...
Maps and Markers: A Fish Vendor in La Boquilla

Maps and Markers: A Fish Vendor in La Boquilla

Mapping a section of La Boquilla A fish vendor down the street from my house Everyday I wake up between 5:30 and 7:30 AM. As part of my morning ritual, I wander over to the balcony and observe Boquilla’s principal street below. I see students meandering along the sidewalk in their...
Mapping Movement: a week on the coast

Mapping Movement: a week on the coast

A few weeks ago, I took my map obsession to the next level by enrolling in a free MOOC on Coursera titled, Maps and the Geospatial Revolution. In the first week, we discussed why we use maps. I personally use maps in several ways, the most obvious being to navigate...
30 shots of Mongolia: from Ulaanbaatar to Lake Kovsgol

30 shots of Mongolia: from Ulaanbaatar to Lake Kovsgol

I’ll remember Mongolia as the land of magnificent skies. During the day, the sky ranged from brilliant shades of cyan to Prussian blue, but after twilight, the Big Dipper pierced through a spattering of stars and the milky way lingered overhead. In addition to being culturally unique, Mongolia’s vast landscape...
Staying with nomadic Mongolian families: part III

Staying with nomadic Mongolian families: part III

Day 3: I arrived at the third family’s home, where I met my host mother and her two grown daughters. One of the daughters and I walked towards the forest to collect kindling for the wood stove. As I piled fallen branches into my arms, I remembered a moment during...
ㄱ through ㅎ: What I'll miss about Korea

ㄱ through ㅎ: What I’ll miss about Korea

It’s been awhile. My semester at GGU ended in June, so I packed my life into two bags and spent two weeks in Mongolia, living in yurts with nomadic families, drinking fermented mare milk, traveling by horse, and eating way too much goat meat. A few days ago, after a...
Secrets of Taroko

Secrets of Taroko

After a few days in Taichung, my Taiwanese friend Olivia and I traveled to Hualien, a naturally-preserved, remote beach town on Taiwan’s east coast. The sun was shining, the air was crisp, and we spent a few days biking, walking along the beach and drinking beers on the rocks, while...
A broken air conditioner and an ajumma in charge

A broken air conditioner and an ajumma in charge

My middle-aged, ajumma Korean landlord has more energy than the girls who promote sales at beauty shops in Myeongdong, bouncing up and down in knee socks and repeatedly shouting the same phrase into a microphone for hours on end. She is never in my building, so she comes to my...
Latest entries
Drawing + Teaching on Colombia's Caribbean Coast: my upcoming solo exhibition!

Drawing + Teaching on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast: my upcoming solo exhibition!

I’m very pleased to present my first solo show at my alma mater, Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, NY. I’ll be showing my illustrations, comics, sketches and a selection of student photographs from Colombia. (The opening will be tomorrow, Thursday, April 7th!!)   Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to my show: This collection of illustrations...
Teaching Beginning Collage Techniques on Skillshare

Teaching Beginning Collage Techniques on Skillshare

As some of you may know, I’ve recently been creating art classes on a platform called Skillshare, that offers a number of project-based, self-paced classes that cover topics in art, design, crafts, cooking and other themes. My newest class, titled, Beginning Collage Techniques: Cut & Paste a Place! , explores my love for collage, and teaches a...
Some Notes for the New Year

Some Notes for the New Year

Snowshoeing into the new year in Maine. I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts folder for about a month. When I try to focus, my mind is so scattered. I’ll begin to jot down my ideas, only to check my goddamn email five minutes later, or stop to watch an episode of “Mozart in the...
I finished Peace Corps and opened an Etsy shop!

I finished Peace Corps and opened an Etsy shop!

I know, it’s been awhile. Since my last post, I have been working on a series of illustrations based on daily life on the coast of Colombia, led several youth development photography camps, hiked the Lost City in the Sierra Nevada with local indigenous guides, taken two scuba diving course in the Islas del Rosario, judged...
Six People I See on the Beach in the Morning

Six People I See on the Beach in the Morning

As part of my daily routine, I usually run four miles on the beach as the sun is rising. I recently sketched some people that I see everyday on these morning runs, who have become part of my community in La Boquilla. -Illustrations by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com. All rights reserved.
My Hammock

My Hammock

Hello friends! These days I’m challenging myself to draw everyday, whether it be a simple line drawing, a comic, or something more detailed and time-consuming. I’ll be posting here occasionally, but you can follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr. -Comic by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com. All rights reserved.
Nine Yoga Collages

Nine Yoga Collages

Lately I’ve been getting back into yoga– either starting my day off with sun salutations, stretching out after a morning run, or spending 10 to 60 minutes focusing on strength, balance and flexibility. This morning, I re-discovered these yoga collages that I made four years ago in my tiny apartment (that I miss so much) in...
A Review of 2014 + Goals for the New Year

A Review of 2014 + Goals for the New Year

I took this photo as I was freezing my butt off on the Brooklyn Bridge a day before New Year’s Eve. I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend with my boyfriend, family and friends in Maine, New York and DC this winter.   I’m a week and a half late, but Happy...
The 52 Book Challenge: a year of reading in review

The 52 Book Challenge: a year of reading in review

I did it! I successfully completed my 52 book challenge–the first reading goal I’ve set since I was a child, when my mother would make my sisters and I set summer reading goals each year. According to Goodreads, I read 14,984 pages this year. (And yes, graphic novels count.) I did not read a Spanish book and...
The Mangroves of La Boquilla

The Mangroves of La Boquilla

[markers, pen and colored pencil on 11″ x 14″ paper] The mangroves are an integral part of La Boquilla; fishermen stand in the knee-deep water and cast their nets, native guides row tourists through the winding tunnels, crabs, pelicans, termites and stray dogs make their homes within the vegetation, and residents live on slivers of...
The Mochila Vendor

The Mochila Vendor

[marker and pen on paper, 11″x 14″] Within La Ciudad Amurallada–Cartagena’s historic walled city–vendors sell an array of colorful, handmade goods. Long beaded necklaces, bracelets, headbands, and prints of Botero’s pudgy nudes are neatly arranged on the brick sidewalks. The wall of mochilas–over-the-shoulder bags handmade by the indigenous Wayuu tribe–catch my eye. The colors have...
A Different Mr. Fox

A Different Mr. Fox

  *If you’re not familiar with Mr. Fox, the one-hit-wonder reggaetonero from Cartagena (I think), check out the video for “USHHH.” You won’t be disappointed. 😛   -Text and illustrations by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com. All rights reserved.