Meet the Team

Behind the scenes at Urban Sketchers London, a dedicated admin team conjures your artistic expeditions through the city’s vibrant tapestry. From scouting secret alleys to coordinating sketchwalk hosts and fostering “throwdowns” where sketches spark conversations, our admins are passionate advocates for capturing London, one drawing at a time.

Get to know the friendly faces fueling your urban sketching adventures below!

Sasala Wickramasinghe

“My first London Urban Sketchers meeting was in December 2017 at the V&A in South Kensington.

For me, the biggest “aha-moment” along my urban sketching journey was the realisation that I’ll never again be bored of waiting, for anyone or anything (trains/buses/airports/cafes /street-corners), as long as I carry my urban sketching kit with me.

I have a minimal sketching kit with me all the time, which consists of a few colour pencils, a black liner pen and a small square sketchbook. My medium of choice is watercolour and when I get the opportunity, I explore other media such as gouache, colour pencils and markers.

I have no formal art training and my day job as a clinical biochemist in the NHS involves little to no artistic skill. Being a scientist, I have a very analytical approach to most things, including art.”


Dean Ashton

“My first sketchwalk was Greenwich in 2019.  I stayed for the first half.  Saw what everyone did. Then promptly went home feeling like I should quit.

I had started sketching about 3 months prior.  I was the “couldn’t draw a straight line guy”.  But I’m tenacious and understand the value of a ‘Project 365’ (sketching every day).  I won’t be Michaelangelo after a year but I’ll certainly know more than I did 365 days ago.

The USK London tribe has been a joy and a large part of my journey of growth. 

I get it. I have felt it.  I still get it and still feel it.”   


Helen Hayhoe

First Urban Sketchers London event – Notting Hill, 2014

Most minimal sketching set – a tiny sketching set including Viviva Colour Sheets, a Berol handwriting pen, one small brush and a tiny folded bit of watercolour paper. Maybe a fine liner. Tiny water bottle (Pret Ginger shot)

Other art interests – plein air painting, newly introduced to charcoal and oils

Valued links – Richmond Art Society, West Dean College

My other life – I teach Makaton signs and symbols for people with communication difficulties and am a transatlantic granny


Jimmy Lu

“My first London sketchwalk was on a wet and gloomy day at Winter Wonderland in 2014. I had recently moved from New York, where I was already a regular at the local Urban Sketchers group. 

As a cross-cultural person, I felt at home immediately among our sketching community – people from different backgrounds united by a common passion for sketching. 

Urban sketching is a natural pendant to my job as an urban designer. I draw inspiration from beautiful and vibrant urban environments. I like to believe that sketching on location made me a better designer by immersing myself in what Jane Jacobs would describe as the sidewalk ballet of the city. 

My sketching set usually consists of a fine liner and an A4/A5 sketchbook. I now also incorporate watercolour but am for the moment too slow to add it on site.”


Zane Karklina

“I stumbled upon the Urban Sketchers Facebook Group during the 2016 Manchester Symposium and got hooked by the movement’s vibe. Soon after, I joined my first sketchwalk with the London group, finding it my creative sanctuary. Urban Sketchers transformed my life, boosting my confidence to draw, nurturing creativity, and sparking friendships worldwide.

With an infectious passion, I enthusiastically share the Urban Sketchers love. Joining the admin crew for the 10th-anniversary event, I used my publishing experience to put together the anniversary book “London by Urban Sketchers” and whipped up graphic designs for the event. I keep crafting the UskL visuals for the website and social media. I’m also known for capturing fellow sketchers in action.  Embracing my passion for portraits, currently diving into a portrait diploma at Heatherley’s.

My toolkit could be minimal with some coloured pencils and a 12×12 sketchbook, but I tend to carry a bit too much. Recently falling out of favour with watercolours, I’m now exploring the wild possibilities of oil paint. In the future, looking forward to taking oils out into the wilderness.”


Mike Whalley

“Sketching has been an integral part of my life, and I predominantly wield just a pencil to bring my artistic visions to life. Joining Urban Sketchers in March 2016 at Kings Cross by St Martins College has been a transformative experience, allowing me to find a community that resonates with my passion. My journey in academia led me through various roles, culminating in my retirement as the Principal Lecturer in the Faculty of Creativity and Culture at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College.

Beyond my professional career, I’ve found a profound connection to the art world as one of the moderators and guardians of the Urban Sketchers London community. As a dedicated administrator, I help safeguard the heart of the Urban Sketchers online community, ensuring that we uphold the principles outlined in the Urban Sketchers’ manifesto with unwavering dedication. From my academic background in Industrial Design, I bring an analytical approach to my artistic pursuits, always armed with my trusty pencil to capture the essence of my surroundings. Drawing can make the most mundane situations and objects interesting.”