When you work on site in a public space, it’s common for people who pass by to make comments about your drawing, sometimes to the point where it’s so distracting that you feel like you can’t be productive with your drawings. I lived in Italy for 9 months during my junior year at art school, and many of the sites I drew at were so packed with tourists that frequently there would be far more foreigners present that native Italians. It was rare for me to be able to draw at these sites and not be interrupted continuously by commenting tourists.
By contrast, I can probably count on one hand the number of times that people have commented on my drawings here in Taiwan over the past 2 weeks. The few comments I’ve gotten are extremely minimal and barely even noticeable. I can work in complete solitude in almost every site I visit which has been lovely. A large part of that is that most of the sites we’ve visited are in small towns in Taiwan, and so they aren’t quintessential tourist destinations the way the Colosseum in Rome is in. I’m also traveling with my parents, who are from Taiwan, and so we’re able to visit much more obscure areas that I know I wouldn’t make the effort to get to on my own.
I love being able to draw in silence on site, immersing myself in the drawing process without an audience, it’s such a completely different experience that I’m grateful to have. The most “touristy” site we visited was the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, and the space was so grand that I didn’t feel inspired to draw the site. That on top of the crowds of tourists taking corny poses and using selfie sticks wasn’t exactly motivation to site down and draw!