Features – The Aggie
Pete Scully talks about his life as an artist
Ever since urban sketch artist Pete Scully was able to pick up a pen in his self-proclaimed “funny way,” he remembers drawing. The earliest drawings Scully remembers creating depict America through skyscrapers in New York. When Scully was around five years old in Burnt Oak of North London, his idea of a skyscraper was slightly different from what they are: he drew extremely tall buildings with broomsticks sticking out from the top in order to scrape the sky. Scully’s fascination with drawing and with drawing cities, started from this young age — despite the slight confusion regarding skyscrapers.
Scully, who previously worked as a graduate programs coordinator, is currently in the Department of Statistics as the management services officer. He left North London and has lived in Davis for the past 13 years, providing him ample opportunity to draw locations all over the city. His sketches started as a way to document and remember everything exciting and novel about the new place in which he lived and worked.
“It doesn’t feel so exciting now after 13 years of drawing the same buildings,” Scully said. “However, I haven’t stopped drawing Davis. I’m still finding things to draw […] When I’m drawing the same thing for several years, I’m drawing it differently. I’m drawing a different stage in its existence — it might look different. I’m also drawing it at a different stage in my existence.”
Take the Davis Farmers’ Market. When Scully first saw it, he sketched it to reflect his excitement at how it was bursting with color. In a recent sketch from 2018, only the people are in color.
In 2007, Urban Sketchers was founded and Scully was selected to be a Davis correspondent. The group was small in its inception, about 20 to 25 correspondents around the globe, and was …