Sketches from the Boarding Gates

When I was younger, I thought that travelling by plane was a luxury that only the wealthiest people enjoy. When we visit our relatives, we usually go by ship and I thought that it is the only mode of transport I would experience. 

Years later, I don’t just travel to other parts of the country. I have been on foreign soil. And waiting on the pre-departure gates seems to be a yearly tradition.

An old couple waiting for the flight to Kuala Lumpur

To be honest, this is the one of the parts of travelling that I dread. The combo of my punctuality and impatience results to a prolonged stay in the predeparture gates.  I usually head to the airport an hour or more ahead of the check in time.  That results to a huge gap between my airport arrival to the actual flight. The only thing that could make it worse is when the flight is delayed. 

The idea of sitting still in a public area make me feel uneasy. I bore quite easily and I immensely enjoy my solitude. And with that, I decided to find a great way to let the minutes pass by.

Customer service booth in Clark International Airport

I used to doodle a lot even during classes. The doodles are often random female anime characters. It doesn’t mean that I wasn’t paying attention to what was going on. But sometimes, I usually need a certain distraction to keep my brain going. Much like when I binge-watch while I work on lay-outs. 

From random doodles, I found myself trying attempting to sketch what I see. Initially, I wanted to sketch people, I felt that it would be awkward to be staring at some random stranger in public. 

Eventually, I learned about urban sketching which a movement by which a person captures the what they see or experience on location through art. It is pretty reminiscent of the impressionist movement. 

So, I always keep a portable kit- which includes a watercolor set, water brushes, ink pen, pencil and eraser. I would lose track of time sketching whatever catches my eye.  Initially, I would sketch inanimate objects like the gates and luggage. But despite the discomfort of staring at other people, I am trying to practice sketching portraits faster. 

Not only does this activity allow me to sit still and be less bored waiting. While the terminals pretty much look similar, I can encounter a variety of people that could be interesting subjects. Like me, they are waiting and would also need to sit still.  


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