urmila menon

urmila menon, an urban sketcher (behance.net/urmilamenob3b8)

“Urmila Menon is a self-taught Indian Artist living in Hong Kong. She is mainly an urban sketcher and owner of the line of custom made home décor products, ColorID. She does her urban sketching through both traditional and digital mediums.

As an urban sketcher she captures the surroundings one sketch at a time, on location. She tries and captures memories, feelings and emotions she feels at a particular place, through her sketches. She believes that there is only so much justice a photo can do to either of them. Sketching is a more personal way of journaling those moments.

She always drew as a child. Her favorites were cartoon characters, comics and portraits. Then as an adult, something that made her pursue art as her passion was Urban sketching. With urban sketching, she didn’t have to wait for an inspiration or muse to create art, this helped her sketch more regularly.

All of her art is an extension of her personality and a reflection of her mood. So, you can see a lot of colors and some black and white as well. A lot of her sketches are a risk, very unplanned and impromptu like her life.

An IT post graduate who worked in the corporate sector, then moved on to teaching in universities and then delved into doing art commercially in 2015. She started her own line of art products. She got into urban sketching which expanded her art palette. She has now finally taken the plunge into being a full-time artist and a part time NET teacher in Hong Kong.

While taking art workshops she makes sure that kids and parents understand the importance of art being a medium of expression. Kids enjoy her art workshops as it helps them choose their style even if it is outside the conventional boundaries, lines and perspectives.

She has held various successful exhibitions back in India. After moving to Hong Kong last year, her art work was displayed at American Women’s Association, ‘Art on the line’ exhibition in March. Her work was displayed in the online sketching competition exhibition by Centre for Transformative Work Design, Australia in September. In the past year while exploring Hong Kong with her iPad she created an entire series on what caught her eye. She will be exhibiting her exclusive series at Fat Cave, in Causeway Bay.” – urmila



“quarry bay trail gods”, digital, 30cm x 40cm “Lush green trails, adorned with so many statues and incense sticks. It looked like a pathway to a bygone era. Through out the trail I couldn’t get over what I saw.” – urmila


“train to jail house”, digital, 30cm x 40cm “I am always on the look out for people and things that catch my eye. And HK never disappoints me. Saw this guy dressed as Elvis and waiting for the train at the Wanchai station. This is how I see him! Taking the train to his Jail house!” – urmila


“places over people, always”, digital, 30cm x 40cm “Sometimes when I look at a place, I see it like a maze of lines where people disappear.” – urmila


“hungry ghost festival”, digital, 30cm x 40cm “The first sign of ghost month in HK is the smell of burning hell bank notes, incense sticks, candles and offerings of food on the pavement. If we draw cultural parallels, in India also we have have rituals of paying regards to the departed by making their favorite foods. Small world! This is how I imagine the ghosts decending down on Hongkong for the festival!” – urmila


“mungkhut typhoon”, digital, 30cm x 40cm “The Mungkhut typhoon was something! My first experience in HK. This is my surrealistic version of a building in Wanchai in the typhoon.” – urmila


“the fringe club”, digital, 30cm x 40cm “I saw this written while waiting at the signal. It absolutely caught my attention for obvious reasons. I decided to capture this lovely motto through a quick sketch.” – urmila


“paper effigies of guardian gods”, digital, 30cm x 40cm “Sketching at the Hong Kong Museum of History is a visual delight. This has to be the most well displayed and informative museum of history I have been to. I had so much difficulty choosing what to sketch. I finally settled in the most colorful section, the folk and culture section. In the Taiping Qingjiao ceremony, giant effigies of Chinese gods are erected to guard against malicious spirits.” – urmila


“neon signs of hk”, digital, 30cm x 40cm “HK nights is a party of neon lights! I have always been fascinated with lights. I remember when I had come to HK as a tourist back in 2011 I used to wonder and try to find out if they have some extraordinary supply of electricity. Now that I have moved here, i knew I had to capture them before they got extinct.” – urmila


“smithfield mc donalds”, digital, 30cm x 40cm “Quick sketch of this omnipresent fast food joint! Another thing I have noticed about HK, people eat so much of Mc Donald’s and are still so fit looking.” – urmila