Art Out of Isolation: Conestogo’s Artistic Architecture Analyst, RandomSketchesOfMyLife 

It is no secret that the Kitchener-Waterloo Region is host to many incredible artists. 

With over 1,000 followers on Instagram, Della VanDokkumburg (randomsketchesofmylife) contributes and plays a major role in Kitchener-Waterloo’s local art scene.  

Before she found herself sketching everyday for her Instagram account, Della details how her initial artistic inspiration stemmed from taking an online course on how to “draw without talent.” From there, Della created an Instagram account to hold herself accountable for upkeeping a “daily sketch habit.” 

Della decided to set her artistic eye on Kitchener-Waterloo after discovering the group ‘Urban Sketchers’ – a “global non-profit dedicated to sketching on location” with a chapter in the Waterloo Region.  

After taking a workshop in November of 2017, Della discovered her love for sketching buildings. 

“I flew down to New Orleans and took a workshop that was led by an urban sketcher and we sketched various venues around New Orleans” she explains, detailing her connection to Urban Sketchers Waterloo Region. While Della found the workshop enjoyable, she stressed that she didn’t know how she could properly apply it  – “When am I ever going to have the time to do that” she laughs. 

Then, the pandemic hit: “March of 2020, that’s when I started sketching my hometown of Conestogo.” From there Della moved on to St. Jacobs  and West Montrose, where she eventually accumulated enough works to be able to produce three books: “I have three books that I created over the course of the pandemic which are focused on each of the three villages.”  

With a “focus on older buildings” and “interesting shaped buildings”, Della has especially enjoyed sketching the silos in St. Jacobs and the covered bridge in West Montrose; however, she would enjoy being able to travel to Europe to take advantage of the historic and intricate architecture.  

“I would love to go back to Europe, my family heritage is in the Netherlands and I think I would like to go back there to  focus on sketching some Dutch buildings that were a part of my heritage.” 

“I’m also open to going to Italy or Spain”, she laughs. 

For many creatives, Instagram is a double-edged sword – more visibility, but more chance of stolen property. 

While posting her work on Instagram has garnered many viewers, Della has been no stranger to the upward trend in art theft as a result of posting one’s works online.

“I try to address it as best as I can through my communications with clients when they ask for me to do commissions. I tell them upfront – and I actually have an FAQ page on my website which basically tells right there “you may not make prints – I hold the copyright to them so if you would like prints you have to go through me”” 

Della’s extraordinary work can be found on her Instagram @randomsketchesofmylife and website

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