New year, new sketchbook, Morocco!

I start 2012 like that in Tanger, Morocco really motivated with the incoming World Sketching Tour and the opportunity to travel in this continent that I never been before: Africa. In this trip I didn't had time to write anything along so I will put some memories that I will never forget of Morocco. I had this conversation in Tanger custom when i was receiving the visa to get in:

Morocco Police: Profession?
Me: Artist…
(because they don’t know what is a designer)
Morocco Police: Artist of what?
Me: …illustrator..
Morocco Police: …we don’t know that, another?
Me: …painter… artist painter!

…and for the first time in my life, one of the professions I have more respect for, I “became” a painter artist just like that. Actually it was just on paper 😉
Tanger, it’s a quite similar city that we have in some countries in Europe, but it’s just in the first look…  there’s something completely different in the way things going on, and you can feel it when you walk on the streets. People live in the streets, there are markets with all kinds of products that you can imagine: live chickens, spices, dishes, clothing, carpets, …I could be here all day. The food is quite spicy and you need a good stomach otherwise your going to be sick, but nothing serious 😉 The Moroccans are most of the time friendly, but you need to be careful because they are always trying to get money from you to buy things.

Tanger 01

Tanger 02

Tanger 03

Tanger 05

Tanger 04

Tanger Asilah 08

Tanger Asilah 09


Before I start writing about Rabat, it is a must say some words about Asilah.
It’s a small village where you can find a small Medina build by the Portuguese near the coast of the ocean. It’s a really clean village painted in tones of blue and white. I had a great time there sketching and accidentally I met two nice artists.

Jose Antonio Sencianes Ortega is a Spanish talented illustrator living in the south of Spain. We didn’t have much time to talk but I will search for him for sure when I pass by his place on my WST adventure! To him: Was really nice to meet you my friend and let’s sketch together someday!
The other is an urban artist but I didn’t find yet any information about him on the web, but his work was great. He uses cement to paper to sketch, tea water to mix with pure spice like saffron, and also pure blue. He is doing this for around 14 years, he said. The funny part during the meeting was when he wanted to exchange their work for my sketchbook. When I said “I can’t because this is not for me, it’s for a guy make a guide book about Morocco” so he asks me to stay one month with him to draw a full sketchbook, with a bed and food for free… well, I smile to him, we change contacts and I said, “In future, I will be here, and next time I’ll do that, I promise.” I feel like my day was “completed” at that time. Love to find new people with the same interests and discover how they live to withdraw.

Let’s move on!
On my way to Rabat, I stop in the countryside called Had Rharbia. Here is a sketch page from there.
Had Rharbia

Here I have lunch in a Moroccan family house. I can imagine how difficult a conversation can be when you don’t know the Arab language and they just speak 7 words in French! Any way was really nice to be part of local people and meet the culture. Must say that it’s not allowed women lunching with us, you have to eat with your right, because the left one is to clean up yourself, and you must take off your shoes before you enter the room.


Finally Rabat, the capital!
The visit was quick to see a city that offers a lot. I would lose myself without a doubt
another couple of days to draw markets, streets, monuments …

Rabat 01

Rabat 02

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Luís Simões
Since 2012 I have been around the world and sketching with The World Sketching Tour project. My passion to travel, sketch and discover new places will always continue.