Philly Profile: Aaron, the Sketchbook Reporter

Aaron, the Sketchbook Reporter
I first met Aaron, the Sketchbook Reporter, when he attended a comedy show I had written. Now, I had known a member of the press was going to be there that night, so I got excited when I saw Aaron hastily scrawling notes during the performance. But as the show wore on, my excitement turned to curious concern: this guy was writing way too much. Was he taking so many notes because he liked the performance! or because he hated it? Was he jotting down whole paragraphs so he could quote word-for-word just how much he thought I sucked?

I was surprised a few days later when I discovered that Aaron hadn’t been writing at all: he had been drawing. And his drawings managed to capture pieces of the show’s characters–bits of their facial expressions, their movement–that a written review totally couldn’t.

It was awesome. So I thought: here’s a guy worth an interview… even if it that interview has to be written, not sketched.

Interview after the jump!

Why did you start sketching events?
Aaron, the Sketchbook ReporterI love drawing things as they happen. I happened to bump into an old college friend, Cho Young. He ran a small website, and he wanted someone to go around and report events in the Philly area… well, I can’t write anything, and I can’t take photographs, so we decided why don’t I sketch what goes down. Kind of like what they used to do before photography. At first I thought no one would like it but it turns out that most people love having me around. Cartoonists sit in their room staring at their drafting table all day. I wanted to be able to get out and be in the middle of the action. See what’s shaking. It’s a real challenge. I have to capture this event and sometimes I have to draw as fast as I can. It’s a real rush. People will be looking over my shoulder and wondering what the hell I am doing. If people in the show notice me, they always think I’m taking notes.

What’s the best event you’ve ever sketched?
The best event so far would have to be the Fringe Festival. The organizers were very helpful, and the shows were a lot of fun to draw. But I’ve just started this job so I hope there will be all types of things I get to draw.
Aaron, the Sketchbook Reporter
What do you think of Philly?
I love Philly. It’s a great town. It’s a rough and tumble place. It’s not so stuck on its self like New York City. It’s the upstart child hungry for it’s moment in the sun again. You can see it in the horizon… is Philadelphia coming into its own again… I hope so. I’m hedging my bets.

What’s something fun to do in Philly?
Aaron, the Sketchbook ReporterThe best thing to do in any city is to just wander around and find something by accident. When I was in the city trying to get between shows I passed through Clark Park. The park was jumping. I only had time to do two sketches but there was a bunch of kids role playing with over sized styrofoam swords and axes. It was like the Renaissance fair on meth. Then at the other end of the park there was a block party with live jazz and fried chicken. Now that’s a Saturday afternoon.

To see more of Aaron’s work or to invite him to sketch your event, visit the Sketchbook Reporter’s section of


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  1. aaron the sketchbook report is the most brilliant man i have ever met. he has sketched me a few times and i am never disappointed. it is too bad he feels that way about new york because there is so much intriguing life here that needs to be documented with a sketch.

  2. Aaron is brilliant. Incidentally, the friend he mentioned – Cho Young – is a well-known avant-garde West Coast musician (“Cho Young and the Davenports”). Jeff Hague.

  3. Aaron is an artist in every sense of the word. He expierences life and documents it in a way only he can. He captures the true essence of life in his work.

    He has traveled the us and Europe and his influences and his work shows this.

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