1 Letter 1 City Project

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

Having been locked in for more than 2 months was more than challenging. Was I alone with this? Of course not. Can I do something about it? Can I change my days a little while giving others something too? Absolutely!


What are the facts?


  1. I love architecture

  2. I enjoy drawing

  3. I adore travelling

  4. I’m a big fan of discovering cities

  5. I have all the resources necessary to create

  6. I enjoy sharing my work with the world


The idea for an ongoing project isn’t new to me. A few years ago I did a 365-day project about photographing my own hands. Every day for a whole year. It made me more creative, and it turned me into a better photographer.

This lockdown forced me to think of different ways of presenting architecture. I couldn't travel, or go for long walks in the city, but I was missing it all. The details, the colours, the thrill of the discovery. I was itching to do something - which then started with sketching, then switching to my iPad to get a really detailed result.


I wanted a collection. This is how the idea came to draw cities. But what would turn it  into a collection? The alphabet, for example.



I’m still in the beginning but I already have strong feelings towards this project.

Many of you were wondering how a picture is made. Well, here are the details for all you, curious ones:

  1. I pick a city for the upcoming letter - I’m planning to draw all parts of the world, so I’ll try not to draw cities from the same country (although Italy and France are more than tempting).

  2. I look through websites and books to find my favourite buildings. I really enjoy this kind of detective work, reading about historical places and picking out the prettiest ones I plan to draw.

  3. I sketch my idea with a pencil on paper, placing the buildings to my heart’s desire.

  4. When I have the finalised idea, I start drawing the real deal on the iPad.

  5. Each illustration takes about 10 hours to make. Plus research. Lots of research.


What makes me the happiest is that each illustration is unique. I am not drawing a part of the city. I design my own version of it, using real buildings, landmarks and statues for inspiration. The style is a kind of vintage realism with a fun twist. Watercolours outlined with black pencil. I like the way the colours bleed into each other. It gives it a messy but romantic look.



I hope I can bring a few smiles. Bring back memories of places you’ve visited or make you interested in travelling to a particular city. Because it will happen. Sooner or later it will. Until then, enjoy these illustrations. From me to you, made with love.


If you'd like a print for a loved one or yourself, you can now order them here:

https://society6.com/melindaszente


If you would like something custom-made, feel free to contact me. I'd love to hear from you. 


Also, if you have an idea for the next cities, I'm open for suggestions!

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