Meet the Correspondent: Omar Jaramillo > Berlin$show=/search/label/Omar%20Jaramillo

"I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where I studied architecture. I moved to Kassel (Germany) in 1999 to accomplish a master degree. Although I have always drawn and paint, it was not until I started studying in the Uni-Kassel, that I started keeping a travel sketchbook. I had a teacher there who used to do a lot of sketches when he travelled on university excursions. When he retired, I helped to organize an exhibition of his sketches. He brought a huge box full of sketchbooks he had filled since he was an architecture student. I spent a whole day selecting the most interesting drawings. It was a wonderful experience that opened my eyes to a new world. In the last 10 years I have the feeling of being in a long journey. I like to discover the cities where I live, to understand why a place is the way it is and what makes it different and unique from others. Drawing is for me a way to learn to love a place, to become part of it. I like to draw architecture but I am more attracted to urban scenery, portraying how people live in the city. Since I’m a foreigner, everything that locals find normal and taken-for-granted, for me is exotic. I always carry a small watercolor travel set from Windsor and Newton and my sketchbook in my bag. I always thought that drawing was a solitary experience until I found Urban Sketchers. It was amazing to find so many people doing the same thing. It is a great place to share!" • Omar's blog. • Omar's art on flickr. • Omar's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Luis Ruiz > Malaga, Spain$show=/search/label/Luis%20Ruiz

Meet the correspondents: NEW YORK > Amanda Kavanagh

"I find myself waiting around a lot in this city; for subways, appointments, restaurant tables. Since I started carrying a sketchbook, the sweetest words to me are, "please have a seat and we'll be with you shortly". I jump at the chance to have a few guilt-free moments to draw.

I generally stick to architecture when I'm out sketching. I love finding those long-forgotten cornices and friezes high above the streets of Manhattan. The stuff you just don't notice walking by. I love to capture run-down Brooklyn neighborhoods that are on the brink of gentrification: Coney Island, Red Hook and the Gowanus Canal. It's all going to disappear in few years and I feel a need to document it.

I'm self conscious about drawing people at close range though, especially on the subway. But I think I've perfected my technique for avoiding eye-contact: keep your head down, draw up to the shoulders, and then if they start to catch on, stick a weasel-head on them."

• Amanda's blog: craftmonkeys.
• Amanda's art on Flickr.



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