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 > Greg Betza

"I am an illustrator living right outside of New York City. During my years studying in New York (at Parsons and the David J. Passalacqua School), I was introduced to the art of reportage. Reportage taught me what it means to be an artist. It is an honest practice of observing, understanding, and translating. New York is an amazing place and in many ways the entire world is here. The people, places, history and culture have allowed me to grow as an artist as I try to keep my art evolving to match it's constantly changing landscape.

What I love most about what I do is the opportunity to meet someone new, discover a place I've never been, or learn something just because I'm out there doing it. The practice of translating what I see into something that communicates has taught me about myself and my reasons for creating art.

In today's world of communication, it is increasingly rare to see the humanity in visual language, and even more rare to feel it. I believe it is so important to remember that our uniqueness is what makes the world interesting and beautiful."

• Greg's blog.
• Greg's website.



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