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 > Veronica Lawlor

"Reportage drawing has been the lifeline of my artistic life. It’s the way I was trained as a student, the way I work now as an illustrator, and the way I teach my students to approach their art. Reportage engages the world in a direct, emotional way, and allows for the personality of the artist to shine through. When I go on location to draw and paint, I experience the place and can feel a part of it in a way that is possible only through art. I have been plotzed on by pigeons in San Marco, chased by an irate jazz musician in New Orleans, surrounded by curious tourists in the Forbidden City (who were scattered by the Chinese army, no less), spritzed by holy water at a Japanese temple, jostled by excited fans at a bullfight and interrogated by a New Jersey highway patrolman, and I have loved every minute of it. Not to mention the many, many personal stories related to memory and place that have been entrusted to me over the years by people as I've wandered around the world, sketchbook in hand. Reportage is a way to understand culture, customs and ultimately, human nature. I've met so many people through the language of art and drawing, and heard so many stories: it’s been a wonderful experience for me. As a native of New York City, I thrive on multi-cultural urban environments, and whether I’m traveling around the world or drawing the world right here in Manhattan, reportage is my way of connecting with it all."

• Veronica's blog.
• Veronica's website.



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