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: PARIS > Laura Genz

"Drawing is the quiet and furtive way I take to get into a place without any invitation.

Sometimes, while drawing, people around get curious about it. They slowly begin to recognize their own place, possibly even themselves and, above all, all the little things they are accustomed to. In other words, all those things that reveal how they have lived in this specific place, who they are, what culture they share.

At this point, words do not matter anymore. Drawing becomes a language itself, moving others in amazement and laughing. Each time it happens again, connivance fills me with wonder as if it was for the first time. This tie literally feeds the drawing and, in passing, me through it.

It is probably why I often fell like a thief when I leave the place, as if I had taken something from there. Therefore, when possible, I usually come back a few days later with some copies for the people met while drawing.

Paris, October 24th 2008."

Le Grain d'été, ou salon de thé subsaharien | The Sub-saharien Tea-room. Paris. August 29th 2008.

• Laura's art on Flickr.



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