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: TOKYO > Lok Jansen



"I am an architect turned illustrator living and working in Japan. Most of my sketching happens in the metropolis of Tokyo and deals with urban surroundings and the people that live in them.

With the city sketches I'm trying to capture the character of the environments we live in, almost like portraits — but of the metropolis. So I go up on a lot of rooftops and take a lot of walks through the city at night and try to show something of the sensation of living in the sensual, colourful, anonymous embrace of this giant growing organism.

When I'm not drawing up on the rooftops I often ride the subways and trains and watch the flow of people come and go. I do quick one-minute sketches and try to capture the cities' anonymous inhabitants, and the brief chance encounters I have with them on the train.

Drawing helps me see and through seeing I find my love of the simple things — a frown, the way the light hits somebody's cheek, a cute house. And through drawing I hope to communicate and share some of these moments."

• Lok's blog.
• Lok's website.

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