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: KANSAS CITY > Cathy Johnson

The Savoy Hotel is in Kansas City — the Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward movie, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, was filmed there! We spent a night of our honeymoon there, too...

"Cities and other collections of humans are fascinating — the culture, the people, the architecture, the history, the music, the art, and the food, all intertwined in one place. Each one seems to have its distinctive "flavor," doesn't it? And I enjoy the diverse tastes, whether the back alleys and mineral water wells of the small city I live in, to the incredibly urbane atmosphere of San Francisco, to the nightlife in Washington, D.C.

Once upon a time, I wanted to be an architect — until I discovered how much math they needed! NOT my long suit, but I never got over my love of buildings, of human habitations, whether Anasazi cliff dwellings or the crowded oceanside cottages in and around San Clemente, the brownstones, cheek-by-jowl, in Georgetown, or the old hotels, public buildings and museums in my native Kansas City, Missouri.

I've sketched ever since I was a kid — baby-book drawings from age 2 attest to that! And I've kept a journal for 25 years or so, dragging it through airports, onto buses and into cars, along with whatever art supplies I absolutely HAD to have. No matter where I am, city or country, I sketch. And when I do, I take time to experience and respond to my environment in ways I couldn't begin to, without pen in hand. I capture memories like a fly in amber."

• Cathy's blog.
• Cathy's art on Flickr.
• Cathy's website.



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