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: SYDNEY > Liz Steel



"As an architect, I draw all the time, but these are mainly quick working sketches of my own designs and not what I see in front of me. The frustration of numerous abortive attempts to keep a sketchbook while travelling led me to make a commitment two years ago, to sketch regularly in order to get ‘in training’ for the next trip to Europe. But it has turned out that this almost-daily habit has become an end in itself! In addition to filling sketchbook after sketchbook with a visual record of my day to day life, I often go on Saturday excursions specifically to find a new area of Sydney to sketch — there are many amazing abandoned industrial areas and ruined defense forts built on the headlands of the harbour. Living in a such beautiful city with great weather all year round, I have no excuse for not getting out to sketch.

For me, sketching is the ultimate way of understanding and recording my experience of buildings — I feel that it gives me insights into the mind of the original architect. I have a particular interest in European architectural history and love drawing Renaissance or over-the-top Baroque architecture (such as the work of Francesco Borromini) and therefore my travels to date have focused on Italy — but there is still so much more to explore!"

• Liz's art on Flickr.

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