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

Travel Companion



Traveling the world sketching is a great thing to do. There is a problem though. I am married and my wife is not an artist. We very early on had to work it out so that I could spend a few hours a day drawing. My wife is very organized. the first time we traveled overseas she had the entire days planned out. The problem was, she hadn't figured in my drawing. At the end of the first day she asked why I seemed so sad. I said I don't want to visit ten museums or old buildings where so and so supposedly lived. I need to draw. She didn't really understand and sort of took it personally. She started to do some things on her own. I would draw and tell her where she could meet me later. Over time she started to like this new arrangement better. She would go shopping or get a massage. Sometimes she would visit out of the way joints only she cared about. When we would return home I always had a ton of great drawings of our trip. Her family and friends would freak out over the drawings. They would tell her how amazing it was to have these drawings instead of stupid vacation photos like everyone else has. I could see Yun liked that I was different. She has really come to appreciate my Urban Sketching. Plenty of time is allotted for me to do it and as a result both of us are happier. The point I'm trying to make is that I had to fight in order to have my drawing time. Too many people just give up their time and make excuses. Well I have a kid or traveling is too hard or it's raining. I can't live that way. It was basically this is as important as breathing to me. We got over our little rough patch and believe it or not my wife even started to draw and paint too. She took up knitting as well. Art is now a vital part of our everyday life.

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