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: MAASTRICHT, Netherlands > René Fijten

"My name is René Fijten, and I live in the most southern part of the Netherlands, near our beautiful city of Maastricht.

In our small part of the world abroad is always near: I live in Limburg, shop in Aachen (Germany), and work in Visé (Belgium). All within 30 km.

I am an architect; the last few years I design factories in foreign countries like Russia, Ukriane, Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany and France. Even China once. For these jobs I have to travel a lot; but unfortunately business trips tend to be over before you get to see something. Or you must consider airport waiting rooms the place to be.

To preserve what I saw, and to force myself to keep my eyes open, I started to make small sketches underway; at least one per trip. I call it my visual diary. On these trips you don't get much time to draw, so normally I make a quick sketch on location, with perm ink in Moleskine books. I add watercolour in the hotel room or at home later, but always within a few days.

The sketch is nearer to home: in front of my house on the Patersweg Hoensbroek, last monday 7.39 AM. It had just stopped raining."

• René's blog.



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