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: LONDON > James Hobbs










"I’ve lived in London for nearly 20 years, having spent most of my youth in relatively rural parts of the UK, such as Devon, where I was born, but the buzz of city life gets me like it always did. On my way to work I often cycle past St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, the towers in the financial district and the great buildings along the Thames, and I can still marvel at what a great city I live in. 

When it comes to drawing, though, I am often more taken by the more mundane things going on. I like to stand before the great city sights, remove the workbook from the bag, uncap the marker, and then turn around before starting to draw. It’s the street furniture, the everyday, the ubiquitous stuff that is easily overlooked that makes a city what it really is. It’s a kind of anti-celebrity view of the world that I like. They creep in, of course: the Post Office Tower, Canary Wharf or the Gherkin crane their necks to get a look in, but I try, at least, to keep them in their place.

I was editor of Artists & Illustrators magazine for several years, and am now a freelance journalist. I recently joined an artist-run gallery called Skylark, which is close to Tate Modern on London’s South Bank. It’s this sense of artistic community that I love, and why I am happy to be part of Urban Sketchers."

• James' blog.
• James' art on Flickr.
• James' website.

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