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

staring at the walls

Wooden walls, fountain soda; must be lunchtime at the Silo. I tend to sketch a lot there. On this day I stayed indoors, because my hay fever allergies were playing up. Seems early. I thought my hay fever was bad in Britain, but living in the Central Valley made me realise that that was like a little sneeze every now and then. Come May I am in permasneeze mode. I'm like the holiest man in Davis, everyone keeps blessing me. I worry when I'm having spells of non-sneezing. We're not at this wonderful time yet, but it's a coming.

So I lunch indoors, while outside we have pleasant mid-70s weather (not that I remember the mid-70s much). Carl's Jr, this was one of my favourite fast food restaurants when I first discovered America. You only get it in the west. The name doesn't make much sense (shouldn't it be Carl Jr's?) but it's a better name than Jack in the Box (ugh) and In-n-Out Burger (I prefer my food to stay in a bit longer). Reminds me of the Happy Eater in the UK, remember them? Motorway restaurants, whose glowing sign was a face with a finger down its throat? Or the French chain known as 'Flunch', which is coincidentally exactly the same sound you make when throwing up into a bucket. But Carl's Jr, yes, it's very nice.

I'll get back to my sneezing...



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