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: MOSCOW, ID (USA) > Matthew Brehm

Piazza Navona - Roma, ItaliaRenfrew Hall - Moscow, ID
Left: Piazza Navona, Roma. Right: Renfrew Hall, University of Idaho campus.

"I began sketching as part of my undergraduate architecture education at the University of Notre Dame. My sketching abilities really began to take shape when I spent a school year in Rome, in 1986-87. For several years after graduation, while I worked in architecture firms, I actually sketched very little. But once I began teaching architecture I rekindled my interest in the practice. Now it’s an important aspect of what I do for a living. Architecture students do rely heavily on computers these days, but there is still strong interest in sketching by hand for the unique value it brings to the design process. In 2007 I created a new program for our students – each summer we spend two months studying in Rome. One of the courses I teach is focused exclusively on sketching, so we spend a few mornings each week exploring and sketching the streets and piazze throughout the city.

The subject matter of my sketches is mainly focused on architecture and urban space. Spatial interest and natural light are probably the most important characteristics I consider when searching for a subject. I certainly have my preferences in terms of media, but I try not to get too fixated on a single approach. I enjoy graphite, charcoal, ink, and watercolor, along with a variety of papers and sketchbook types. One of the reasons I try to mix it up is to help my students with their media choices.

I’m relatively new to the community of online sketchers. Until several months ago, I was simply unaware of the amazing array of sketch artists all over the world who were sharing their work via the internet. The people and the work I’m still discovering have been very inspiring, and I’m thrilled to contribute to Urban Sketchers."

• Matthew's blog.
• Matthew's art on Flickr.

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