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: New York > Danielle C. McManus

"I think my earliest memory of drawing on location was when I was about seven or eight. I would sit outside my grandmother's house in Long Island on the front steps with my colored pencils, crayons, and paper and draw the houses, the trees, and cars across the street. Of course at the time I didn't know it was called reportage; I think I was just doing what I loved to do, draw. I was first introduced to reportage when I met my mentors in my early twenties. They changed my life forever, and I instantly fell in love with reportage! It did something different to my brain. It changed the way I saw my art, the way I saw the world, and it simply just got me excited!

I love drawing in different locations in New York City. In the fall of 2008 I started a reportage of Harlem. Every Saturday for about three months I walked around East and West Harlem thumb nailing and drawing various restaurants and people. In the beginning I was a little nervous because I didn't know what to expect. I have to say it was great! I met many friendly people and became comfortable in a part of the city I never went to. I think only drawing could have given me the unique experience that Harlem provided. What reportage gives me is difficult to express in writing. I feel that for me it can only truly be explained by the smile I have on my face while I'm sitting there drawing my heart away. By the mess I get to make, the oils, the inks, the pastels, the ink spills! How I always end up with ink on the back of my leg or across my face. How it stains my hands! It allows me to feel as if I were that kid who used to sit on my grandmother's front porch again. It allows me to be free. As I continue to grow, both as an artist and a person, I realize how much drawing and reportage have become a part of who I am."

• Danielle's blog.
• Danielle's art on Flickr.
• Danielle's website.



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