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

Kumi Matsukawa

"Hi, I'm Kumi. I was a little child who would draw on anything and everything if there was space to draw. Now I am an illustrator. I mainly draw storyboards for TV commercials. At the same time I teach watercolor and pastel in my neighborhood. Both works entail sketching.

However, for a long time I considered sketches to be merely a training or of secondary importance. It was since 2008 when I participated in one of the World Wide SketchCrawl events that I found the joy of sketching and sharing. In other words, I discovered how much potential sketches themselves have. Since then, I am hooked on sketching.

I enjoy sketching on location very much. Landscape, buildings, people, animals, plants. It's like a dialogue with the subject. For example, when I draw an old tree, I feel as if I am listening to its story. An old tree — like a old man — has a long, complicated story and what I do is transcribe it in the form of a sketch. The story has ups and downs like its branches do, and it has intricate details exactly the way its leaves look. So I try to capture as much details as possible, but I sometimes have to sum up some of them due to the circumstances. Or I may amplify something interesting. But that's not an exaggeration, just a result of the struggle to earnestly focus my attention to it.

I live in Kanagawa prefecture, where famous tourist spots are, such as Yokohama, Enoshima, Kamakura, Hakone and so on. I also go sketching to Tokyo. The view of Tokyo is not as photogenic as other prominent cities are. But has a lot of interesting, new and old places to draw. For instance, there is a new tower called Tokyo Sky Tree. When it is completed in 2012 it will be one of the tallest in the world. So I'm planing to sketch it on a regular basis.

I also enjoy very much seeing other sketchers works depicting things with unique style. Their various approaches always impress me, inspire me!

I am so happy to be aboard USk!"

• Kumi's art on flickr.
• Kumi's website.

Chigasaki beach-3

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