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: PORTLAND > Kurt D.Hollomon

"I have always been focused on observational drawing, urban landscapes in particular, but I became more intense about it back in 1997 when my body nearly all froze up. I couldn't draw at all for about two weeks. My hand couldn't feel the pen. I was told that I might have MS and that I should switch my emphasis to working with the computer.

That sure didn't sit very well with me. The "you might have" became a "for sure" in 2003, when I was diagnosed with MS. But I had already hit the streets perfecting my observational skills, mark making and drawing in my sketchbook with a wider variety of pens and brushes. I figured I'd better get the drawings now while I can. I’ve been teaching drawing at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, since 2001, so when I was done with class for the day, out I went to a different location each afternoon to make a new drawing in my book. My sketchbooks were already going places with me.

I love the thrill of getting everything down on the page before cars leave, and of course clouds block the sun and shadows move. There’s nothing like it. Not exactly like the adrenaline rush I had when mountain climbing, but intoxicating all the same."

• Kurt's blog.



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