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: SINGAPORE > Don Low

Tampinese Street 91, Singapore

"It is without dispute to say that SketchCrawl and Urban Sketchers have made me fall deeply in love with sketching, like many others who did too. After I read “An Illustrated Life” by Danny Gregory, I quickly recognized that I am doing something right. I used to think that sketching is a personal and lonely process, but now I enjoy very much going out for sketching trips with like minded people who aren't too embarrassed to sketch and draw in public, and who wouldn't mind people looking over their shoulders as well.

Unlike taking a snapshot, sketching allows me to get acquainted with my surroundings. It is like a process of getting to know someone I haven't met before; you reveal something more as you get to know the person more. Sketching makes me see beyond what I would look at normally, and most of the time, it is also a record of your emotions and even your thoughts. It involves your entire being.

Now I make it a point to bring my sketchbooks and paints along wherever I go, especially if I go traveling. It would be wrong if I had only brought my camera along to these trips. Since I am always traveling with my wife who doesn't draw, I keep my sketching time short so she doesn't have to wait too long for me to complete a sketch. I would try not to include too many details in my sketches, hence I am beginning to sketch more loosely and not be too bogged down by details. However if I have the luxury of time, I would draw as much as possible to put down whatever I see in front of me, including sign posts and posters too. I used to like nature but now I am beginning to be more attracted to urban settings especially in restaurants or cafes where I could do gestural interpretations of people around me.

I used to post as an Urban Sketcher in Glendale, California, where I worked for Disney. Now I am back in Singapore, my home town where I was born and bred, educated and learned how to draw. After spending 4 years in America, you come back looking at local things with a different perspective. Things I have taken granted for have given me a fresh insight to how things are and used to be. My wife and myself have enjoyed Singapore like never before, even though we were back only 2 months ago.

Thanks to Urban Sketchers that have opened my eyes to see the world, one drawing at a time. I am so excited to be included in this community and I would therefore do my best to show the rest of the world outside Singapore what my world here is like through my sketches."

• Don's blog.
• Don's art on flickr.
• Don's website.

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