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

Drawing Attention: Happy Birthday to Urban Sketchers!

November marked the second year of the Urban Sketchers blog and today, Dec. 6, marks the 1st anniversary of our incorporation as a nonprofit organization aimed at fostering the art of on-location drawing and helping sketchers around the world connect with each other.

Please join us in celebrating our achievements and consider ways to get involved and help us fulfill our mission of showing the world, one drawing at a time. (Keep reading to find out volunteer positions we are announcing today.)

The three-day Symposium in 48 photos.

Our first educational initiative: The Urban Sketching Symposium
In July, we organized our first major event, the 1st International Urban Sketching Symposium in Portland, Oregon, USA. The three-day, hands-on workshop was hosted by Pacific Northwest College of Art and drew nearly 100 sketchers from across the United States and from countries as far as Australia, Singapore, Japan, Mauritania, Dominican Republic, Belgium, Spain and Italy. Participants received sketchbooks and art supplies provided by Moleskine, Canson, Faber-Castell, Legion Paper and Portland art store Art Media. The event featured a blend of lectures, panels, exhibits and sketch outings led by a diverse team of international presenters with backgrounds in art education, architecture, illustration and journalism. Details are being nailed down for the next Symposium in beautiful, sunny Lisbon this July. Look for an official announcement soon!

O Estado de São Paulo newspaperIndonesia SketchersIl Corriere della SeraEl País. January 21st, 2010

In the media
In 2010, media outlets around the world continued to draw attention to the art of urban sketching and its practicioners. Our blog correspondents and members were featured on TV and radio broadcasts and in newspapers and magazines, including
The Artist’s Magazine, O Estado de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Red Report (Brazil), El País (Spain), The National (United Arab Emirates), Il Corriere della Sera (Italy), Kompass (Indonesia) and I Journal (Portugal). More articles here.

By the numbers
Since its launch in November of 2008, volunteer correspondents have published more than 6,000 entries on the Urban Sketchers blog, which has received 2.9 million visits. More than 7,000 readers subscribe to the blog feed.

The urban sketching community has grown to 3,555 flickr members and 9,961 Facebook fans.

Regional blogs
Our regional blogs have grown thanks to the initiative of many urban sketchers who have started sketching groups where they live. As you know, drawing together is part of our manifesto! Our current blog roll includes eight country-based blogs (
Singapore, Argentina, Indonesia, Portugal, Mexico, Italy, Spain, República Dominicana), nine city-based blogs (Seattle, Twin Cities, Indianapolis, Seoul, Moscow, Portland, San Francisco/Bay Area, Memphis, Washington DC) and one island-based blog (Sardinia).

Urban sketchers on Facebook
Some regional sketchers groups have formed on Facebook as well:
Málaga, Singapore, Bangkok, Penang, Indonesia, Portugal, Portland and Italy.

100630_Tiong Bahru Sketches

Group exhibits showcase on-location sketches
The work of Urban Sketchers correspondents and members has been featured in group exhibits around the world:
Several blog correspondents have published books this year: Sketches of Pulo Pinang by Kiah Kieahn (USK Penang), St Emilion by Lapin (USK Barcelona), Diarios de Viagem em Cabo Verde by Eduardo Salavisa (USK Lisbon), Diarios de Viagem em Lisboa by Eduardo Salavisa, João Catarino, José Louro, Pedro Cabral (USK Lisbon) and others, Flaneur by Edgardo Minond (USK Buenos Aires), Hier colonisés by Laura Genz (USK Paris).

USk_USA_HaitiPosterCanson-USK collaboration
  • Call to action poster: To call attention to the need to help victims of January’s earthquake in Haiti, Marc Taro Holmes produced a print-ready, call-to-action-poster with location sketches by Melanie Reim.
  • Canson ad: Canson selected NYC blog correspondent Veronica Lawlor to illustrate one of their ads for Juxtapoz Magazine. The urban sketching illustration project was possible thanks to a partnership between Urban Sketchers and Canson. Lawlor generously donated 10 percent of her commission to the nonprofit.
Here’s a breakdown of our nonprofit's finances since incorporation on Dec. 6, 2009.

Income: Our sources of income so far have come from direct donations, revenue from the Symposium (which was a joint partnership with the host art school), a Moleskine fundraiser campaign and revenue from Google Ads and Blog Ads.
  • Individual donations: $955.98
  • Moleskine fundraiser donations: $2,756
  • Google Ads: $337.50
  • Blog Ads: $558.07
  • Share of Symposium revenue: $11,978.41
  • Total income: $16,585.96
Expenses: Our expenses were associated with organizing the Symposium, shipping costs for the Moleskine sketchbooks fundraiser, filing fees associated with the nonprofit status and web account renewals.
  • Reimbursement of Symposium instructors travel expenses: $7,951.39
  • Tax exempt application to obtain 501(c)(3) status: $850
  • Miscellaneous expenses (Flickr pro account, domain renewal and P.O. Box): $110.05
  • Shipping of Moleskine sketchbooks: $677.71
  • Total expenses: $9,589.15
Balance: $6,996.81

We’re really excited to have raised enough funds to achieve our nonprofit status and pull off our first educational initiative (the Symposium). Our goal for 2011 is to offer at least one scholarship to the 2nd Annual Symposium and to develop other programs/grants for urban sketchers. By making a donation, participating in our events or visiting this blog, you are helping us fulfill our mission of showing the world, one drawing at a time! Thank you for supporting Urban Sketchers!


Today we are announcing two open positions on the Board of Directors and four focused positions. As with all roles in our organization, including the board, these are volunteer positions. We’d also appreciate any help we can get! If you would like to volunteer your time and/or skills on a less formal basis, please e-mail urbansketchers at gmail dot com to get more involved.

Here’s a brief summary of the positions and job descriptions:

Member of the Board of Directors: A board member is an enthusiastic sketcher or urban sketching advocate who actively participates in online board member meetings, promotes the organization’s mission and volunteers their time to help develop nonprofit activities and fundraising programs.
Executive Director: The Executive Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who works closely with the Board of Directors to implement our mission, coordinating all the nonprofit’s activities and programs.
Development Director: The Development Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who comes up with fundraising initiatives and works closely with the board to find ways to put them in practice.
Communications Director: The Communications Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who handles our social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter), relations with the media, “Drawing Attention” newsletter and any other communication needs.
Web Master/Information Technology Director: The IT Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who manages our network of blogs and helps us develop a strong online presence.

Happy holidays and happy sketching for the New Year!



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