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

Urban Sketchers 2011 Year in Review

Lisbon hosts the world: II International Urban Sketching Symposium

Nearly 200 sketchers from more than 20 countries gathered in Lisbon in July for Urban Sketchers' second international sketching symposium. Three days of intense sketching workshops, lectures, panels and sketch outings led by a diverse team of international presenters with backgrounds in art left participants inspired for another year.

Symposium participants received sketchbooks and art supplies provided by Moleskine, Stillman & Bim, and Canson. Local media took notice in the Metro newspaper and several TV broadcasts.

(sketch above by Pete Scully)

In the media

In 2011, media outlets around the world continued to draw attention to the art of urban sketching and its practitioners. Our blog correspondents and members were featured on TV and radio broadcasts and in newspapers and magazines, including the following as well as numerous arts-related blogs:

By the numbers

Since our launch in November of 2008, volunteer correspondents have published nearly 8,000 entries on the Urban Sketchers blog. More than 7,000 readers subscribe to our blog feed.

The urban sketching community has grown to 4,780 Urban Sketchers flickr group members and 15,769 Urban Sketchers Facebook fans.

Regional Blogs

Drawing together is part of our USK manifesto, and our regional blogs have grown tremendously in 2011, thanks to the initiative of many urban sketchers who have started sketching groups where they live. This year, USK blogs were added in Basel, Berlin, Cleveland, Paris, Brasil, Israel, Philippines and Portugal-Beiras, plus Urban Sketchers Sydney became Urban Sketchers Australia. Our first USK high school blog was launched when Amino Urban Sketchers came online this year.

These new groups join 11 other country, 11 city or state, and 2 other regional USK blogs that are already active. A full list of USK blogs can be found on the sidebar of our Urban Sketchers website.

Several USK groups have their own Facebook pages or flickr groups as well.

Group exhibits

The work of Urban Sketchers correspondents, groups and members has been featured in group exhibits featuring urban sketching around the world this year, including:
  • Manila Metropolitan Museum


Several Urban Sketchers blog correspondents, members and groups published books this year, including: Drawing Viterbo: Sketches from a Medieval City by Fred Lynch (USK Boston), Artist's Journal Workshop by Cathy Johnson (USK Kansis City), Top Drawers on Tour: Italy by the Eugene, Oregon sketch group called The Top Drawers, One Drawing a Day: A 6-Week Course Exploring Creativity with Illustration & Mixed Media by NYC USK correspondent Veronica Lawlor, Urban Sketchers Singapore, Volume 1 (photo, left) by USK Singapore and La Sagrada Familia de Gaudi by USK Barcelona correspondent Lapin and 2 other editors.


This year Urban Sketchers became a United States 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Here's a breakdown of our nonprofit's 2011 finances as of December 19, 2011.

  • Google Ads: $877
  • Blog Ads: $1,359
  • Symposium registrations: $38,668
  • Symposium silent auction: $1,789
  • Donations: $532
  • Give a little, Get a sketch fundraiser: $2,469
  • Seattle USK/Dalvero Workshop: $595
  • Seattle Storefronts grant net income: $360
  • Total: $46,650
  • Symposium scholarships: $3,599
  • Symposium expenses (space rental, instructors' travel, lodging and fees, promotional materials, site hosting, etc.): $37,053
  • Miscellaneous expenses (post office post, flickr account, shipping, wire transfer fees, etc.): $224
  • Total: $40,876
Balance as of December 19, 2011: $12,771

Board of Directors

We are also pleased to announce our board of directors that will serve for the next two years:

Elizabeth Alley (Memphis, USA)
Tia Boon Sim (Singapore)
Matthew Brehm (Idaho, USA)
Gabi Campanario (Seattle, USA)
Simonetta Capecchi (Naples, Italy)
Jason Das (NYC, USA)
Orling Dominguez (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
James Hobbs (London, UK)
Marc Holmes (Montreal, Canada)
Julian Fassel aka Lapin (Barcelona, Spain)
Isabel Fiadeiro (Nouakchott, Mauritania)
Omar Jaramillo (Berlin, Germany)
Cathy Johnson (Kansas City, USA)
Nina Johansson (Stockholm, Sweden)
Veronica Lawlor (NYC, USA)
Mário Linhares (Lisbon, Portugal)
José Louro (Lisbon, Portugal)
Kim Marohn (Paris, France)
Víctor Martínez Escámez, aka Swasky (Barcelona, Spain)
Shiho Nakaza (Los Angeles, USA)
Jim Richards (Fort Worth, USA)
Luis Ruiz (Málaga, Spain)
Cristina Urdiales (Málaga, Spain)
Paul Wang (Singapore)
Steven White (Virginia, USA)

Thank you to all urban sketchers across the globe who enjoy and share the art of urban sketching everyday. Happy New Year!

(Year-end report compiled by Gabi Campanario and Lisbeth Cort).



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