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: FORT WORTH, USA > James Richards

"Hello all, I'm Jim Richards. I'm based in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in and around New Orleans.  It’s hard to express how excited and honored I am to join the roll of Urban Sketchers correspondents.

It seems most of my life revolves around drawing.  At my urban design firm Townscape, we create plans and designs for “people places” such as town centers, urban villages, public spaces and the like.  Freehand sketching is how I explore and share those visions. I’ve recently joined the faculty of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington as a full-time professor, where I teach design and freehand drawing to graduate students of landscape architecture.  Location sketching permeates all these creative efforts.  For designers, seeing, drawing and understanding what is becomes a springboard for envisioning and drawing what can be.

I’ve traveled and sketched in 36 countries so far.  My sketchbook is my passport to new places and situations, and helps me meet new friends along the way. I promote freehand sketching through magazine articles, lectures and hands-on workshops at universities across the U.S. and abroad. My first book, Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers, features contributions from several USK correspondents and kindred spirits, and is due from John Wiley and Sons in February 2013.

I became a member of Urban Sketchers back in 2010, and was a lecturer at the 2nd International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Lisbon.  The Lisbon experience inspired me to enlist some regional talent to start Urban Sketchers Texas.  I’m proud that we had 5 Texas sketchers at the Symposium in Santo Domingo!  

My wife Patti and I traveled to Louisiana for the LSU vs. Washington football game last weekend; the sketch here is a glimpse of the wild pre-game tailgating scene on the LSU Parade Grounds.  Students were fascinated, watching over my shoulder and offering me beers.  Who knows; maybe I’ll see more sketchbooks at the next game."



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