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

election day

Election day in Berkeley, California. I had been studying the issues just fine, but for some reason I never got around to looking up where my polling place was until the morning of the election, only to find that this time my precinct had no polling place at all and that I had to mail in my ballot, only the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot had passed the week before. So I got on the phone with the registrar and found out where I could go to fill out a provisional ballot, which turned out to be the commons of the nearby University of California freshman dorm, Unit 3. Remember, friends, always check early where your polling place is - it may have changed. Here is a quick sketch getting close to the front of the line which snaked through the long narrow underground hallways. The girl in front of me was highlighting text in a book she was reading. We got "I voted" stickers in our choice of languages. I watched the results come in later that night with friends in a downtown bar.

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