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

What Are The Odds?

$hi# always happen to me. I can see it coming a mile away. In San Francisco, I order a drink at the hotel bar. The bartender tells me they just ran out one second ago and have to go to the basement to get my Jamesons. OK I'll wait 15 minutes. When I order at a restaurant, the waiter brings everyone their food. I can see by the look in his eyes, he's forgotten to put in my order. My food arrives 45 minutes later. I've been selling my old DVDs online at a site called Glyde. When you sell one, they send you an envelope. You just place the DVD that got bought into the envelope and send. Stamps included. Real easy. It's just that my envelopes never show up. I'm always sending e-mails for help. I'm lost in the system somewhere. Why always me? My elaborate watercolor paintings are all done on 10 X 14 inch Canson cold press watercolor blocks. I've grown very fond of the size. I recently found out they just discontinued making them in that size. "You have to be kidding me." I can't get them in any art store or anywhere online for that matter. They just don't exist in the world anymore. I'm doomed. There are other kinds of blocks but the paper has too much texture and it's hard to draw on them. I tried smaller ones but the size is just not right and bigger sizes are just too big. I can't make enough detail to satisfy my drawing style. This is a big problem for me. I may have to retire. This was my last piece of paper I had left. I did this in London during Hurricane Sandy. Why me? Why me? Why me? Maybe it's the sign taped to my back, that reads, kick me.

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