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

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket is an island off the south-west coast of Thailand. It is a very hot (as in popular) tourist spot in Asia, among the Asians as well as the Europeans. My wife and myself decided to have a short get away to Phuket over the weekends since we have not visited the place for almost more than 10 years. Not that we love crowded touristy spots anyway. 

Our flight to Phuket from Singapore took only about 2 hours. Immigration was very crowded but efficient to our surprise. Taxi journey to our hotel (R-Mar Resort & Spa) was about 30-40mins depending on traffic, costing 700B (flat fee). Please confirm verbally with the driver on the fare before you board. Our hotel is located at Patong Beach, the most popular beach on Phuket - which is also the beach that was struck by Tsunami on 26 Dec 2004. If you are visiting Patong Beach I would recommend you to book the hotel that we stayed in. 

We ventured out into the streets immediately after we have checked in. The hotel's porter showed us a shortcut to the beach area. We walked for about 5mins through alleys and back streets where the locals were congregating while they were getting ready for a meal. We did not stop for photos. It started to rain when we got to the beach but not heavy enough to prevent us from walking back to the main streets and took shelter in McDonalds. We bought ice-cream for ourselves and sat at the bar counter at the windows overlooking the shops from across. Right in front of us is a massage parlour. The female masseurs were touting business at the caucasian men. They would reach out for their hands and tried to persuade them, and refused to let go. It was an entertaining sight.

I sketched as we waited for the rain to simmer down. 



Hero Pen on Nude Book

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