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

Look Back at 2012

2012 was another year of growth in interest and activity in urban sketching all across the world.  We're pleased to bring you this recap of Urban Sketchers' year of activity.

International Symposium and USK Workshops

Nearly 100 urban sketchers from 15 countries converged in Santo Domingo for the 3rd International Urban Sketching Symposium.  

2012 also saw the debut of our Workshops Program. We promoted USK workshops in Lisbon, Portugal; Volterra and Naples in Italy, and Portland, Oregon in the U.S. These USK workshops were attended by about 80 sketchers combined. We hope more urban sketchers will apply to teach USK workshops in their cities this year. To learn about the program, visit our website here.

In the Media

In 2012, 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, in newspapers and magazines, including the following as well as numerous arts-related blogs:

Magazines: 92064 Magazine (USA), l’Art de l’Aquarelle (France) /The Art of Watercolor (USA) Artists and Illustrators Magazine (United Kingdom), BluPrint (Philipines), Peyzaj (Turkey), Vivre Paris (France).

Newspapers:  The Aucklander (New Zealand), The Commercial Appeal (USA), Montreal Gazette (Canada), Press Democrat (USA), Revista Paula (Chile), The Tribeca Citizen (USA), and USA Today (USA).

TV: canalSDI (Santa Domingo), King 5 TV (USA), RHTV (Philippines).

By the Numbers

Since our launch in November of 2008, volunteer correspondents have published 9,267 entries to date on the Urban Sketchers blog. More than 6,000 followers subscribe to our blog feed. The urban sketching community has grown to 6,080 Urban Sketchers flickr group members and 23,722 Urban Sketchers Facebook fans.

Regional Blogs

Drawing together is part of our USK manifesto, and our regional blogs grew tremendously in 2012, thanks to the initiative of many urban sketchers who have started sketching groups where they live. These new USK blogs were added in 2012:  Urban Sketchers Japan, Urban Sketchers Kuching, Urban Sketchers London, Urban Sketchers Midwest, Urban Sketchers Switzerland (the reincarnation of the original Basel Urban Sketchers blog), and Urban Sketchers Tri-Cities.

These new groups join 47 other country, city, state, and 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:


Several Urban Sketchers blog correspondents, members and groups published books this year, including:

Board of Directors

In 2012, two board members, - Cristina Urdiales, of Málaga, Spain, and Steven White, of Blacksburg, Virginia (USA) - stepped down from the Urban Sketchers nonprofit board of directors. We want to take this opportunity to thank them for their invaluable service.

We also had two new members join the board, including:  Steven Reddy of Seattle, WA (USA) and Shari Blaukopf of Montreal (Canada). Steven is an elementary school teacher in Seattle. He has sketched his extended stays in China, Bangkok, Singapore, Mexico and places throughout the western USA. His travel sketches are included in An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers, published 2013.  Shari  is a Canadian graphic designer, teacher, illustrator and daily sketch blogger. She grew up and still lives in Montreal, where she continues to discover new neighborhoods in her never-ending quest to find the best streets and back alleys to sketch.

The full list of the USK Board of Directors can be found here on our website.

Financial Report

Here's a breakdown of our nonprofit's 2012 finances:

Web advertising: $2,260
Amazon affiliate program: $708
International Symposium (registrations, auction, sales): $28,445
Donations from individuals and fundraising events: $4,657
Donations from sponsors: $4,500
USK Regional Workshops: $374
Total: $40,944

International Symposium scholarships: $2,950
International Symposium: $29,416
Miscellaneous expenses: $1,205
Total: $33,571

(information compiled by Gabi Campanario, Lisbeth Cort and Victoria Lawlor)

(photos from Drawing Attention posts in 2012 and USK blog banners)



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