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

Getting into Trouble on the Train

Yes, I have been off on my travels again. It was World Book Day last week, so all the schools invite authors and illustrators in, to do talks and work with the children. I have been in schools every day for a fortnight and have had a lot of fun.

I tried to take a photo, holding up my sketchbook in the train, with the man below-left in the background, but got a right telling off by a complete stranger across the aisle from me. She said I should ask the man's permission if I was posting his photo to the internet (perhaps a good point?). Then she said I should delete all the photos I had taken of him from my phone (slight over-reaction?). Then the woman opposite her pitched in (another random stranger) saying I should not be drawing people at all unless I first gained permission. 

I so rarely get a negative reaction like this (just 3 times in all the years and then only one occasion was as extreme) and get so many positive reactions, I am comfortable that she is wrong about drawing people (and asking permission to draw people would destroy it - the attention I would draw to myself would make it impossible).

Interestingly, most sketchers who post sketchbook photos with the subject behind are drawing mainly buildings. I don't think it's such a good idea on reflection, if only to avoid unnecessary conflict, so won't take photos again, even though, in this case, he would have been too far away down the carraige and too out of focus to be recognisable.



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