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

Down to Wapping

I received an email from a young designer who had found my drawings on Flickr and was enquiring about the possibility of using some of them in the redesign of  a menu for a London pub. Now as it happens, this pub is one of my favourite London pubs, so I was immediately hooked. The pub is The Town of Ramsgate, situated down in Wapping. When I was a boy this was a dodgy area that suburban folk like me would rarely visit. Back then it was warehouses, docks and ill-lit streets, with stone setts, and no easy transport links. Now it's very upmarket apartments in converted warehouses and there's a refurbished station for the newly refurbished London Overground.
The Town of Ramsgate dates back to at least the mid-sixteenth century. It is a riverside pub, right next to the Old Wapping Steps, an ancient access to the river itself, and the foreshore. It's an area of interesting history. These steps were the site of execution for those found guilty of piracy, whose bodies were hung on the gibbet until they had been covered by three tides. Captain Kidd is reputed to have been one of these unfortunates. The pub itself was the place where the London mob found and caught the notorious 'Hanging' Judge Jefferies who was trying to arrange a boat to flee his own trial.
If you're visiting London, I'd recommend a visit, just a little walk east of Tower Bridge.
I met the designer at the pub, and had time for a quick drawing from the steps across the river to Rotherhithe:

Rotherhithe from the top of Wapping Old Steps

The encounter has made me look back at the drawings I did around Wapping a few years ago, that may now be used in the new pub menu design. Here are some:

Wapping High Street - Gun Wharves. These old warehouses are now apartments backing on to the river

Wapping church

The passage from the High Street, down the side of the Town of Ramsgate, to Wapping Old Steps and the River

Wapping Old Steps

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