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

Golden arrow

Yellow Staircase at Slussen, Stocksholm


I always liked this yellow staircase at Slussen. It´s got such a Yellow Brick Road feel to it. It takes you from the bus and train terminal at the bottom floor to Gula Gången (the Yellow Walkway), which in turn leads you towards Gamla stan (Old town) or the city buses above ground.

This sketch is quite simplified. I left a lot of things out, such as people, lighting ramps (I decided to go for the fluorescent tubes only), some buses in the background, the bread seller right next to me. I had to stand up while drawing, and my back doesn´t quite agree with that for a longer period of time, which is why I decided to hurry up and not include everything.

Probably because of this simplification, I had one of those moments when drawing actually opens my eyes to things I don´t really see otherwise. See those yellow tiles on the pillar? I have passed this place a million times, but I never noticed that they are shaped like an upwards arrow, playing with the function and colour of the stairs. It is such an obvious design feature when you look at it like this, but I doubt that many people see it in their day-to-day commuting. The upper part of the arrow is almost covered by the lighting ramps, and the general dirty and stressed atmosphere of this place doesn´t really encourage the curious eye looking for nice design.

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