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

The Classic Street Sketch and Other Philosophy

14April11_StreetSketch

This unassuming sketch is a perfect example of why I'm hooked on Urban Sketching.

I'm waiting on the street corner, meeting people before a show. I'm there a few minutes early, and they're a few minutes late. It ends up being 25 minutes I'm sitting there waiting.

But this was actually perfect! I could pull out my book and sketch the building on the corner of Sherbrooke and Guy - which happens to be a favorite of mine. (Though locals will see I took considerable artistic license). I've heard these red stone hulks are called railway style? Remnants of the lost empire of Canada's rail barons. There's a good one of these on the map for our Griffintown sketchcrawl on the upcoming 4th Sunday.

So we got up to the theater, and the damn show is sold out. Since when is a show at the MFA sold out? But this is actually even better! Because we can go get something to eat and I can take out my half pans and add some color.

My point is - isn't that the classic urban sketch? Something you can do in any spare moment. A slice of life, as you find it. Time waiting isn't lost - it's turned into something creative.

I haven't been carrying a book at all times lately  (because winter) - but I was inspired in Savannah when I saw Gabi Campanario make an entire drawing in the time it took the rest of us to find a restaurant on Google maps.

So that's my self-refresher on what's so awesome about carrying a sketchbook 24/7.

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So, about the 'Other Philosophy' part -  you might be interested in a short interview with myself, conducted by Julie Prescesky over at Design Inkarnation on the topic of urban sketching and living as an artist. She asked some thought provoking questions!

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