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

Vintage Signs

It's a recent obsession. I've been tracking down and sketching signs near San Jose, California.The nice thing about hunting down these hidden signs is that every so often, someone will write in and tell me about a sign I haven't sketched, and sometimes it's surprising how much I haven't discovered of places that are quite literally in my own backyard.

Here are some recent sketches:
This is Cambrian Bowl. The plaza it stands in is being sold, and there's speculation that the bowling alley will disappear. 

Babe the Muffler Man is a huge figure that stands outside Babe's Muffler shop at 808, The Alameda in San Jose.
The first time I sketched him, he was holding a bright red muffler. But I thought he looked too benign in the sketch.

So I sketched him again. I chose a more dramatic angle this time, and the sharp shadows helped, but this time he was missing the muffler he had been holding before. It had been taken down for repairs.

This last quick sketch is for a business that no longer exists. This sign for Stephen's Meat Products now marks the edge of a parking lot.

If you know of any more old signs in the San Francisco Bay Area: shop signs, large neon signs, theater marquees, anything interesting and with a history that I can sketch, drop me a line and let me know!
A growing set of my vintage sign sketches is here on flickr.



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