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

Stories on the Train

I have always sketched throughout my life off and on. It was always an occasional “event”. So four years ago when I by chance stumbled onto Urban Sketchers and discovered an international community of amazing sketchers, it was eye opening. The realization that sketching could be part of my daily life invigorated me and since then I have been carrying my sketchbook everywhere I go. 

I sketch quickly with a Micron 01 black pen on a sketch pad as small as 6” x  4” (convenient to carry in my bag and easy to obscure in public). Even though I am an architect, my sketches end up mostly of people. I find that people create meaning and stories in their environments. My architectural background definitely has influenced my sketching style. It probably all started in my first year architectural contour line drawing class. Since then, my “line” has not stopped. My drawings feel very true to Paul Klee’s discription, “Drawing is taking a line for a walk”. The process of sketching is like taking my mind on a walk: a “walk” to relax, destress, observe, document, and connect with the world.

Finding time to sketch can become challenging in our very social society and especially around family life which is why the train ride has become a favorite sketching spot. The train is how I commute to work in New York City and where I can be alone surrounded by people with their own stories.
Carol Hsiung is an architect in New York and you can see more of her work on Flickr.

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