Episode 46
Luis Ruiz Padrón
Sketching, Writing, and Teaching Through The Lens of Architecture.
Luis Ruiz Padrón on the creative process behind his sketches, writing, and publications, seeing the world as an Urban Sketcher, identity, teaching, technology, life, success, and more.
April 26, 2021
1 hr 23 min
0:00 / 1:23:52

0:00 / 1:23:52

Episode Notes

Luis Ruiz Padrón on the creative process behind his sketches, writing, and publications, seeing the world as an Urban Sketcher, identity, teaching, technology, life, success, and more.

Luis Ruiz Padrón is a PhD architect. He teaches Architectural Graphic Expression at the University of Málaga; drawings of cityscapes is his main interest as a scholar but also his first source of pleasure, sketching them himself.

He belongs to the Urban Sketchers global community and is the founder of the local group in his city.

He collaborates weekly as a columnist in newspapers and is the author of several books.

Favorite quotes

  • "Non-linear is a [good word to describe the creative] process. John Berger wrote that It's like digging a tunnel in search of light, you don't know how [the work] is going to turn out at the end, but you go forth. It's like a struggle."
  • "Nuccio Ordine wrote The Usefulness of The Useless. You have a background with images and textures that apparently are not related to each other, but suddenly there's a spark and you connect things."
  • "If you see the tiny dot we are in the middle of the universe, it makes you feel more relaxed about what you do and who you are."
  • "We are a social animal. It's incredible when you perceive a smile directed at you by, perhaps, someone at a store or something. It can change your whole afternoon."
  • "Trust your eyes and not what you have in mind. Be free. [Have a clean] look into things so that they don't condition your sight, your perception of things."
  • "The possibility of being in contact with someone on the other side of the world, just in this exact moment, is a miracle."
  • "Hunting is [having] a plan to discover things. I prefer fishing, [where] you just throw the net [and] something will come up. I think [this is how] I do things."
  • "When you sketch you understand what other sketchers did. […] What decisions they made, where they cheated. But they cheated to tell the truth. It's [a] contradiction. Sometimes you have to [cheat] to be honest."



Sketchbook tools

People mentioned

Detailed chapters

  • 00:25 · What do you try to convey with your work?
  • 01:54 · Writing by hand compared to typing.
  • 04:21 · The process is non-linear.
  • 05:32 · It's a blank space.
  • 07:26 · How do you manage to stay happy knowing you may not be progressing in some areas?
  • 08:20 · How do you define where being a writer, sketcher, and teacher draw their lines?
  • 11:18 · Do you seek out other experiences you can relate your field to?
  • 11:53 · What's is one of the projects you have enjoyed the most?
  • 13:27 · Did you ever imagine you would ever be where you are in architecture?
  • 14:24 · How do you define yourself?
  • 16:08 · How did you start sketching and what is Urban Sketchers?
  • 17:55 · How did you get introduced to Urban Sketchers?
  • 20:25 · What is the importance of sketching in the actual place?
  • 22:01 · What do you do differently sketching at home versus sketching on the street?
  • 23:48 · When did you start drawing and when did you start sketching?
  • 27:33 · Why is it important to carry a sketchbook with you?
  • 29:47 · Can you comment on what it was like to start and how it felt the first time you went out sketching?
  • 30:59 · Where was the first place that you went sketching?
  • 31:23 · Do you have somewhere you would like to go sketching if you could?
  • 32:03 · Who has been somebody you consider influential on the way you sketch?
  • 33:28 · Are there any other people that left a mark on you?
  • 34:18 · Would you highlight one aspect of sketching you really enjoy?
  • 34:46 · Does the sketchbook help you understand things about the city?
  • 37:37 · How do deadlines change your creative process?
  • 41:14 · Can you talk about your writing process?
  • 45:31 · We tend to repeat the same things.
  • 47:57 · How did you publish your first book?
  • 50:04 · How does exhibiting your work feel?
  • 53:18 · What work of yours do you think of as most successful?
  • 54:13 · How does it feel to have a new website?
  • 55:03 · What changed after you were able to publish online?
  • 57:22 · How would you summarize yourself?
  • 58:14 · Where else can you be found?
  • 58:50 · Why did you start teaching?
  • 1:00:07 · What are the hardest things your students have to learn?
  • 1:00:48 · What advice would you get people trying to learn?
  • 1:02:20 · How does being online transform your work?
  • 1:03:30 · What is your relationship with digital technology?
  • 1:04:14 · What piece of software makes your life easier?
  • 1:04:56 · If you could send a message to the world what would it be?
  • 1:06:14 · Is there anything that makes it easier to do your creative work now that you didn't have before?
  • 1:06:37 · What would you do if you didn't really need money?
  • 1:06:53 · What would you stop doing if you had the money?
  • 1:07:30 · Are you comfortable with solitude and boredom?
  • 1:07:56 · Is there any time that you think about death?
  • 1:08:20 · How does thinking about these things inform what you do?
  • 1:08:59 · What do you think distracts you?
  • 1:09:52 · What do you do to disconnect?
  • 1:10:29 · What role does the city play in your daily routine?
  • 1:11:56 · Is there any routine you have for note-taking?
  • 1:13:23 · How do you define success?
  • 1:13:57 · What's your go-to gear for sketching today?
  • 1:14:38 · Sketchbook brands.
  • 1:15:29 · Pens and brush brands.
  • 1:16:02 · Do you write by hand?
  • 1:16:42 · What's next for you?
  • 1:17:28 · What was your thesis?
  • 1:19:00 · How does an architect like you evolve into doing something more interesting and enriching?


  • 0:00 · Intro
  • 0:25 · Identity
  • 16:08 · Sketching
  • 37:37 · Writing and publishing
  • 58:50 · Teaching
  • 1:02:20 · Technology
  • 1:04:56 · Life and death
  • 1:13:57 · Tools
  • 1:16:42 · What's next?
  • 1:19:00 · Evolution

I'd love to hear from you.

Submit a question about this or any previous episodes.

Join the Discord community. Meet other curious minds.

If you enjoy the show, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than 60 seconds and really helps.

When you buy through links on Getting Simple, I may earn an affiliate commission.