I love to draw, and am always thrilled to do so any chance I can, and especially on a work project. From hand sketching my meeting notes or an educational session, to concept sketches, perspectives, sections, and elevations. The ability to hand sketch on the spot to convey ideas for a project, to finding personal time to shift one's mindset, and let the creative juices flow on the spot. I find sketching calming, relaxing, and at the same time fun and creative. Past time iconic artist known for some of their unique sketches that I've come to admire early on, include Le Corbusier, Degas, Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Frank Gehry, and Frank Lloyd Wright to name a few. -- Yes biased on the art and architecture side, but remember, my passion started there. Today in the Landscape Architecture industry both locally in Arizona and nationally, you may come across some amazing sketches of folks such as Teneyke, Martino, Blossom, Sullivan, and Richardson to name a few. (Did you see National ASLA's LAM post on sketching? If not, you should!) All of these amazing designers and sketchers have inspired me at one point or another. And a special shout out goes to my dear friend Duane Blossom, FASLA, who inspired me through his own artistic sketches early on while in graduate school. And the most rewarding memory I have of Duane was watching him sketch in action over lunch.
Sketching and drawing in the landscape architecture profession (or any design profession) provides opportunities to play with ideas, space, lines, and shapes in plan view; all with a simple drawing instrument and paper. In perspective and elevation, the sense of scale starts to unfold even further. And add color, you bring depth, aesthetics, and even emotions to a visual. Don't get me wrong, the use of technology these days is amazing, including AI, and for many, is now a substitute for sketching and drawing. But I find one's ability to sketch or draw ideas on paper, in a single instance, is far more valuable and outweighs the tedious time it can take to sometimes computer generate an idea. As a past teaching assistant and studio reviewer I'd see the limitations that students had with the restrictions of a computer, and at times, the inability to look "outside the box"....
I've been in project meetings where ideas are verbally communicated, but visually lacking, and on the fly a diagram or perspective is formed to provide a visual. I've been in situations where technology wasn't readily available, and providing a colored sketch perspective of what the space could be, sufficed to win the client over. Sometimes sketches help to test concepts, or scale, or just bring people into a visual consideration of a design. I'll even try to find opportunities to drawing something outside of work - a gift to a friend, custom thank you card, or even just a drawing of something one of my kids want. A quick sketch, can be far more powerful than words alone.
So start with a paper and pencil, or start carrying a sketchbook wherever you go, and get sketching! Who knows what you might come up with, what might inspire you, or who you might inspire next!
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