MYTH: Only artists living in the US can participate in the Architecture in Perspective (AIP) professional and student competitions. I mean the organization is called the American Society of Architectural Illustrators, right?
FACT: The professional and student competitions are open to ANYONE is the world who would like to submit their work. We hope it’s obvious, but only students who are currently enrolled in University may enter the student competition.
HISTORY: Yes, we know it can be confusing that the name is the American Society of Architectural Illustrators. It’s a long story why that is so, but don’t let the name hold you up. From its inception ASAI has been an international organization.
MYTH: The AIP competitions only accept traditional entries.
FACT: Nope. It has been an ongoing belief that traditional and digital work can be put next to each other and judged side by side on the merits of the work, technique, and story of the image. One medium does not overshadow the other and displays an inclusive exhibition of diverse work created in the architectural visualization industry.
HISTORY: Check out the varied work from the most recent competitions AIP 33 and AIP 34. If you’d like to see a 34-year history of exhibitions think about starting your collection of catalogs chronicling the history of this industry.
MYTH: Entries for the AIP 35 professional competition need to have been created in 2020.
FACT: You may choose to submit work that you are proud of that has been done at any point in your professional career. In fact, even if it has been a piece that you already submitted, you can submit it again as long as it hasn’t already been included in a previous AIP exhibition.
MYTH: You must work solely as a professional illustrator to enter the Architecture in Perspective professional competition.
FACT: The AIP competitions are not limited to strictly illustrators, but are open to architects, designers, teachers, students, corporations, and anyone engaged in the serious pursuit of architectural drawing.
MYTH: You must be a sole proprietor to enter work.
FACT: Artists who work as a 1 person show or within a firm may enter the competition.
MYTH: There is no one behind the curtain at the ASAI headquarters.
FACT: Not a chance! Hi! My name is Tina Bryant. I am the Executive Director of ASAI and I am happy to assist you often available at non standard business hours to accommodate inquiries for artists all over the world. I do my best to be available at a time that is convenient for you. Email Me!
The original article was printed in the 1998 Winter edition of Convergence by Moh’d Bilbeisi
I started using a graphic journal during my college years as an architecture student at Oklahoma State University. In the beginning, I noticed that I was able to remember the slides in my history class better if I sketched them in the margins of my notebook. This habit occasionally went to extremes, as it was brought to my attention by my professor that I might be spending more time sketching than studying. The journal also acted as a graphic sketchpad to test ideas and record thoughts relevant to the design problems that were given to us during studio. As an intern architect in the city of Philadelphia, the journal was invaluable when visiting job sites and meeting with clients. It was easy to carry and there were no papers to file after the meetings. The client’s comments were already graphically reported and analyzed and I could always go back and retrieve the information efficiently from what my colleagues called my “Small Black Book.” And sometimes just for pure enjoyment on a wonderful fall or spring day, I would sit in Rittenhouse Square, enjoying the weather and sketching events and people as they happened.
This habit of thinking graphically was also useful while traveling abroad. I was able to record architecture as I experienced it, subjected to light, conforming to the laws of linear and atmospheric perspective, situated within a group of structures, and interacting with inhabitants. For me, a fifteen-minute sketch capturing the essence of architecture replaced the five-second camera click. What I saw and recorded was imprinted on my memory.
I have kept a graphic journal ever since. I encourage my students to maintain them almost religiously. It is required in all my design studios, graphics studios and historv courses. Graphic Journals prove to be an important visual thinking apparatus.
I make daily graphic entries as regular as having a cup of coffee in the morning. The subject matter is as diverse as life itself street scenes from Egypt to France, architectural studies, architectonic compositions, still life, product design, possible projects for the students, people doing various activities, faces, animals, color studies, graphic compositions, clippings from magazines, postage stamps, foreign currency, etc. The pages act as a graphic note pad and I use it accordingly. I record ideas, test then and come up ,vith a result. I sometimes use it as a sketchbook to capture a particular moment in time. I hardly use a camera anymore.
Page composition is very important to me. Every page is labeled. The sketch/graphic matter is situated off center for a more dynamic composition. The graphic/imagery is usually supported with text in the form of notation with leaders pointing to the area of interest. Sometimes a sketch is associated with a paragraph describing a thought relevant to the subject. Every page becomes a study in composition.
The graphic media is relatively simple. I use a no. 2 pencil for layout, but my main drawing tool is a Pelican MSOO fountain pen, filled with Pelican 4001 fountain pen ink in black. I supplement and enhance the drawings with touches of watercolor. I often use Winsor-Newton Artist watercolors. A few strokes from a black marker add the final touches to the compositions.
The ultimate objective of keeping a graphic journal is to use it as a pad to record, test, and communicate ideas efficiently. It is never used as an endeavor in itself. It is an inexpensive and highly useful tool.
Moh’d Bilbeisi, AIA is Assistant Professor of Architecture at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Two pages from Mob ‘D Bilbeisi’s notebook.
The top show a building by Mario Botta, and the side shows
a concept for a new tower.
The original post by Bogdan Sasu is on the GTAPR website
These past few months were pretty intense. I decided to add a blog to the site and I thought that a first post with a quick summary of what happened would be ideal.
Let’s start with the beginning: my name is Bogdan, I’m a 3D artist based in Romania, an endless dreamer and a stubborn innovator. My journey into the art of photo realism started way back in 2006. I soon started to get frustrated with not getting good enough results with my images which affected me a lot. So I searched and searched in order to understand things beyond a simple tutorial or course; I wanted to know how light and other elements worked and what I needed to get that amazing photo-like image.
I’ve worked some years and improved along the way but I was still not getting the results I wanted. Around 2014, the idea of talking to great artists in the field started to take shape – I was sure this way my questions about great images will be answered.
Soon after the idea of the book took shape in my mind, along with the title and the questions, everything started to fall into place and my struggle became even harder.
Some years had passed and I kept on pushing forward and kept on believing that this book could be a landmark. At the beginning of 2019, I saw a video on YouTube by Fabio Palvelli and I soon realized that he might be driven by the same passion as I am. Since I had nothing to lose, Alexandra (my fiancée) encouraged me to write him about the book. There I was, writing this email, hoping that maybe this time the result will be different. One or two days had passed before I got a reply. Great Talks about Photo Realism was no longer just an idea in my head, but a story that had to be written.
How It All Started
In the following months, I had great talks via email with the artists and they seemed very excited about the project. At that point, it was still not very clear to me where I was going with this, but I was driven and focused on my next task as a laser beam; the next natural step to take was to assemble everything.
In June 2019, we printed the first draft. We presented Fabio with a copy of the book and he was amazed by the work we had done and by its quality print so he assured me that it would be a success. Personally, I was a bit reserved because I was focused on the next step which was to prepare the book for the final print so we could finally start our presale campaign.
July 1, the first day of presales made all those years of dreaming and some months of hard work worthwhile; I remember we had over 60 copies sold in that very day. I continue to be amazed by the impressive feedback from the community; I’m excited like a kid when I realize that all those years of “failure” were actually the seed of what’s happening today and I couldn’t be happier.
After July 1, the entire project started to gain momentum: making sure that everything runs smoothly is now on my day-to-day agenda. I work with passionate people who share my vision and can help me and this project grow and evolve.
For me, the last couple of months were like a GTAPR test, which we successfully passed. We managed to achieve some of our goals so far and, most importantly, “I” or “Fabio and I” became “we” and “the Gtapr team”. It was and it is an amazing ride for which I am thankful to you – the artists, the studios, the curious ones, the dreamers – who interacted with us and became part of the GTAPR family.
I guess you will need to stay close and find out. What’s for sure is that we are preparing more surprises for you and we wish to participate at as many events in the field as possible. The Archviz community is really one of the best there is so thank you!
More About the Book
We Are Excited to Announce the Launch of Great Talks about Photo Realism
The book is the very first such project uniting world-renowned artists in the 3D community.
Early bird sales are now available on the book website until end of July. The pre-sale offers include seven 3D scenes for free, as well as a numbered and customized copy with the author’s inscription. Get your copy today!
Great Talks about Photo Realism by Bogdan Sasu is a book that promises to unveil the stories of some of the best international visualization artists in the industry. If you’ve ever wondered about the secrets behind creating photo-realistic images, you now have a chance to peek inside the great minds who have already captured the attention in the field.
Bogdan Sasu is an artist, 3D generalist and author living in Romania who has more than two decades experience in the creative arts. His interests range from drawing to chip carving, from paintings to mosaics and stained glass. In 2006, he started exploring the possibilities of replicating the reality inside a computer, so he found the challenges he needed in the realm of 3D.
Year after year, he would strive to improve his skills and expand his knowledge in the field, so, naturally, he wanted to learn from the best artists in the industry. One of the aims was to find the secret behind creating photo-realistic images.
This was the spark that ignited the conversations that followed with artists all over the world. And this was what marked the beginning of a most exhilarating and fortunate adventure into book publishing.
Essentially, Great Talks about Photo Realism is more than a book. It is a community of dedicated artists who can bend reality with their craft. It is about coming together so they can realize their full potential as artists and see where creativity can take them.
It’s a vibrant visual experience which exhibits some of the most famous and award-winning 3D artworks as much as it is an invitation inside the lives of these people (so, it’s scenes and behind-the-scenes, if you will).
Artists from our book such as … use Corona for versatility and amazing results in seconds. The engine is built to encourage creativity by allowing you to put aside the settings; with the default values it works in over 98% of the scenes. This gives the artist the freedom to focus more on light, color balance and composition without worrying about the render stage.
Using Corona is similar to organic architecture, if you like – everything is there and feels natural and intuitive. Moreover, you can also find an important tool for post processing: the Corona editor which is extremely easy to use.
Oftentimes, Corona faces some adversity because the user wouldn’t try something new, but once you manage to press render without any additional time spent on settings and see that it really works suddenly, the balance starts to tip in favor of this simple render engine.
The continuous growth, the many beautiful renders from users across the globe and also from our contributing artists stand as a testament of a mature and innovative render software. The uniqueness of Corona lays in complex simplicity that enriches creativity for every artist and studio that uses it. There is no doubt that Corona has heavily influenced and continues to influence the work of some of the best artists in this wonderful industry.
A friend of mine once sent me a postcard of Poussin’s “The Triumph of David” and on the back he wrote “I can’t see David’s Triumph anywhere – he must have parked it behind the picture plane.”
Subsequent to this, I imagined David’s Triumph as an older model, a little run-down, with a dent where he backed into a pedestal. The car’s slightly disreputable aspect necessitated parking it behind the picture plane. Perhaps if David drove a brand new Prius, he might have parked it in front of the picture plane.
A few years ago, I was studying the Weybosset Arcade in Providence, RI and I decided to watercolor a view of its main facade. A couple of guys were unloading plants from a local nursery from a big yellow truck parked right in front of the entry. I waited a while for the truck to go away, realized that they were there for the day, and decided to paint the truck in. Afterwards, architect colleagues said I should have left the truck out.
There’s a schism between the perception of architecture as a pure formalist art piece and its pragmatic role in accommodating some of the more messy and prosaic aspects of human existence. Architecture is really only a backdrop – just as the Weybosset Arcade’s facade is the backdrop for a couple of guys to unload and replace some planting.
I was reminded of this schism again while listening to Eric de Broche des Combes’ terrific talk at the annual American Society of Architectural Illustrator conference in Hollywood this October. The renderings by Luxigon in their portrayal of architecture are more exciting to us because of their inclusivity of all types of people and their representation of the messier elements of our environment, like a rainy day.
The people that occupy typical architectural renderings today tend to veer towards the more perfect representations of our species – handsome men and lovely women in crisp suits, chatting on their mobiles while striding purposefully towards an entrance. It’s interesting to compare them to Letarouilly’s 19th century engravings of Roman palaces that show beggars, peasant girls, priests and noblemen. Somewhere along the way, we lost sight of the fact that all kinds of people inhabit our world and we have relegated those that don’t measure up to behind the picture plane.
Melissa Weese has led a peripatetic life, living in many cities in the US and abroad, practicing architecture while employed at firms such as SOM, Woods Bagot and Gensler, and teaching at various universities. She currently practices architecture at TLCD Architecture, in Santa Rosa, California, where if it isn’t under water, it’s on fire. Melissa continues to draw for work and for pleasure (isn’t it the same thing?) and is currently working on a comic series about the life of a middle-aged female architect.
For our 34th Annual International Conference, we traveled to Tinseltown! This year’s event, “AIP Goes to Hollywood,” included students, professionals and enthusiasts of architecture and environmental art came from around the world to engage in an open conversation on the relationship between architectural illustration in 3D environments, architecture, cinema gaming, matte painting, photography and VR/AR. Attendees of the conference complimented, President Keely Colcleugh of Kilograph on her ability to put together a speaker lineup that was eclectic and inspiring.
A key component of the Architecture in Perspective 34 Conference was to provide an expanded scope of the event with a diverse speaker panel and to allow ample opportunities for alumni and new attendees to network and engage with each other during a variety of networking and learning opportunities including:
Environments & Emerging Technologies – The conference kicked off with a discussion panel at Gnomon, moderated by Chris Nichols of CG Garage. All-star artists representing a myriad of different industries and mediums talked about how new technologies are changing the way architectural concepts are developed and communicated.
AIP 34 Exhibition Opening – Award-winning artwork from the International Architecture in Perspective 34 Professional and Student Competitions displayed at the WUHO Gallery that included a watercolor VR experience of the unbuilt work of Michael Graves “Imagined Landscapes”.
Urban Sketch & Photography Tour – Conference attendees explored and sketched historic locations around Los Angeles. The tour engaged artists on a route from the Kimpton Everly Hotel to Hollywood Pantages Theater Metro Station (Red Line), Union Station to El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument and ending with lunch at the historic district of Olvera Street.
The eclectic 2-day lineup of speakers at this year’s conference featured practitioners from varied fields including architecture, photography, augmented and virtual reality, Hollywood visual effects and more. Speakers included:
The final event of the conference was the awards ceremony where award winners from 2019’s AIP competition received their awards with the highest honor of the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize being presented to Corey Harper of TILTPIXEL during a special ceremony. Other awards given were Lifetime Achievement awards presented to Masaaki Yamada and Tina Bryant.
ASAI is extremely grateful for the glowing feedback already received from attendees and panelists, as well as for the tremendous support from our volunteers, venue partners, conference partners and sponsors.
In the course of my career as an architectural illustrator, populating project perspectives was a necessity for humanizing a new building design in its intended environment. The scale of figures had always been critical for establishing scale of the structure and the spatial depth of the overall view. The matter becomes a key compositional process in streetscape imagery, with foreground figures and natural activity and gestures, and other details that need to be depicted, the positioning of which not be intrusive to the big picture of the new design.
A watercolor for Cesar Pelli, in what was a rare scenario at the time – a rain shower on a cloudy, drizzly day – was a new tower’s office entry in a historic Boston transit station. My familiarity with this area of the city was a valued input to the New Haven design team for informing the project depiction. The hunched and umbrella-carrying figures are grouped in a supportive way to highlight the new entry facade, just off center of the view; but yet the active figures provide comfortable movements for the eye along the street space, and throughout the painting.
Another varied example of figurative positioning is detailed in a shaded university concourse at a new UC Merced campus – for EHDD in SF – depicting crowded student activity on a bright California day; yet such population not overpowering the tangible components of adjacent buildings and the shielding design of an upper sun screen and planted pergola. All these figures were first sketched out for rough positioning on an initial overlay of the perspective, then refined primarily from memory, but also from some reference photos for figure types and clothing. A second, or even a third layer, was sketched to help in refining the proportions and overlapping forms and gestures, before adapting the figures to a final drawing. To make-up or imagine such scale groupings was my own imposed challenge for comfortably enhancing and balancing this illustration.
Not having had any art lessons or figure drawing experience, I kept different sizes and types of sketchbooks for notating gestures of figures that caught my eye; whether that be at home, or travelling, or in conferences or meetings. The gestural action of a subject at these moments required a confident hand to well place the figure in the space of the page, while capturing convincing proportion for whatever the gesture might be; usually in a relaxed attitude. The medium did make a difference in approach and comfort level, and correctability. Pencil, charcoal, and color pencil allowed for some adjustments that enhanced a wobbly work and helped cover the inaccuracies of proportion with some level of honest “technique”.
But I found the best results from a drawing to be an almost an intuitive engagement with the subject, whereby a rational, deliberate judgement was suspended for the flowing, if not frantic, energy of capturing the arresting vision of that subject. In this case of my friend and colleague delivering an animated talk, his continued movement required intermittent drawing to fit the initial gesture drawn at the outset for capturing the figure.
However, when opting to really challenge myself, and improve my skill sets by using the uncorrectable medium of pen & ink, the need for more careful seeing and more deliberate judgement for the mark-making and continuity of line work required even more concentration and patient seeing. Confident speed was also a necessity in this process for drawing the figure, since movements, however slight, altered the shape of space and the figure’s ground-to-field relation, as well as facial features and expression, glasses, limbs, clothing, etc.,
Depending on my relative location to who I might be drawing, the pen & ink medium necessitated an almost disengaged, detached place of mind; and to avoid an intellectual analysis of the process, or a questioning hesitation in capturing the figure. The truth of such drawing was seemingly verified by the reaction of viewers, or the subjects themselves. What emerged was a depiction of the intangibles of action and/or emotion. The drawing always tells the truth.
I can only encourage folks to adopt sketchbook drawing, not only for practice in sharpening the eye, but also for pleasure of mark-making, and refining one’s drawing, visual and memory skills. The drawing experience will be further enhanced as the artist becomes deeply engaged in a given moment.
I’ve had the pleasure of drawing my sons since they were born, and continuing for nearly 50 years, to do sketches of them. This ongoing sketch practice informed my illustration work, as well as other artworks I’ve been fortunate to produce. I can only strongly suggest that figure sketching is well worth anyone’s effort; and it can only help in informing numerous skill sets that will very likely improve one’s professional work too. And however imperfect those sketches may be, they will always serve as memorable records of one’s engagement with people, places and times. copyright – f.m.costantino, 2019
Just learned (via my good friend John Haycraft of Sydney) about the passing of Charles Reid, watercolorist extraordinaire. Charles was such an incredible influence on so many painters around the world, that his expansive legacy will live on for decades to come. That will certainly be the case for yours truly, as I had learned so much from him, and developed a continuing friendship with Charles and his dear wife Judy.
I had the good fortune to first meet Charles at Key West, when Bill Hook, then President of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI.org) retained Charles for a targeted workshop for its ASAI members from all around the country. It was a revelation to see the ease and command of the medium with which he executed his demo views for us. While he was doing a beach scene for the group, I had captured Charles and Bill Hook together as he was painting at easel. During the last day’s session, Charles admitted that he was “intimidated by all these watercolor illustrators…”; which floored everybody, coming from so illustrious a painter!
I had a second opportunity to work with Charles when ASAI again arranged for his conducting a limited workshop for its members on scenic Catalina Island, CA. We even had a member come all the way from Japan to attend the four fantastic days of painting. In addition to the many scenic places on Avalon, I had chosen to paint Keitaro Hatanaka, when Charles asked that we should paint each other after his portrait demo. Keitaro was wearing two pair of glasses at the time and shielded from the CA sun. The paint methods from Charles were liberating for me in capturing flesh tones, light and values, etc.
Having connected well with Charles and Judy during that Catalina trip, I had asked Charles to serve as an Awards Juror for the fourth Plein Air Vermont event in North Bennington, VT in 2013. He was a terrific presence at this event, and had attracted a great crowd with a stunning portrait demo at a Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, up the road from the event venue. He had made no bones about his tendency to quietly and randomly hiss (I guessed an intaking of breath, or maybe a low whistling) while he worked on the deep colors of the model. Answering questions during the work, he explained his technique of using a loaded brush to paint upwards, rather than a typically downward stroke. There was also book signing, arranged by Northshire who had ordered some of his books, and which was welcomed by the many guests at the demo.
Charles was also a very astute juror, since PAVT 4 had a large number of remarkable painters from around the country. He had chosen Vermont’s own Mark Boedges for his outstanding barn painting for the First Prize. Charles and Mark are together with Tony Conner and Frank, two of four Co-Founders of the PAVT event. (above) Mark won a full page ad image for his prize winner.
Charles also agreed to an interview/lecture about his work, about his early training and background, hosted by yours truly at the Bennington Museum. (above) It was an in-depth coverage of his career, his self-taught skills, his subjects, his many travels, books and videos, and some of his favorite painters. Charles candor and openness on so many points was an intriguing aspect to the many principles he shared in his workshop teachings. It was a remarkable show of and insight into works, which was recorded by the local cable station.
This opportunity, via PAVT, to more strongly connect with Charles was a privilege and a treasure for me. We continued by exchanging Holiday cards every year, which was a delight. He was a dear man, dedicated to his painting and readily sharing his knowledge. And he set such a strong example for so many others – painters and instructors – now following in his very large footsteps. Charles Reid forged an enormous path that will assure his legacy for a very long time. Too Many Thanks; & So Long Charles…
In January 2019, many American illustrators began receiving reprographic royalty checks. Since then more checks have gone out to more artists. These payouts are a part of concerted effort between Artists Rights Society (ARS) and the American Society of Illustrators Partnership (ASIP) to provide American illustrators with a share of international reprographic royalties.
All published illustrators are eligible to join and there is no membership fee.
ARS will issue you an IPI (Interested party information) Number. This is a unique identifying number assigned to creative artists by the international CISAC database. Collecting societies require these identity numbers in order to pay royalties to the proper rights holders and to avoid fraudulent claims.
Once you are an ARS member you can then file claims for your published work. So far this year, our illustrator members have filed claims in four different countries: France, UK, Germany and Spain. More opportunities are coming!
Joining ARS will NOT interfere with your normal individual licensing arrangements. Your ARS contract will only apply where collective fees are already being collected under blanket licenses such as for photocopying usage, cable retransmission fees, etc. Learn more at our reprographic rights FAQ.
Here are comments from artists who have already started receiving royalties:
“I want to thank Ted and Janet and everyone else at ARS for helping us achieve a breakthrough in reprographic royalty payments. Thanks to ARS I’ve finally been able to get an international identification number and have filed claims with four different countries so far. My work has been published in the US and abroad for over 50 years, but until January of this year I’d never seen a check for reprographic usage. Thanks ARS.”
“Dr. Ted Feder and Janet Hicks, and their very capable staff at ARS, have continued to be the strongest advocates for ASIP in finally realizing the goal of distributing foreign reprographics royalties to our member artists. With numerous works published from a forty five year career, I have personally benefitted from my ARS registration with different countries; and trust that ARS will continue their diligent representation on my behalf.”
“I’m thrilled that we finally have an organization to collect reprographic royalties on behalf of American illustrators! I’ve already received my first royalty check. Thanks so much to ASIP and ARS for pulling this together!”
“I had never catalogued my life’s work before, and joining the ARS effort has been challenging and rewarding. I will continue to build my list of published works, and look forward to reaping the benefits as time goes by, as well as increasing the ranks of medical illustrators being recognized by the international collecting societies.”
“As illustrators many of us work by ourselves and try the best we can to make a living doing what we love. When we deliver our jobs we often think it is the end of the trail for our art. In actuality many people in many countries have access to our art and copy it. With ARS I am confident that those Reprographic royalties will be secured and returned to me.”
-Michel Bohbot, San Francisco Society of Illustrators
“I just received my first-ever Reprographic Royalty check: what an amazing achievement for both ASIP and The Artists Rights Society. I evidently followed your campaign over the years, you had courage, perseverance in that generous effort and I am very grateful, deeply grateful for it! Let me know if I can be of any help, I’ll be there.”
As we go through the archives of ASAI, we are running into these precious nuggets of knowledge. We don’t know when this article was written but find it still relevant in today’s industry. Gordon S. Grice, President Emeritus of ASAI, is now the editor of The Right Angle Journal.
by Gordon S. Grice OAA, FRAIC
We architectural illustrators have a great deal in common. That’s why we all get along so well. But there’s something about us that may seem a little surprising. When it comes to how we deal with our clients, there are as many methods as there are illustrators. No two are the same.
Well, maybe it isn’t all that surprising. A lot of us are self-employed mavericks who enjoy the independence that our career offers, so why would we want to imitate anyone else? As a result, when it comes to our business relationships with our most faithful and dedicated patrons — architects — anything goes. Maybe there should be a few guidelines?
Let’s start with how we work. Some of us prefer that our clients give us complete information about a project and then let us vanish until we have finished the job and presented it to wild acclaim. Others want to keep the lines of communication open constantly, avoiding any surprises at the end, pleasant or unpleasant. Some illustrators like projects in which everything has been worked out complete to the last detail. Others would rather have vague instructions — the less information the better — allowing them to create their images almost from scratch.
These opposites describe two poles in the architectural illustrator continuum. At one end, is the illustrator as supplier, selling an artistic product to a client for a price. At the other end is the illustrator as consultant, interacting with the client and providing advice for a fee according to specific needs. This is product vs process. So the first question to ask is: What does the architect-client want — a product or some advice — an illustration or an illustrator? Or a little of both? More than any other consideration, the answer to this question will provide the basis for the success or failure of the relationship.
In either case, a second element, one that is extremely important to any relationship, must also exist. That element is trust. In my discussions with other illustrators on this topic, this feature was given highest priority. Illustrators feel that each party must understand and appreciate what the other is trying to do as well as how this is to be accomplished — sympathy and accommodation.
For the architect, this means that the illustrator should be treated fairly. Comments will always be helpful ones and given at the right time. Decisions will always be made by the appropriate person. Deadlines will be honestly arrived at and reported and the effect of changes to the work will be considered. within the context of these deadlines. Some media (watercolor, e.g.) are notoriously difficult to change. Clients should understand the process and the necessary sequence of events, especially if the budget and deadline are fixed. One illustrator told me “Some architects seem to want to make changes solely as a way of maintaining control. But what’s really annoying is that their changes are often good ones.”
For the illustrator, the responsibilities are even greater. Hired for her expertise, the illustrator is being well paid to perform a vital (perhaps critical) function. First, she must meet her clients requirements regarding budget and deadline, but she must equal or surpass the client’s expectations regarding quality of work. The illustrator should maintain portfolio samples that are appropriate to the job and represent an accurate example of current capabilities. She should be familiar with and understand, as much as possible, the architect’s design philosophy and intent. As discussed above, she should appreciate the degree of involvement, camaraderie, and discussion that the architect is comfortable with. Most importantly, she should understand exactly what the illustrations are to be used for.
This last requirement is the result of the illustrator’s unique experience. Architecture in the twenty-first century involves the work of many, many specialists. No one architect can ever possess all the knowledge required. Illustrators are specialists in the communication of architectural ideas. If there is some particular aspect of the project that needs to be communicated in a particular way, it is the illustrator’s job to know how to do that. If the architect is having trouble connecting his design intent with the design execution, it is the illustrator’s job to find that connection and to help express it. If the project just needs a drop-dead gorgeous image to keep it afloat, then go to it.
But how can we leave the discussion without mentioning money? The illustrators that I spoke to were generally in favor of receiving more, but mostly agreed that they were currently compensated adequately. But, they all want to know: What is the deal with giving the illustrator a week to do the work and then waiting four months to pay for it? Any and all responses to this question will be gratefully entertained.
Just as we illustrators all have different ways of working, we also all have different reasons for having chosen this profession, although we would probably all agree that we do this work because we like it. We chose it — some of us even invented it — for ourselves. Architects tell me the same thing: the work is rewarding, enjoyable and meaningful. Working together, architects and illustrators can expect to accomplish a great deal. And enjoy doing it.
We are very excited to have Sergei Tchoban join the ASAI Board of Directors. His longtime support of ASAI as a member has awarded him many awards in the Architecture in Perspective Professional Competition.
Among his other duties on the board, he is actively planning the 2020 Architecture in Perspective Conference in Berlin, Germany. We look forward to releasing those details at a later date.
Sergei Tchoban, Architekt BDA
TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten, Berlin
Sergei Tchoban, born in Saint Petersburg in 1962, is a Russian-German architect. After his studies at the Russian Academy of Arts, Saint Petersburg, he worked as a freelance architect in Russia until in 1992 he started working at the architectural office NPS Nietz – Prasch – Sigl in Hamburg. In 1995 he became managing partner of this company, which since 2017 trades as TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten. In 2006 Sergei Tchoban founded the architectural office SPEECH in Moscow together with Sergey Kuznetsov. 2009 the Tchoban Foundation started, growing 2013 into the Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin.
Between 2009 and 2011 Sergei Tchoban has been member of the urban advisory board of the city of Linz and will resume this activity from 2018 on. Since 2013 he is member of the urban advisory board of the city of Moscow. Moreover Tchoban has been teaching at the Moscow Graduate School of Architecture MARCH during 2013 and 2014. He was jury member of the Iakov Chernikhov International Prize for Young Architects in 2014 and a jury member of the World Architecture Festival WAF in 2016 and 2017. He chairs the jury of the international drawing competition ArchiGrafik since 2013. In 2017 he founded the first Biennale for young architects in Russia, with the aim of encouraging and supporting their professional development.
At the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2010 and 2012 Sergei Tchoban was curator of the Russian Pavilion. In 2015 he was the architect of the Russian Pavilion for the EXPO Milan. Further he was responsible for the exhibit design of several international exhibitions, the latest in the Vatican Museum in Rome. Since 1992 Sergei Tchoban is member of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators ASAI. His drawings have been displayed in several museums and galleries and several are part of the collections of the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Architectural Archive of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.
2018 Sergei Tchoban received the European Prize for Architecture by Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.
The American Society of Illustrators Partnership (ASIP) and American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI) are inviting all published illustrators to join the Artists Rights Society (ARS) as an illustrator Member.
There is NO FEE for this, and as an ARS member illustrator, you can then be assimilated into a global system that will allow you to receive licensing fees for otherwise unidentified uses of your work.
This global system (called IPI for Interested Party Information) assigns artists, musicians and other authors a unique legal identity tag called an IPI Number.If you are an illustrator, this will allow you to make claims for licensing fees for the use of your work currently being collected under international blanket licenses.
A blanket license is a license that gives a user the right to use any work from a body of collective works where generic royalties (similar to jukebox money) can be collected and distributed to rights holders only through internationally established collecting societies.
In the US, IPI numbers can only be obtained for you by the Artists Rights Society. ARS is the fine art collecting society that represents over 40,000 fine artists, including the estates of Picasso, Matisse, Saul Steinberg and others.
Through the efforts of the American Society of Illustrators Partnership (ASIP), ARS has now agreed to represent illustrators. You must be a publishedartist – with at least one published piece to your credit – to enter into this agreement. ASAI members, who have been chosen in any of the AIP Catalogues, would qualify, and once in the system would be able to realize any royalties that might accrue from the world-wide distribution or placement of the physical or digital versions of any of ASAI catalogues.
There is no fee for membership and you need only supply ARS with your name and birth date (and death date in the case of estates) and your contact information. These dates are necessary to distinguish between two artists with the same name.
An artist’s IPI Number is the code for a name or pseudonym related to a person or a legal entity. For example,
Pablo Picasso has the IP Base Number I-001068130-6. Or one entity can have several names: the late musical artist Prince has three IPI-codes: 00045620792 (Nelson Prince Rogers), 00052210040 (Prince) and 00334284961 (Nelson Prince R).
Musicians, fine artists and writers have been in the IPI system for years. Collecting societies require these identity numbers in order to pay royalties to the proper rights holders and to avoid fraudulent claims.
The IPI system and database are administered by the Swiss copyright society SUISA (the Swiss Cooperative Society for Authors and Publishers) in accordance with guidelines and standards established by CISAC (The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers).
To join ARS as an Illustrator Member, please download the simple pdf Member Agreement from the dedicated ARS website.Then fill out the form, listing all names, pseudonyms, and other variations under which your work is credited and sign it. You may sign the agreement with a digital signature or a traditional signature.
Please return one copy to ARS via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via postal mail: Artists Rights Society, 65 Bleecker St, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10012. ARS will return a counter-signed agree-ment to you and will then send you a W-9 form to fill out for any payments due you.
This Agreement is for blanket licensing fees only, and will not in any way preclude or limit you from exclusive licensing of your works by any other means. For more information please see theseFrequently Asked Questions.
Please take a few minutes to review the sites and materials, to take advantage of this artist advocacy program; which benefits you, ASAI, and the eleven other groups that comprise ASIP.
Frank M. Costantino, ASAI Co-Founder
V.P. and Charter Member, ASIP
International Architectural Illustration Competition
The American Society of Architectural Illustrators is pleased to invite professional and student illustrators from around the globe to take part in the 33rd annual Architecture in Perspective competition. This international juried competition recognizes the world’s best architectural illustrations with over 10 awards in four categories. Submitted artworks may be created in any medium including drawings, paintings, renderings, and digital imagery.
The competition’s top award — the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize — carries a cash prize of $5000 USD and is considered one of the highest professional honors for an architectural illustrator.
Competition winners will be invited to a special awards ceremony and gallery exhibition October 12, 2018 at the Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles. In addition, award-winning entries and honorable mentions will be published online and in a commemorative Architecture in Perspective catalog.
For more information on entering the competition including deadlines, awards, eligibility, and submission guidelines, please visit archinperspective.com.
SAVE THE DATE
The Architecture in Perspective 33 Conference will be held in Marina del Rey, California USA at the Jamaica Bay October 11-13, 2018. Stay tuned for more information or sign up for our newsletter to receive updates and news from ASAI.
Russian architectural site Archplatforma.ru and Tchoban Foundation Museum for Architectural Drawing (Berlin) invite architects and artists of architecture to take part in ArchiGraphicArts 5 International Contest of Architectural Hand Drawings.
Hand drawings created without using any computer technology are accepted.
Participation in competition is free!
Competition is held on 4 nominations
– Drawing from Nature
– Architectural Fantasy
– Drawing to the Project
– Moscow: Sense of the City. Special Nomination by Moscow Chief Architect Sergey Kuznetsov
Participants can present 1 Entry in each nomination. Each Entry can be presented by 1 sheet or as a series of (up to 5) sheets united by the same theme and graphic technique.
The Competition is held in the Internet Format: the participants have to upload Entries in electronic form to the contest site.
All Entries approved by the moderators will be published on the Competition’s website.
After the end of the Moderation, the International Jury evaluates the works of the Contest by online materials and gives recommendations for a thematic exhibition.
On the basis of the Competition’s Entries, a thematic Exposition is planned within the framework of the XXIII International Exhibition of Architecture and Design ARCH Moscow 2018 (May,16-20, Central House of Artists, Moscow).
The presupposed theme of the Exhibition is the Drawing-Manifest, Drawing-Research. It could include works (originals, in exceptional cases – reproductions) from all nominations of the Сontest, illustrating the conceptual research / statement on the theme of architecture. For example: Drawing from Nature as a study of the features of certain objects in the context of their own architectural and town planning studies/projects; Аrchitectural Fantasy as a presentation of methods of work, approaches, a critical comprehension of reality or a vision of the future; Drawing to the Project-the quintessence of the author’s personality in architecture; projects, containing the solution of some important, actual problem or task.
At the final Awarding Ceremony, winners will be announced in all categories based on the Jury’s remote vote.
During the competition an online vote will also be held. This will allow visitors to the competition website to support entries which take their fancy, but will have no effect on the results of the voting by the competition Jury.
According to the results of the remote online work of the Jury, winners in each nomination will be determined.
Winners of the Contest receive Diplomas, valuable prizes and gifts from the Organizers and Partners of the Contest.
One of the participants in the Architectural Fantasy Nomination will receive a Special prize from the Sergei Tchoban Foundation – the Museum of Architectural Drawing in Berlin.
The winner of the Special Nomination «Moscow: Sense of the City» will receive a Special Prize from the Сhief Architect of Moscow Sergey Kuznetsov.
The winner of the site visitors online voting receives an incentive prize and a diploma from the organizers of the competition.
Submission of entries: until March, 1st , 2018 (inclusive)
The end of moderation (reviewing and publication of entries): March, 10 th , 2018
Exhibition in the framework of ARCHMoscow: May 16-20, 2018, Moscow, Central House of Artists.
Announcement of winners and Awarding Ceremony: the date will be reported additionally
SERGEI TCHOBAN – Chairman of the Jury – architect, founder of the Tchoban Foundation Museum for Architectural Drawing, chief of the architectural bureau SPEECH (Russia) and nps tchoban voss (Germany)
SERGEY KUZNETSOV – the chief architect of Moscow
Thomas Wells Schaller – architect, artist. President Emeritus of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI) (USA).
MAXIM ATAYANTS – architect, professor of the Academy of Arts (St. Peterburg), chief of the «Maxim Atayants’ architectural studio» (Russia)
SERGEY ESTRIN – architect, artist, chief of the «Sergey Estrin’s architectural studio» (Russia)
MIKHAIL FILIPPOV – architect, artist, chief of the «Mikhail Filippov’s architectural studio» (Russia)
MIKKEL FROST – founder and managing partner of CEBRA (Denmark)
Procedure of registration is simple. For creation of an account it is necessary to open menu (сlick red square on the main page under logo Archplaltforma.ru), click: Log in, enter login and your contact e-mail. Two e-mails will come to the specified e-mail address:
E-mail with the link for account activation. 2. E-mail with your registration data.
After completion of registration all options will be available. Then you have to place necessary information about you and load 1 work in chosen nominations.
Works are accepted in the digitized form, in jpg format, not less than 2000 pixels in size on width.
The explanatory note (up to 1000 printed characters) has to be attached. It is NECESSARY to specify the original name of work, techniques of execution, original sizes of the work in explanatory note and short description of the concept, location of the objects, etc.
The work allowed to participation appears in online gallery where the name of participant also is displayed.
Detailed information about Terms and Conditions of Competition you can find on the page of each nomination (сlick Terms/English version).
The American Society of Architectural Illustrators is pleased to announce that Keely Colcleugh of Kilograph is joining the Board of Directors as 2018 Vice President and the 2019 President. As the 2019 President, she will host the Architecture in Perspective 34 Competition and Conference.
Keely is the Director and Founder of Kilograph, a visual communications and emerging VR/AR technology studio based in Los Angeles. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from McGill University in Montreal Canada and a Master of Design in New Media degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCIArc). Drawing on 20 years of experience in the fields of architecture, feature film visual effects, and communications design, she has worked at Bruce Mau Design in Toronto Canada, The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and AMO, and as a visualization artist at Atelier Jean Nouvel in Paris.
In 2004, she moved to Los Angeles to begin a career as a Previs Animator on feature films, including Iron Man and Superman, before starting Kilograph in 2009. When Keely isn’t working, she’s speaking about the importance of architectural visualization to architecture students and graphic artists. She has lectured at the California State Polytechnic University, Woodbury University, the University of Kentucky, and USC School of Architecture. She has been a guest lecturer at the IUAV in Venice Italy’s Master of Digital Architectural program, and at Trojan Horse was a Unicorn, speaking on the topic of narrative in architectural visualization.
About the American Society of Architectural Illustrators
ASAI, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the art, science and profession of architectural illustration.Through communication, education and advocacy, the Society strives to refine and emphasize the role of illustration in the practice and appreciation of architecture.
The American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI) was founded in 1986 as a professional organization to represent the business and artistic interests of architectural illustrators throughout North America and around the world.
ASAI’s principal mandate was and remains the fostering of communication among its members, raising the standards of architectural drawing, and acquainting the broader public with the importance of such drawings as a conceptual and representational tool in architecture. Membership in the organization is not limited to professional illustrators, but is open to architects, designers, teachers, students, corporations, and anyone engaged in the serious pursuit of architectural drawing.
The American Society of Architectural Illustrators also assists in the advancement of the profession in a number of significant ways. It serves as a referral agency for those seeking the services of a illustrator, as a network for practitioners and affiliated organizations from around the world, as a clearing-house for ideas and discussions about architectural illustration, and as a sponsor of regional and local member activities. The central purpose of ASAI remains the improvement of architectural drawing worldwide. By recognizing and celebrating the highest achievements in the illustration of our built environment, the organization — together with the dedicated, committed and passionate efforts of its international members — continues to further the quality of the work of all who have an interest in architectural illustration. In 1995, ASAI was recognized for its excellence in achieving its mandate and purposes with an American Institute of Architecture Honor Award which commended the organization for its work in strengthening collaborative associations with the communities of architects, designers and other professionals, as well as for its programs dedicated to educating the public about architectural drawing.
My wife and I just returned home to The Sea Ranch from a 5200 mile driving trip over 8 states, the focus of which was the yearly ASAI/AIP Conference, this year AIP 32, held in Houston, Texas. For those who couldn’t make it this year and didn’t hear my story, I attended the University of Houston, College of Architecture in 1961, smack dab in the middle of Hurricane Carla. It was at the U of H that I started my long journey in design and presentation drawing and, as fate would have it, here I was returning there, now 56 years later and at the tail end of Hurricane Harvey, to humbly accept the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize just across town from where it all began for me. It is the very best, professional honor an architectural illustrator can hope to be awarded. I can only imagine myself there at school, the quiet but ambitious 17 year old with dreams of becoming an architect, utterly incapable of even hoping that such an honor could lay ahead for me.
I mentioned to the crowd in attendance the night of the award presentation that it was so very special to speak to a gathering of renderers because virtually everyone there would know the effort and the struggle it takes to complete one of these art pieces we create, day after day, year on end for a lifetime. Unlike the fine artist, our art has a responsibility, first and foremost, to depict and display the built environment as a product for sale in the very best light while engaging the viewer to join in the experience and visit this creation we have staged and arranged just for them. Each effort needs to be a homerun. Some of them are not. And so we fall short and we learn to be better at our craft over time. If we are successful in that effort then we hope that it results in more work, better projects, involvement with bigger and more experienced firms and some success and recognition by our architectural purveyors and our peers. And with all of that comes responsibility, the kind that can weigh you down and break you or the kind that can make this skill we’ve learned the impetus for a lifetime’s dedication to being the very best we can be at what we do.
I have been so very fortunate to remain busy with wonderful clients and inspiring projects these last 5 decades. I am proud and humbled now to be considered worthy of the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize and to be able to share the stage with a distinguished and legendary group of my contemporaries who have won the award in year’s past. For me it is a culmination of a lifetime of hard work and dedication to my craft and it is truly an honor and a thrill to receive. As a member of ASAP and ASAI for some 22 years I have been presented with a professional forum to exhibit and compare the results of those projects alongside the best of the best in architectural illustration. It seems, therefor, that I have spent this lifetime of mine chasing the perfect rendering. I think I’ve come close two or three times but never quite there. So I must continue the chase and hope for success one day. The Ferriss Prize has convinced me I am on the right path and worthy of the pursuit…..and just in the nick of time!
I salute this year’s class of fellow award winners and all the members at large. It is an honor to be in the same company of people with such skill and talent. I marvel at your work and seek it out as inspiration and example each time I begin a project. I look through this year’s AIP 32 Catalogue and feel blessed to be included among such gifted and hard working illustrators. And from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all the dedicated people in ASAI who do all the heavy lifting behind the scenes in the day to day running of our organization and, especially, in the effort to put on a Conference each year. Thank you Tina and your dear daughter Grace, special thanks to Corey and the hardworking Tiltpixel folks, the judges, the sponsors, the venues, certainly Frank, Steve and Jon, all the volunteers and helpers who always seem to go unnamed and everyone else I missed who did all that it took to arrange and execute this wonderful event. You have made this an unforgettable experience for me and for my wife, Gayle. Thanks to all.
Finally, and not counting all the many dozens of illustrators who’s work has inspired me over my lifetime, I have dedicated this award to 5 people who got me to that podium; Mr. Moore, my high school Mechanical Drawing teacher who’s class forever change the course of my life, my grandfather, Robert S. Anderson, who directed me towards architecture and gave me my first drafting tools, my dad, Al senior, who remains my true north, Doyle Jenkins, one of my U of H design and drawing instructors who sits on my shoulder each day of my life and does not allow me to settle for anything but my best effort and my dearest Gayle, without whom there would be no me!
Most Sincerely, Al Forster, Architectural Illustrator
PO Box 326
The Sea Ranch, CA 95497
Standing on my toes at our back fence, I sometimes chat with my neighbour Maria. I love her garden, the chaos at the back, the organized garden beds, and the bright red geraniums that ring her clothesline. Maria and her husband came from Italy after the second world war and with many other European migrants, they settled in our inner city suburb New Farm (in Brisbane, Australia). Maria is over eighty now and finds the house and garden harder to maintain since her husband died a year ago. I have learned more about her since she has allowed me to sit and sketch. Everything in the garden from the shed to the climbing frames for the beans has been constructed by Maria and her husband. No material is wasted, everything is recycled, found and reused. When Maria dies, the garden, sheds, everything will be lost.
There is so much to draw, so much evidence of her and her husband’s life over the last sixty odd years.
Drawing makes me really look, allows me to think, and particularly when I am sketching in Maria’s garden, makes me realize how tenuous life and our surrounds can be.
Congratulations to long time member of ASAI, Jane Grealy of Australia, for winning the “Drawing from Nature” Category of the 2016-2017 ArchiGraphicArts competition. The international competition had 900 entries from 25 countries. Program partners of the competition include the Tchoban Foundation Museum for Architectural Drawing (Berlin), Moscow Union of Architects, Сhief Architect of Moscow Sergey Kuznetsov.
The jury was compiled from respected members of the architectural community.
SERGEI TCHOBAN – Chairman of the Jury – architect, founder of the Tchoban Foundation Museum for Architectural Drawing, chief of the architectural bureau SPEECH (Russia) and nps tchoban voss (Germany)
SERGEY KUZNETSOV – Moscow: Architecture and Water Nomination Curator – the chief architect of Moscow MINORU NOMATA – artist (Japan, Tokyo) MAXIM ATAYANTS – architect, professor of the Academy of Arts (St. Peterburg), chief of the «Maxim Atayants’ architectural studio» (Russia)
SERGEY ESTRIN – architect, artist, chief of the «Sergey Estrin’s architectural studio» (Russia)
MIKHAIL PHILIPPOV – architect, artist, chief of the «Mikhail Philippov’s architectural studio» (Russia)
B. In response to Item 4, you can upload additional comments as a pdf. Consider identifying yourself as a creator (and not a user) and make a personal statement:
Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE,
Washington, DC 20540
I am a professional freelance artist and small business owner. I’ve been in business for ___ years. I specialize in _____. I am wholly responsible for all my business and overhead expenses. I pay my own insurance premiums and health care expenses. I fund my own retirement plans and have no other safety net. I earn my entire income from the licensing of my copyrighted work, so it is critical for my ability to stay in business that the US continue to provide creators with the full protections of existing copyright law. My copyrights are my work product and my work product is my livelihood. I have experienced massive copyright infringement for the last two decades, by publishers and “advocacy organizations” who claim reprographic royalties earned by my work, by publishers who engage in unauthorized sublicensing behind subscription walls, and by infringers who steal online images. The next Register should uphold Berne, and wholly support the efforts of illustrators to be safe-guarded by a functioning US visual art collecting society that protects the commerce of our secondary rights both domestically and overseas, and directs the secondary rights revenue stream of earned royalties to the illustrators who created the work.
If you’ve missed our previous alerts, here’s the story in a nutshell: Dr. Carla Hayden, the new Librarian of Congress, has fired the head of the Copyright Office and is now soliciting advice on the “knowledge, skills and abilities” people think the new Register should have.
It has been widely reported that Dr. Hayden supports the agenda of the “open source” lobby. So if past is prologue, these anti-copyright interests will use this survey” to gin up an astroturf response from their supporters, then take the results to Congress to claim that the American people want work on the Internet to be free.
To counter the lobbying tactics of Big Internet firms, creators must respond to this survey in force with a call to retain the full protections of copyright as provided for in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution.
PLEASE DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE DEADLINE. DO THIS TODAY.
Please post or forward this artist alert to any interested party.
Please take a moment to congratulate ASAI’s 2018 President. Meet Lon Grohs of Chaos Group.
“My mission is to help artists and designers create a better world – both real and imagined.
Through a combination of executive leadership, public speaking and teaching, I’ve dedicated my career to enabling artists and designers with the information and technology they need. Because I believe our collective creativity will bring great things to our planet – and maybe even others.
I have deep love and respect for the art of architectural illustration, and not only am I interested in preserving the founding principles of the ASAI, I believe I can help the organization continue to evolve and thrive.”
Lon is an ASAI award-winning visual artist, CCO of Chaos Group and founder of Chaos Group Labs – a collaborative research and development hub, focused on GPU rendering, cloud rendering, and VR technology. Knowing the challenges faced by designers every day, Lon joined Chaos Group in 2011 with a passion to push technology to aid in artistry and design.
Formerly Creative Director and a principal at Neoscape, Lon oversaw the studio’s visualization teams on multiple projects worldwide.
It is with the most heartfelt sense of loss, I share this recollection with ASAI members, colleagues and friends about the whirlwind we called Eric. His whirling world seemed to operate at 78 rpm, while the rest of us were sloshing along at 33 or 45 rpm. In all his activity and associations, he was a man of constant motion and energy; but in being engaged with him and revolving in his orbit, he was lovable in the process. “Eric was easy to be around – he was so comfortable in his own skin. You never had to guess what he was up to, and he was always up to something, because he was right up front about sharing everything. Smart, funny. He lived life large” President Emeritus Henry Sorenson stated.
Eric seemed to be devoid of filters, unbounded by convention, and seemingly unmindful of consequence. He was never at a loss for words, or opinion on any subject, or finding the humor in any situation, or extracting the most from the moment, while sharing the better parts of himself in unexpected ways. The unexpected was his forte, and he brought us all along for his ride. He was a persona one could not forget, and he added a spark and laughs and an alternate dimension to any gathering. His generosity, sometimes dis-arming, was also one his trademarks.
Eric was multi-talented in his illustration, photography, graphic design, and image-making, among many abilities. “He was truly a gifted visionary artist that combined all of the best attributes in an architectural illustrator…he was truly a gifted visionary artist that combined all of the best attributes in an architectural illustrator” reflects David Csont. Noted P.E. Rael Slutsky, fellow Chicagoan, “Eric was valued and respected as Chicago’s pioneering – and preeminent – digital architectural illustrator who was always moving forward, always leading and always learning.”
He saw opportunity for applying these skills in unusual ways, and created work (and revenue) for himself and his family and staff. He found old posters, including some old baseball posters (or created new ones), that he could likely sell for a good return on E-Bay. His hand would likely be in many fires, stoking the embers of many an idea to a most fruitful conclusion.
He loved baseball and relished this year’s Cubs World Series victory. Always stoked with fan fervor, he had taken his two sons, Luke & Evan, to all the major ballparks in the country over the years; making for their unforgettable memories – a feat any father would envy. He trumpeted his sons’ abilities, and was proud that they could help him with various tasks at the office, including the recent use of drones to document sites for his projects. Eric was an inveterate photographer, and for many years had taken on himself the useful record-keeping task of photographing the awards ceremony of the ASAI banquets.
After what can only be described as a first encounter, I bonded with Eric in Chicago during the 2002 AIP 17 conference, and during which I had piqued his interest in ASAI, the professional organization for illustrators. He soon thereafter became President, and had been a staunch supporter of the Society ever since. He went over the top, as every ASAI president has done, with arranging an outstanding AIP 21 Conference in 2006, the third in Chicago. From the elegant reception at his office, to Millennium Park, to Dirk Lohan’s office (where he had worked on staff), to seeing Bono & Oprah at a Mac Store’s Michigan Ave. and the AIP opening event at the Architecture Foundation Gallery, he proudly showed us Chicago. Raising more eyebrows, Eric triumphantly arrived at our first outdoor meeting on a Segway. Henry (and many others) “will never forget his tour to the city’s sights…riding a Segway.” He also arranged for a memorable walking and sketching tour of Oak Park, with stops to Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio and many of his other houses. “We enjoyed mementoes of that wonderful time at AIP 21 in Chicago a decade ago, under his ebullient presidency”, recalls Steve Oles.
The elegant banquet at one of Chicago’s historic Banquet halls, President Eric, handsome and dashing in black tie tuxedo, only thinly disguised himself when he threw a white towel over his forearm and nonchalantly, but briefly, began serving as a waiter, drawing a huge laugh from the packed room.
In his initial remarks at the banquet, he could not restrain himself in his own edited re-telling (and at nearly every subsequent conference) the stories of “The Walk” & “The Change” from the Providence AIP 19 Conference – which had brought him into the circuit of ASAI. During the seminars hosted at RISD’s Architecture School facilities, I had asked him outside, behind the school on a high plaza overlooking the downtown, to gauge his interest for being on the Board as Vice-President. In Eric’s inimitable re-telling of course, he recalled the honest meeting as the Godfather taking his consigliere for a “walk” to make an offer he couldn’t refuse; which of course brought guffaws all round.
He also told the tale of really getting to know me when I had asked to use his Biltmore Hotel room to change for the banquet, and Eric offhandedly agreed. On that occasion Eric’s comedic re-take was that when he came back to the room to change, he “saw this guy in his skivvies, and wondered what close encounters might be next; how could I have known that the Founder was maybe something else…”; which story also brought down the house.
He thoroughly enjoyed his ASAI colleagues at the Conferences; and even at his last one in Boston, he arrived in mid-afternoon after a 3am night of work, undeterred from having his usual fun from the get-go. He shared time with numerous friends at the AIP events, at meals, at the banquet again as photographer of record, and at a post-banquet gathering sharing jokes, drinks and numerous laughs, before bidding us his last goodbye.
Eric was a man full of life, and did things at full bore, and loved every minute. He was a most special individual, who endeared himself to everyone with his high, constant energy, & vibrant, fun- loving approach to life. He was my close trusted friend & an invaluable asset for ASAI for so many years. With many former Presidents and members of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators who were so taken by this original whirlwind of a man, I share this profound loss. He leaves a huge crater in so many hearts. Much more needs to be recalled and said about Eric who left us too suddenly & too soon, but left everyone with indelible memories of times well spent. Time does indeed seem shorter for all of us, but memories of Eric will be of a very lengthy kind. We will all miss him greatly.
Frank M. Costantino, Boston, MA
Co- Founder & President Emeritus (P.E.)
American Society of Architectural Illustrators
In his deep ASAI sphere, Eric was held in such high regard by so many people that it can be felt in the following sentiments. I hope other members and friends can get a lasting sense of how he affected so many so well.
Co-Founder Steve Oles, Santa Fe, NM – “In a time of political shock, this unexpected and profoundly sad personal news deepens the heartache in our Society. …we’ve lost one of our very finest. We enjoyed mementoes of that wonderful time at AIP 21 in Chicago a decade ago, under his ebullient presidency.”
P.E. Rael Slutsky, Chicago, IL – “I just learned of Eric’s sudden passing. My deepest condolences to the Brightfield family at their tragic loss of husband and father. Eric was inspirational and he seemed unstoppable – his energy and enthusiasm were extraordinary. Eric was valued and respected as Chicago’s pioneering – and preeminent – digital architectural illustrator who was always moving forward, always leading and always learning. He also gave back with service to ASAI, and as President very efficiently organized the successful Chicago convention in 2006.”
P.E. Tom Schaller, Venice, CA– “I was so shocked and saddened to learn of Eric’s sudden passing .A really good man with a razor-sharp mind and wit. He will be deeply missed. My sincere condolences to his family…and wish them comfort in a truly difficult time.”
P.E. Dario Tainer, Architect, Chicago, IL– “Extremely saddened by the news. Eric was one of the first to recognize and utilize the power of the computer and digital imagery to create wonderful works of art thru architecture. His enthusiasm and unbounded energy was contagious and will be truly missed. My sincere condolences to his family.”
P.E. Richard Sneary, Kansas City, MO – “My deepest sympathies to Dawn, Luke, & Evan. Eric was always full of life and genuinely fun to be around. Conversation was never dull when Eric was part of it. I always remember his amazing energy and ability to get things done with virtually no time to do them, and yet he would still do them well. He left us too soon!”
P.E. Robert Frank, Novato, CA – “Very sad news, what a shock. He had so much energy and was a joy to be around. Will always have very fond memories of Eric. Deepest condolences to his family.”
P.E. Richard Chenowith, NJ – “I was devastated and deeply saddened to hear of Eric’s sudden passing. What a guy, what a dad, what a husband… the incredibly talented, wild & crazy, extroverted lover of life and all its possibilities. We and his family are all terribly cheated to lose him like this. It hit me hard enough that I even dreamt about him that night of the day I heard. The past few years on Facebook were a riot with Eric. I feel like I knew his whole extended family, and now we all are mourning deeply. We all must seize the day. God bless Eric and his family.”
P.E. Henry Sorenson, Bozeman MT – “Eric was easy to be around – he was so comfortable in his own skin. You never had to guess what he was up to, and he was always up to something, because he was right up front about sharing everything. Smart, funny. He lived life large. My Father died from a heart attack at 54 – also very young. Nothing is given – except today. Embrace it – Eric did. As I get older and closer to the edge, I am more and more cognizant of my mortality – and it is not a bad thing.”
P.E. Prof. Mark Nelson, Madison WI –“It is quite sad. Eric and I lived for many years in the same professional and geographic world (I lived a few miles away from him for years) and had a lot of shared experiences. He was one of the most inclusive members, and was always in touch one way or another. I will miss him.”
P.E. David Csont, Pittsburgh, PA – “I am stunned by the news that we have lost our dear friend Eric. He was truly a gifted visionary artist that combined all of the best attributes in an architectural illustrator. In addition, he successfully navigated his firm through good times and bad, which is no small feat in hindsight of the last several years, and vast, sweeping, digital images. Beyond this, I will always fondly remember Eric as a devoted father and husband who always took time to celebrate life and live it to the fullest. He will truly be missed.”
P.E. Jason Shirriff, San Leandro, CA– “My deepest condolences for losing such a friend and shining star. His light shone most brightly. I have not known Eric as long as many of you have. I felt our friendship was still in its infancy. I only just started using Facebook a couple of years ago… and Eric and I connected there, which meant a lot to me. He always came with an open hand and heart; an example for all to follow. He is foremost in my thoughts as are his family and those who knew and loved him.”
P.E. Jon Soules OAA, Toronto ON –“ I am still very sad by the news, and so happy that I was there in Boston, sharing a drink while he (re)told many of the stories…mentioned. I will remember that evening forever. Your descriptions of his speed, wit, number of revolutions per minute and talent are not exaggerations, but understated. The wonderful thing that I know about Eric was that behind the bravado, there was an extremely caring individual who secretly and quietly contributed to his colleagues and community. I saw him quietly buy up the last unsold drawings at the silent auction, and top up the Society’s funds to make sure it started the New Year running in the black. Only a couple of us saw him do these things. Fact is, pretty much everyone I have met that are part of the ASAI make me feel like I am home, and it’s a good home. Your words show me that is a true sentiment. My condolences to Eric’s family.”
P.E. Carlos Cristerna, Boston, MA – “My condolences to all of you who knew him better and as a friend; I only had a chance to meet Eric in the last few years, I will remember him for his energy and as “the guy taking the photos” at the awards ceremony, bringing a smile to us.”
Past Board Member Wes Page AIA, Norfolk, VA – “Like everyone I too am stunned by this news. Eric was definitely a man who left an impression on all he came in contact with. Many good times and many laughs were shared for sure. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. As I thought about this last night my thoughts also began to turn to the many lasting friendships that I’ve gained through ASAI over what has suddenly become twenty years. So many. I missed this year’s conference because of the typical deadline ‘emergency’, rationalizing by saying ‘well, I’ll go next year’. I’m so sorry now to have made that decision. Take care my friends. See you in Houston in October and we’ll raise a glass to Eric.”
AIP 5 & AIP 17 Hugh Ferriss Prize Winner, Gilbert Gorski AIA, Chicago IL –“I’m stunned by the tragic news. I got to know Eric while serving as an ASAI jurist in his office. He was a gracious and attentive host. At that time he shared a viral You-tube rap video one of his sons made that was hilarious in its clever, fast-paced wit. I could tell how proud he was of his kids and how his own quick mind was part of them. Just a few weeks ago, Eric noticed my absence at the Boston conference and emailed to inquire about what I’ve been up to. I wish we could have talked in person.”
AIP 16 Hugh Ferriss Prize Winner Michael McCann, Toronto, ON – “Quite a shock to hear of Eric’s passing. He will be greatly missed by all who have crossed paths with him. My condolences to his family.”
AIP 20 Hugh Ferriss Prize Winner Chris Grubbs, San Francisco, CA- “Eric was a remarkable human being. My thoughts are with his family. I will remember him for the rest of my days.”
AIP 21 Chicago Hugh Ferriss Prize Winner, Dennis Allain, Lynnfield MA – “This is such a shock. So glad to have been able to see him at the last ASAI. He was larger than life and I will always cherish the times I was able to truly enjoy his company. A terrific talent and always an encouraging voice! My thoughts and prayers out to his family – my heart breaks.”
Charter Member Elizabeth Day, Austin, TX – “So glad to see these great photos of Eric. Along with all of you I am shocked and saddened to hear of his passing. It will be hard to visit Chicago or see a passing Segway without thinking of him — what a force of nature he was!”
Member Marsha Brown, Toronto, ON – “I’m…so glad I had a chance to spend a little time with Eric in Boston.”
Member Les Barker, Queensbury NY– “I…extend my deepest empathy to Eric’s family, friends and this professional family. Three of the many lessons (gifts received) learned during my 17 years of end-of-life critical care giving in my “spare” time are – life can be very fragile, shocking at times & it is important to live each day fully.”
Member Jeff Stikeman,Lynnfield MA – “I met Eric a while ago…say Pasadena, but perhaps it was the Pittsburgh or DC conventions. He had just gotten his Segway and was regaling us with stories of the airport inspection and traveling with it. He was a colorful guy, always seemed to be playing around and only letting us partly in on the joke. I was saddened to hear of his passing. I know that he had been ill, but 56 is too young.”
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