Tag Archives: Painting

Design collaboration is not design by committee

Have you ever heard that phrase “design by committee” when someone talks about a building or an object like a car or piece of furniture that doesn’t quite make sense? It usually means there are some good parts and some bad parts, but overall it’s just not good design.


But design by committee is not the same as design collaboration. Why? Because good design doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We all need to bounce ideas off someone — whether it is the client or a complete stranger.

Design is about innovation and new ideas, regardless of what the project is. To achieve this, we need to share our ideas with like-minded people on our team and with everyone who has a stake in the project.

Design teams are usually formed when a project has multiple parts. In the case of building design, the team can start with a developer or a planner with a big-picture idea. They usually are the first team members who then bring the rest of the team of architects, engineers, general and subcontractors, and of course interior designers into the fold. This can sometimes be referred to as a design-build team approach.

Design collaboration doesn’t always need to be so structured or even defined by any type of project, but it does need to exist.

Whether those teams consist of multiple architects or engineers whose expertise covers specific areas of the construction of the building or other design professionals. Team approach to design comes down to how well they work together. If the group doesn’t have the right synergy or group dynamics, the project loses its creative momentum.

Getting along is one thing, but the design process isn’t about always agreeing. In fact, the best design solutions usually come from disagreement.

We’re all guilty of designing with our egos — meaning we think our ideas are not only great but are the only ones worth pursuing. Designers tend to be egotistical to the point of being unbearable to be around even, if they are right!

No one said working for Frank Lloyd Wright or Steve Jobs was easy. You need to have those strong personalities on a project team for it to succeed. It becomes a problem when everyone feels that way, and no one wants to agree.

If you have ever been a member of a team like the one I just described, then you know it’s exhausting and the last thing you ever want to do again is be a part of a design team. You are more apt to work alone and take on the pressures of the project without asking for advice or help, because you don’t want to be stressed out or forced to defend your ideas.

But is this good design? I already said that good design is achieved with a collaboration or interchange of ideas. So how do you achieve that magic that good design teams possess?

It takes an open mind and a different attitude. First, everyone has something to contribute — it may be only an opinion, but it is valued. Second, the result isn’t black or white. If the design is to meet certain expectations or specifications, then some contingencies must be built into those expectations for unforeseen challenges and failures.

Yep, I said it, design is a messy business. Design is built on change, and when you are always looking for the perfect solution, sometimes it just doesn’t exist. That is why good design teams use collaboration to address some of these possible failures and to find ways to address them early — to understand there isn’t just one way to do something.

Product designers know this better than most. They know that for every good solution, there is probably a better one. They are always looking for a different way to make something work.

Successful design teams use good collaboration techniques like identifying the key objectives and existing problems that need to be addressed early in the design process. They create best-case and worst-case scenarios for developing possible solutions. They note the obstacles and begin to address them.

They are also good at breaking the project down into smaller parts to identify the key issues. By not trying to find the ultimate solution, good team collaboration finds a variety of solutions and tests them out.

Collaborative teams use their collective talent, ingenuity and resources to find the best design solutions. They don’t necessarily leave their egos at the door, but they do keep them in check.

Design is a collaborative enterprise, not a solo expedition. The next time you are asked to join a design team, embrace it by being open to new ideas and sharing your own. The results could be amazing!

For More Information About This Blog Post, Click Here! 

Continue reading Design collaboration is not design by committee


Heaven Bound Painting: The Process, The Result And The Opening Reception


As you may have already seen the invitation, I had an open house for a painting I  did for a client/friend! This project was originally planned to be painted as a mural for the Mill’s residence, but instead, it’s a large (mural size) painting done on 3 24″x96″ canvas boards! There was chocolate, cheese, and wine served at the event along with chances for winning 2 gift cards!

I had a blast working on this painting. In case you are wondering how I started on this piece, I, first, painted the three panels solid black. Then, I drew an outline for the cranes. I worked on painting the cranes and the bush-like background simultaneously! I used a plastic fork to add the bushes and it created a really nice texture on the canvas panels. The featured image shows my grandpa who is looking at the details of the painting. He is a delight to speak with and always has a positive outlook on life and its details 🙂

The items below shows some pictures of the process as well as the reception:


To See More Pictures Of The Reception, Click Here! 

ASID Team: IIDA’s Fashion Show 2018: Modern Masters

ASID Indiana team is happy to be a part of IIDA’s Fashion Show this year! I am so delighted to be a part of this team. Our rep is Daltile and Chris has been a wonderful rep for us! The theme that is given to the our group is Pierre Auguste Renoir! He is known for his broken brushstrokes and optical sensation of light effects. The cubism style can also be seen in his work. Many of his paintings portray women wearing unique hats and/or holding umbrellas! French Ultramarine and Cobalt Blue is seen in many of his work! There is a nice gradation in his art and our team is going to portray that in the design of the garment.

The variety of tile provided by Daltile is amazing! We couldn’t have ask for a better company to be paired up with!  




I am excited to share with you the awesome process of making this fabulous garment in future posts! Stay tuned!

From Chaos, an Abstract Art Painting Evolves

While creating abstract art is a highly intuitive process that takes practice to master, there is a “method to the madness” for many artists. For Sally Cooper, the process is dynamic and physical as well as emotional and intellectual. Sally’s work is included in Abstract Overview, a new eMagazine that you can download here. Scroll down for an excerpt from her feature article, written by Judith Fairly.


From “Intuition, Impulse, Action” By Judith Fairly

Though Sally’s paintings are the extemporaneous result of her creative process, the process itself is consistent. “I place the colors on my palette–usually triadic colors (three hues, equally spaced on the color wheel), plus titanium white, zinc white, raw umber and black for tinting and shading the colors–mix a few together, grab a brush and follow intuitive promptings to apply a vigorously gestural, linear mark or big brushstroke that comes from deep within,” she says.

“The dance of marking and veiling begins. I step back about five or six feet and look at the painting until I feel an urge to adjust or paint over my previous work. As I continue this process, I enter a meditative state in which I lose all track of time and become one with the painting. I move a great deal of paint around the entire surface, and I step back every so often, studying, looking, moving, painting out, keeping some, veiling over, playing with the unknown and waiting for the unexpected to emerge. The surface is built, destroyed and erased again and again, creating a subtle and sensitive history of what has been. This play or dance continues until, from chaos, a painting evolves.”

Sally began using acrylic paint almost exclusively after an instructor suggested that the pigment in acrylic lends a painting more “punch” than watercolor. Since water-soluble acrylic paint was first made commercially available to artists in the 1950s, manufacturers such as Golden, Liquitex and Daler-Rowney have continuously tinkered with formulas that provide acrylics with an expanding array of properties and applications. Sally makes full use of the paint’s diversity.

“I work in a variety of watermedia–watercolor, acrylic (both fluid and heavy-bodied), polymer mediums and gesso,” says Sally. “What appeals to me about acrylic is its broad range of possibilities. It allows me to make impulsive changes in my work. Acrylics dry quickly, but you can add a retarder to slow the drying process. You can create beautiful glazes by thinning the paint or create impasto by using heavy gels. You can use open (slow-drying) acrylics and spritz the painting with water to reopen the paints and continue painting. You can add an unlocking formula and continue your painting process the next day. The possibilities seem to be endless.” ~J.F.

Continue reading this article on the abstract art of Sally Cooper in this new eMagazine from Acrylic Artist. In Abstract Overview you’ll also score two painting exercises from Dean Nimmer, take in a feature article on the work of Denise Athanas and discover how to use the seven elements of design.

For more information about this blog Click Here!

Inside Out Painting Series: Sydney Opera House

You know the idea of using plants and flowers in a room, bringing the outside in? For years, this concept has been very popular in designing an interior space that would make the occupants feel like they are experiencing being in nature simultaneously. This idea is still in practice and provides for great human experiences.

Continue reading Inside Out Painting Series: Sydney Opera House

“Inside Out” Series Painting: Guggenheim Museum

You know the idea of using plants and flowers in a room, bringing the outside in? For years, this concept has been very popular in designing an interior space that would make the occupants feel like they are experiencing being in nature simultaneously. This idea is still in practice and provides for great human experiences.

Continue reading “Inside Out” Series Painting: Guggenheim Museum

Choosing Paint For Your Room: Paint Dries Darker

Have you ever tried choosing paint for your room, but not sure how it would look on your wall? The best way is to buy 2-3 samples of the paint, which are really cheap, and wait for it to dry. The paint chips, samples, and the dried paint would have slight color variations. The true color is the dried paint on the wall(s) it goes on! 

Continue reading Choosing Paint For Your Room: Paint Dries Darker

Inspired Art: Connecting America SCORES’ Students & Artists

Every year, America SCORES Chicago puts together an art show where artists get to choose a poem written by America SCORES’ students and turn it into an original works of art. All the works of art are displayed at one of the local galleries where the public has an opportunity to enjoy an amazing night spent at The Inspired Art Gallery night, while supporting the opportunity for more students to participate in their after school program. This event provides a great opportunity for both the artists and the students to connect with each other on a different level and support each others’ talents. 

Continue reading Inspired Art: Connecting America SCORES’ Students & Artists

%d bloggers like this: