It’s All a Point of Perspective

Howard, a member of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI), participated in its annual conference in Toronto in October 2015. This gathering celebrated the organizations 30th year of its juried exhibition. Opening night was hosted by noted Canadian architect Jon Soules, at the offices of Diamond Schmitt Architects. While there, Howard had the opportunity to discuss his business, experiences and craft with some of the world’s most accomplished and recognized architectural illustrators. The following day he lead the conference attendees on an impromptu tour of the historic St. George campus of the University of Toronto (UofT). Afterward, Howard found a little time to do some sketching in the Trinity College Quadrant. You can see his lunch time sketch below.

Howard Rideout @ ASAI Conference - Victoria CollegeHoward Rideout Architect - Architectural Illustration Conferernce Howard Rideout @ ASAI Conference - Sketching at Victoria College

That evening, the 30th International Juried Exhibition of Architectural Illustration opened in the Eric Arthur Gallery, at the Daniels School of Architecture, Landscape and Design at UofT.  Of the exhibition, Howard observes ” I had a great conversation with illustrator Henry Sorenson, from Montana. He has a strong sense of composition and we discussed his use of colour as a means of conveying informality in his piece titled  “Cusco Peru”.  Say’s Howard, “the edge of the watercolour, delineated with a thin wiggly pencil line, was broken in the most beautiful of locations with objects puncturing the edge, creating a dynamic informal boundary for the composition.”  The piece can be seen on the south wall of the Eric Arthur Gallery.

The following day, Howard took time to sketch the spire of St. James Cathedral, on King Street East, before joining the conference attendees at the Distillery District.

Howard Rideout @ ASAI Conference - Howard Sketching at St. James Cathedral  Howard Rideout Architect - Architectural Illustration Conferernce  Howard Rideout @ ASAI Conference - Howard's Sketch Tools

At various points throughout the conference Howard was able to speak with illustrators Mike McCann; Frank Costantino; Christopher Grubbs; Henry E. Sorenson and Wesley L. Page, all masters of their profession. Through these conversations a theme emerged: it centred on hand illustration, and its continued importance in conveying ideas to clients and design colleagues. Even in a world where computer-generated  images have become so seductive for final presentation drawings, the role of the hand illustrator is paramount in giving the design its conceptual essence.

ASAI - The Distillery - Wesley Page - Frank Costantino

A group spending a leisurely morning sketching the historic Victorian Distillery – photo by Adrian Gamble of Urban Toronto (left); Wesley Page sketching at The Distillery (centre); Frank Costantino sketching at the St. Lawrence Market(right)

Howard Rideout at Forrec's offices

Howard Rideout (left) at Forrec’s offices, with Steve Oles, Mike McCann, and Frank Costantino.

The last day of the conference featured lectures by the industries best, including local Toronto native, Mike McCann.  In his presentation, which described moments throughout his 40 year career, he detailed a life’s journey that required constant recalibration to ensure that he was able to be positioned on an international stage with architectural greats like Robert A.M. Stern and Michael Graves, and fellow Canadians like Arthur Erickson and Moshe Safdie, to be their go-to person for conveying their ideas to the world.  Throughout the lectures, the attendees submitted sketches prepared throughout the 4 days of the conference at a silent auction, where Howard was able to secure three to remember the event( two pictured below).  He’s looking forward to next years event in Boston and meeting this amazing group of fellow illustrators again.

ASAI - Sketches by Grubbs and Page

Distillery District Sketch by Christopher Grubbs (left); Portal Study Sketch at University of Toronto, by Wesley Page (right)


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