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Pete Doctor’s advice to his younger self? DRAW!

Pete Doctor is Pixar’s chief creative officer. Recently he sat down for an interview with economist Steven Levitt. On his People I (Mostly) Admire podcast, Steve asked Pete one of my favorite, but ridiculous interview questions. What live advice would you give the 20 year old Pete Doctor, knowing what you know now?

Pete’s response:

I’d probably tell myself draw more. Just get outside and draw, cause your draftsmanship skills are always handy. But more importantly I think, drawing for me, really connects me to stuff. It forces me to see things. I can walk past a house everyday, but then if I stop and draw it I suddenly notice details and things about it that I’d never payed attention to before. So I feel like drawing is a way to slow me down and really connect me to the world that I’m inhabiting that I’m not always fully paying attention to.

An excellent interview for all you drawers out there. Listen in full here.

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amreading architecture Art Commonplace Book Drawings

Drawing Lessons from Architect Matthew Frederick pt.3 Architectural Hand-Lettering


Handwriting, penmanship, this is all drawing. Hand-lettering can be another artistic tool to add to your kit.

Matthew Frederick shares 6 architectural hand-lettering principals to follow:

1. Honor legibility and consistency above all else.

2. Use guide lines (actual or imagined) to ensure uniformity.

3. Emphasize the beginning and end of all strokes, and overlap them slightly where they meet – just as in drawing lines.

4. Give your horizontal strokes a slight upward tilt. If they slope downward, your letters will look tired.

5. Give curved strokes a balloon-like fullness.

6. Give careful attention to the amount of white space between letters. An E, for example, will need more space when following an I than when coming after an S or T.

Matthew Frederick

This week, for fun, find ways to practice your architectural hand-lettering.

Write a thank-you note.

Write a love letter.

Write a haiku.

Then mail it out it to your lover, mother, or bestie.

Be sure to practice your hand-lettering on the to and from address on the envelope as well.

You’ll get some practice in, and they will receive a special gift.

Source: 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, Matthew Frederick, pg 22

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amreading architecture Art Commonplace Book Drawings

Drawing lessons from Architect Matthew Frederick pt.2


Every drawing you undertake has a hierarchy. There are the general elements. And there are the fine details.

Matthew Frederick recommends laying out the entire drawing to start.

How?

By making use of:

Light guide lines.

Geometric alignments.

Visual gut-checks.

These techniques will help ensure the proportions and placement of shapes are accurate.

After that hit the details. But don’t over indulge in one place:

When you achieve some success at this schematic level, move to the next level of detail. If you find yourself focusing on details in a specific area of the drawing, indulge briefly, then move to other areas of the drawing.

Matthew Frederick
Let the light guide lines be your guide.

From: 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

By: Matthew Frederick