Coffee Sketch Podcast

148 - Evil Empire: Navigating Creative Influences

March 14, 2024 Kurt Neiswender/Jamie Crawley Season 6 Episode 148
Coffee Sketch Podcast
148 - Evil Empire: Navigating Creative Influences
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Show Notes Transcript

Art, Music, and Architecture: Navigating Creative Influences

This episode delves into the intricate relationship between art, music, and architecture, spotlighting how various forms of creativity influence and shape each other. The hosts discuss a range of topics from personal anecdotes about the impact of music on their creative processes to detailed analyses of music album artwork, specifically referencing Rage Against the Machine's 'Evil Empire' album. They also explore the significance of drawing portraits as a method to enhance architectural sketching skills. Additionally, the episode touches on the host's experiences with teaching and the meaningful interaction with students through sketch assignments aimed at fostering positivity. Throughout, the hosts reflect on the broader implications of these creative intersections for practice and education in architecture.

00:00 Introduction and Casual Banter
00:40 Pop Culture References and Nostalgia
02:36 Reflecting on Past Episodes and Guests
05:48 Coffee Talk and Product Promotion
11:38 Sharing Personal Stories and Experiences
14:27 The Power of Sketching and Student Contributions
20:36 Appreciation for Sharing and Vulnerability
21:31 The Role of Podcasts in Teaching
21:59 The Importance of Relationships in Education
22:35 The Value of Collaboration and Connection
24:25 The Power of Sharing and Inspiration
25:16 The Impact of Personal Connections
29:02 The Influence of Music on Creativity
30:03 The Art of Sketching Portraits
33:45 The Role of Music in the Creative Process
46:14 The Importance of Daily Practice and Confidence

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Jamie on Twitter - https://twitter.com/falloutstudio

Kurt on Twitter - https://twitter.com/kurtneiswender

Jamie:

Hello, drummer. How are ya?

Kurt Neiswender:

How are you? If you were in the green room, for those that are watching, yes, we have, I don't have the mug. I have this mug, but anyway, yeah, I'm good. How are, how are you? Good. Good. Oh, we're not. Oh, I. Captions messed up one thing and this guy's going to point it out to me for those watching for those listening you didn't see that. I didn't see anything.

Jamie:

Yeah, didn't

Kurt Neiswender:

see anything. These are not the droids that you're looking for. Exactly.

Jamie:

Oh, we are full of the references tonight.

Kurt Neiswender:

Why not? And that's not all. I don't use that one. No, that one. It's a sparing. Well,

Jamie:

and I mean, and as much as it's like a pop culture reference, it's also sort of a, are we, are we getting old? Is that, is that a, is that the kind of reference that like only appeals to?

Kurt Neiswender:

God, I hope not. I think our friend George Lucas reinvented that whole concept all over again, but that line, though, we're not as old as, you know,

Jamie:

well, because I mean, because so when you see the line, yes, well, and well, because you remember, like, that line had a resurgence when we were sort of teenagers, when when cops was like a show. And you remember, like, the internet was like a, like a new ish thing, right? And people were making, like, cops with stormtroopers? Like, but in a comedic kind of way?

Kurt Neiswender:

Do you remember this? I mean, I watched all the cops. So, yes, of course. You're like, I'm a true crime

Jamie:

aficionado, and that was, like, my

Kurt Neiswender:

guilty pleasure. Cops was. I mean, you know, bad boys, bad boys. What you gonna do? I mean, come on. But in Stormtrooper outfits. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I do. I do. I do. Yeah. Okay.

Jamie:

So Wow. I

Kurt Neiswender:

didn't expect that this episode. Some dating. Yeah, right. Yeah, well You know, we surprise ourselves. I think Yeah. I think that's That's the spice of life. Especially

Jamie:

for us. Yes, that makes this genuine and unscripted, you know, this

Kurt Neiswender:

is the 1st recording that we've done since recording our episode with Evelyn. Yes, which sometimes we love Evelyn and practice of architecture her podcast. Disrupted part of her practice for architecture family. However, you know, I'll admit that sometimes I get a little, how do you put it? Nervous, nervous while we are friends, Evelyn is. Also, someone I look up to. Yes. Which makes me a little nervous.

Jamie:

Yeah, you were a little nervous. And I mean, I was too, but we, we, I think in both of our cases, when, when we're nervous, like The spikes? Well, no, no, no, not even that. But I think that we, we exhibit different Different personalities or we we show that nervousness. Yeah, we show different nervousness in that kind of initial moment. But yeah,

Kurt Neiswender:

I think it definitely started. Yeah, it was started out a little nerves and then smooth out. Oh, yeah, which so my only point bringing that up is that I'm sure Evelyn is aware of. The cop's reference that you just made. However, it's not something that we would have brought up in front of her now, probably not at

Jamie:

all. No, I mean, I think she personally could appreciate it. And and are there's a

Kurt Neiswender:

little bit of slapstick irreverence. I think Jamie is Kurt. The leeway.

Jamie:

Yes. Well, you also do give me the leeway to kind of interject. And I am prone to do that. Hopefully not perceived in a disrespectful

Kurt Neiswender:

way. Otherwise, this whole thing wouldn't have panned out for any longer

Jamie:

than. 10 episodes that, that limit for broadcast

Kurt Neiswender:

makes

Jamie:

it to

Kurt Neiswender:

11 and goes, I'm going to put up with them. Statistical. Yeah. Let's cut our losses there. Yeah. So anyway, it's been, we've got a couple of episodes coming up. This is episode one 48. I've been doing a little catching up with listening to some of our friends, which is not the premise of this episode per se, except for the fact that it's been enjoyable to catch up with Evan and Cormac and Evelyn and Janine on some of their past episodes. I've been a little slow to uptake on and it's just interesting to see what's going on. In the world and anyway, so that is my subtle segue toward what's gone on between us in the past couple of weeks. And there's a couple of things that I have that I'll, I'll wait on. But 1st, we have to get into our. our traditional topic of coffee. And then we will talk about our sketch. And so Jamie's already got the mug, which, you know, you know, I don't always do this, but I'm going to do it just for today is you saw Jamie. With the coffee sketch podcast mug, why not pick yourself a coffee sketch podcast mug at this link down below? One of these days I'll be a fantastic salesperson for these things. But anyway thanks Jamie for demonstrating our, our beautiful mug. With your beautiful sketch on it. But so for

Jamie:

coffee, that was, that was my best infomercial

Kurt Neiswender:

life. It is also the run, the jewels figure, which we're going to get into in the future episode. So,

Jamie:

well, yeah,

Kurt Neiswender:

so I'm drinking, I've got, I've got a secret. For Jamie, I will flash the camera, what I've got, which is a rootless bag. Hopefully the guys can see that it's called no X in espresso, as it's supposed to be pronounced, which is a dark roast, right? A typical espresso roast. Well, I wouldn't say typical in the traditional espresso

Jamie:

roasting. Cause there isn't anything traditional

Kurt Neiswender:

about rootless rootless. No. Yeah, which I should, I should have led with, but flavor profile, nutty, dark chocolate, dried fruit, almond, velvety Malfield. And so I, I actually really like this no X in espresso very much. You've seen me have it. This is actually one of their newer, they rebranded or recolored the sticker and the logo and all that stuff. And so so that's what I've got in my cup. What, what is. I already hinted in, I think in a couple episodes ago that this was supposed to be in the mail. It hasn't yet gotten into the mail for Jamie, but I'm gonna,

Jamie:

but I hear, but I hear that. Oh, oh, oh, oh. I get to see

Kurt Neiswender:

it. I'm gonna show, I'm gonna show it on screen. Dr. Congo, in a very short run, the fact that I haven't even, I don't even know what this tastes like. I mean, I, I'll give you the tasting notes, dark chocolate, caramel, Concord grape and dried apricot, which sounds fantastic.

Jamie:

But the artwork and the artwork is like, it's super cool. It's got the gas mask. This is like screaming Fallout Studio to me.

Kurt Neiswender:

It's kind of like Planet of the Apes meets Fallout Studio. Fascinating. And so anyway, so That's on the, this will be on its way to Jamie, which I will not have tasted. And there's another short run that just dropped

Jamie:

today.

Kurt Neiswender:

That is called Oh God. It's like close encounters. Of the fourth kind. Oh, so there's aliens? Alien coffee. I'm gonna grab a bag and also throw that, cause it makes no sense to ship just one. So Jamie, this is the public announcement that you're getting

Jamie:

this and that. This is, this is touching all the sci fi fantasy, like all the pop culture feels for me.

Kurt Neiswender:

So, well, you know, but that's, that's the, well, you're welcome. And the fact that like our, our friends at rootless, Sean and Jono,

Jamie:

Are

Kurt Neiswender:

around our same. You know, age or demo, you know, they just kind of, they're, you know, we all think a lot of the same thing.

Jamie:

They get it. They get it.

Kurt Neiswender:

They get it. Yeah. And so anyway, so that's, so that's the big reveal for those that can see, you know, but otherwise, if you're not actually, you know what here for those that are newer to the podcast, if you want to find. The coffee that I keep talking about, there's the link, rootlesscoffee. com. So, I don't want to sound like a commercial, but sometimes you just got to be

Jamie:

public. Well, I mean, and they're also, they are our collaborators in, in the roast that they have for the official CoffeeSketch coffee that you can, you can still get at that website. So you can click on the collabs button. And we are one of one of their collaborators, which is kind of special with some, some original artwork as well. So on the bags, it's it's an

Kurt Neiswender:

honor, you know, we feel this definitely heartened to be part of the, the collaboration crew. So, well, what about you, sir, Mr Jamie, whether you got in

Jamie:

your, I'm not saying, I'm not saying I'm suffering. Yeah, I mean, I'm not saying I'm suffering, but I am, I'm, I'm not suffering. I'm not suffering in like a, in a bad way, but I might be like getting to the end of my Mardi Gras community coffee. With a, it has a wonderful. Hint of cinnamon in it. Which whenever I do that, I just remember like, you know, I kind of like that. It's this time of year. So kind of great. Nice surprise.

Kurt Neiswender:

That's nice. You know, Danielle, you're going to the sketch. Danielle and I were at. So we have the Flint Institute of Music, which teaches youth in the city of Flint. So there's what they call the faculty series. So on Friday night, there was a guitar faculty member who pulled together a bunch of other band members and did a New Orleans jazz band. Sort of a walking band sort of show walked into the theater space played a few songs and walked us out back to the lobby. It was so much fun. It reminded me. I was telling Danielle. Actually, it reminded me of our time. On the young architects forum when we actually again brings back Evelyn into the conversation when we were on the same committee, and we had an annual meeting in New Orleans, or yeah, it was in New Orleans. It was in New Orleans. Yeah. And I mean, it kicked off with you and me meeting at Cafe Du Monde with coffee and beignet and then the rest of the week was just full of You know, parades every night. It almost felt just spoiled the fact that we were architects. And every time we finished a meeting, somebody had a,

Jamie:

well, I don't know if that's spoiled it, but it's certainly, you know, it's certainly added to the ambience

Kurt Neiswender:

of where we were. It made, it made us feel very special. It made me feel special. It's like, Oh, you're, you're meetings over it. Let's have a parade.

Jamie:

Let's March down the street.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yes. It was, I gotta, I gotta say, if that is the culture of new Orleans, I would, I'm just totally in on why, you know, why would you live anywhere else? You know, when you can celebrate anything with a parade is, is such a fantastic uplifting experience. Anyway,

Jamie:

Kurt is going to snowbird in new Orleans, folks.

Kurt Neiswender:

When he, when he gets older. Yeah. So, so that was a fun show Friday night. Had some vibes of New Orleans, Jamie's talking about you know, the, the coffee and or the experience that we had then to anyway. So all good vibes. So all good vibes. So should we jump into the Oh, before the sketch though,

Jamie:

you said you had some, like some pop culture and announcements for me. There was like a shout out. You said, or it's like a couple of shout outs. So I don't want to, I don't want

Kurt Neiswender:

to write,

Jamie:

I don't want to, I don't want to fast forward too quickly and not give you the chance

Kurt Neiswender:

to share. Right. I forgot. Yeah. So I want to it's, it's a little bit on the serious side, so I want to be sensitive to the subject. But the you know, we've talked about how my students have been doing sketches in my lecture class on the Wednesday, like weekly Wednesday sketches. And we have another faculty whose dad is in a bit of a medical sort of situation right now. You know, a diagnosis we don't want to hear about. And so I asked my students who've had this other faculty member in the past, right? So we all know each other and we're all part of the Lawrence Tech University family. And I asked my students to provide the power of. Positivity through the sketch and, and just offer up a sketch of any kind that represented a get well soon card. Right. And, and thank you. And and that, you know, it's 1 of those things that, like, it's not, it was not obviously not planned. Right. You don't want to plan for these sort of things, but the aspect of this activity of sketching in my lecture class, as Jamie and I have talked about a couple of times in the, just the essence of the, the activity, right, getting the brain moving, we're all architecture students you know, thinking through our, our, our drawing and, and, and just generating some energy out of that aspect. Right. And so my whole intent was pouring that energy into it, which is a positive thing in my mind. Right? The, the, the sketch is a positive thing, which is what we're, Jamie and I are here for these, these, these, all these 6 years. And, and I'll show, I'll show a couple of creative solutions. You know, I have, I have here like a little paper boat. With some images on it, I have somebody folded a paper crane, which is fantastic. And then there's a variety of like, you know, handwritten and folded, you know, letters. Normally the sketches of the week, which is, which is a one aspect of that's been interesting of this one twist is I, I, I just asked for a sketch. Right. So usually they take the eight and a half by 11 piece of paper they give them and they sketch something on it and then hand it back. But when you, when they asked for a get well soon kind of message, a lot of them got folded into sort of card like shapes, which I found very interesting of a reaction I didn't expect. And I can't show them all. Because I have so many students and they all did so many great things. So it's just very touching. And I want to really emphasize that I appreciate this more than anything. That the students responded in this manner to me, but also to. A fellow faculty member who's struggling who they also are familiar with. They know and and in my prompt, right? I asked for, you know, the power of positivity through this, the sketch process, right? Like, what we do as architects, you know, generating good energy and I want to say, thank you. And I appreciate every student. I'm going to hand these over to the faculty member that we know. On Friday, when I see him so that he can deliver him to his father, who's in this medical struggle. And you know, I don't take it lightly because this, you know, as we age, you know, these things, these, it's just no fun to hear these sort of things. And so any. Little bright spot that we can offer is, is it's just a big deal that should not be taken lightly. And so anyway, so these things, this reaction that I got from the students, it's just overwhelming to me. And so I just want to put that out there. Well, my

Jamie:

appreciation, you know, and, and I love, I love that you did that, that you thought to do that. And I think it's really generous of you even just to want to share it on the podcast as well. I think that, like you said, it's as somebody who, you know, does sketches from people's prompts and you're not necessarily, we've talked about the, the, the difficulty or the challenge of somebody giving you a prompt and then trying to respond to it. You know, with a drawing, we talk about it in October with our King Tober and the challenges that sometimes I have in responding to a prompt the fact that you've incorporated this in your lecture course and kind of broken through a bit with your students so that they they kind of look forward to it. And, and appreciate the challenge, but then in this situation responding to it in a completely genuine and heartfelt way I think is it's testament to, you know, the, we talk about it like a superpower, our ability to sketch but it's, it's, it's really, you're, you're giving a little bit of yourself and you're, you're being vulnerable when you draw, you know, and, and you're, you're being even more vulnerable when you share it. So, you know, a, a heartfelt note a handwritten note, you know, a card a sketch like that, a postcard I'm, I am definitely known for trying to do a postcard sketch now and again when it, it's real special to me. So yeah, I think that's thank you for, thank you. Just thank you for sharing that and thank you for doing that. And think everybody would echo that. We hope hope things turn out

Kurt Neiswender:

well. Yeah, thanks for letting me put that out, put that on our episode. And it's just, yeah, I, I would totally agree. It's as far as the vulnerability and I'll mention this. You know, coming week next week in class to appreciate the students for giving of themselves. And I think it only got better, or it was, how do I put it? It's so hard to put, but these. These drawings represent so much personality that I just, I just can't, there's no measurement of appreciation. You know, I teach, and I know a lot of my students, not, I don't think every single student listens to this podcast yet, but a lot

Jamie:

of them do. And that's not the goal, folks. It's not

Kurt Neiswender:

the goal. It's not the goal.

Jamie:

Just a bonus round. It's like a side

Kurt Neiswender:

quest. It's a side quest. A side quest. At the moment. However, I will, I will encourage cause I don't know how, if I violate any campus rules. But this is what matters more than, say, the grade that comes out of the classroom, right? Is the camaraderie, the relationship. The, the sharing is more important than a letter grade at the end of the day, you know, nobody's going to remember the letter grade as much as they remember the people they've been involved with throughout their either education or professional experience in a positive way.

Jamie:

Well, I'll just, I, I, I know what you're, you're saying and, and I think the only thing I would add is that, you know, our profession and our practice is not one that you, even if you're working as a sole practitioner, you're not alone in the work that you do. And and I think that realizing that earlier in your career than later is and finding where your place in that is your individual place where you're comfortable to excel or to challenge yourself or, aspire to. I think, you know, that's, you know, figuring that out earlier, you know, we all would love that. We, I think if, if you and I were to put things in like a hope chest for folks, I think that would be one thing that we would always sort of say is and it's not one of those like, oh, well, back in my day, it's not that at all. It's more of, there's plenty of mistakes that we probably would have It would say that we would maybe do differently in our careers. But at the same time, we also learned from them. So I, I'm not neither 1 of us are 1 for regrets. But I think that if if we were to hope something for for folks earlier in architecture or careers in general is it is the connections that you make. And not in a networking kind of way, but in, I think, in more of a, a connection to another human being, whether it's a collaborator or a client or a chance encounter I think all those things can really fill you up, you know, with good things that you can sort of take forward. And I think what you're describing with your class today is, is that kind of a thing that you needed. As well. I mean, I can hear it in your voice. And, and I, and I know what that feeling, you know you know, evokes for me. So it's, I think that's why we do share stuff on this podcast is because we, we do want to say that we don't have all the answers by, by far But at the same time, I think that there's some some lessons that we've sort of learned and we want to share and hopefully inspire and you know, and I think in the influences thing that you brought up at the very beginning of the, the, the episode today, I think is, is also part of it. There's. This podcast isn't just a bunch of sketches about architecture. I think it's, it's a lot of other things. And I think, I think you have one today that we're going to talk about kind of along those lines.

Kurt Neiswender:

Oh yeah. Well, it's still Right. However, yeah, the, the concept, but yeah, thanks. I appreciate your share on that too, because you know, we've known each other for quite a while, but it still astonishes me how, how much you get me in all of this, because I'm sometimes I just feel like I'm, I'm, I'm a little too vague at times, but you, you, you, you do get me and you, you see through and you understand, yeah. What's at the core of the concept and so I appreciate your insight too. And in regards to this particular sketch, you know, most of the sketch assignments. I try and keep light and maybe sort of related to the topic of the week and things like that. But, yeah, I, again, just super impressed. That when I asked for this particular response, I was overwhelmed with you know, something more than I expected. And like you said, you know, that's, that's a lot of what we're looking for is this connection to humanity. So,

Jamie:

Well, and I'll just say too, is sort of as a segue. Is if folks haven't tuned into the episode that we were talking about with Evelyn and practice disrupted it was a pleasure to be on there. You know, can't thank her enough for letting us be in her season premiere of her eighth season. We wish her well as, as that sort of progresses, but there's a, there's a short little segment in there near the end of the episode which I'll share is, and it's one of those interjecting moments for myself. That I, I tend to do as anybody who's listened to any episodes of this knows as Kurt, you know, will tend to no, I was going to say sort of try and try and find the words. to describe something that really means a lot to him. And as he was sort of talking about his, the work of his studio you know, he was being a bit humble in, in, in that episode with Evelyn. And I just was like, that's, that's enough humble stuff, buddy. You know you know, you're doing some good work. And sometimes Kurt needs a good hype man. And so I decided, you know, there are moments where I need to interject and be that hype man.'cause you do the same thing for me. Thank you. You know, and, and you always have. And so I was happy to do it. And for those who haven't listened to that episode, definitely tune into to Evelyn's podcast. And we'll, we'll definitely put a link in our show notes so that that folks can get over there to that episode.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yes. Good. Good reminder. And yeah, for those that are not aware. If only you listen to our podcast, Evelyn Lee is going to be the 2025 AI national president of our entire organization. And so it's kind of a big deal. Yeah,

Jamie:

she's, she's, she's kind of a big deal. And,

Kurt Neiswender:

And also a very humble, humble leader. In that sense, too. Oh, I mean, without a doubt, the most humble I would, I would, I would assume, but yeah, it was very, it was very humbling to be invited to be on her podcast and, and to just catch up and talk about the, the experiences we share together, which we have alluded to all, all, all, all throughout the podcast, but yeah, so please listen to that. It was a lot of fun. It's good to catch up. And but anyway, without further ado though which not necessarily meant massive pivot, but I'll drop in the sketch that we were going to talk about today, which is probably embedded with a few different meanings just because of maybe, you know, you know, there's a little bit of music, there's a little sketch, you know, personal tastes in, in the music world. But Or various genre, I suppose but one, one that we actually it's funny you know, this is a little, this is not actually something from this week that Jamie sketched because normally we, we do basically a sketch that is hot off the presses, right? And, and sometimes I'll admit. For the podcast we missed some, so we have to go back in time a little bit. This one, not so far back, and I don't know, I don't have the exact date. I could probably pull it up, but Jamie probably remembers it's somewhere around the new year. Right? Yeah. And something I remember we talked about. Let's let's not skip this 1. Right? So today is the day. So Jamie sketched a fantastic sort of portrait per se of if, if for those that are listening are familiar with the band Ridge against the machine their evil empire record cover. Has this handsome young man with a cape that looks like a superhero, you know, like a Superman esque youth. I don't, you know, there's lots of various meaning that Jamie could probably dig into a little bit deeper, but Jamie sketched the portrait of the face. Overlayed it on top of the record, not the CD or the tape cassette. Cover, but the actual album cover for proportion's sake, right. It's a bigger square. Which is, is actually kind of, so Jamie owns this as a record is the

Jamie:

point. Yeah. So I'm trying to make, so I, yeah, so I've got vinyl and yeah, it, this was a gift. Thank you m. So, This was a Christmas, this was, yeah, this was a Christmas gift. And so yeah, there was, m is very into music. That's something that we definitely have always shared. And I, I will say as a good, as a good father, I did maybe, you know, introduce her to Rage Against the Machine maybe earlier than most people would with their children. But yeah, no, this was so yeah, she, she likes to go to the record store and sort of search, dig through the crates. And this is sort of a new thing for her and it was a nice surprise to see this as a, as a, a nice vinyl gift for myself from her, but yeah, I, I think the thing that sort of struck me with it was This album, when, when I see things like this, or, or like, you know, you kind of, you know, pull them out and you kind of think about them is this was their sophomore album, you know, and usually you got a sophomore slump from any, you know, that's sort of like the thing, right? And, and this was definitely not a sophomore slump for Rage Against the Machine. This was a killer album. You know, you have Bulls on Parade, you know you know, People of the Sun, Vietnam. I mean, like, it's just like, this is, this was, this wasn't stopping. This is all gas, no breaks from, from the, from the first album. And, and, and that, and it also gives me an opportunity to kind of even think about that first album, which, you know, kind of comes on the scene and no one's like, everyone's like, who the hell are they? And I saw them at Lollapalooza. So

Kurt Neiswender:

it was like 97 or

Jamie:

93. Yeah. 93. Was it 93

Kurt Neiswender:

or 94?

Jamie:

But I'm 93, but the, they were the opening act. Like, so Lollapalooza, the full bill, right, and you've got Rage Against the Machine as effectively the opening act for the whole bill because they're, they're on their first album and it's only just recently dropped.

Kurt Neiswender:

And they were awesome that first album. Oh my goodness. Oh yeah. I mean, it's kinda like Pearl Jam 10. However, we, that's a whole other tangent.'cause Yeah. We don't, they're gonna start touring again and

Jamie:

all that, you know? Yeah. I mean, I, I already was talking to you about dark

Kurt Neiswender:

matter. I know, I know. Yeah, I know, I know. But the, let's, yeah. We'll we can, we'll have to re. So clearly,

Jamie:

so clearly, yeah, so no, so clearly music I think for anybody who's been who considers them a create themselves a creative, whatever, whatever form that takes you know, there's usually you know, if you're an artist, you know, architect, designer. Anything of those sorts, and you've been in a studio environment, whether it's, you know, personal or if you're sort of in a collaborative music is always sort of really key to that experience. And it's a, it's a way to, to learn about other. You know, other genres, other musicians, you know, other artists that you haven't heard about because it's because someone that you respect or collaborate with really likes them. Or it's you sharing things that you are really passionate about with, with, you know, your friends and colleagues and things like that. But those influences are always key. Music has always been something that's sort of, you know, key to, to myself and my creative process. And you know, it's not all, you know, rage against machine. But, you know, can you pick a better name for, for a band? I mean, that's,

Kurt Neiswender:

you know, I, I, I agree with that, you know, actually, and I'll, this might steer the conversation in and out of architecture, but the fact that you, this sketch for today even though it's, it's, it will fantastically sort of, I mean, well, first of all, it's a, almost a perfect match of what the album cover image. Right. So for those that are familiar with evil empire cover art Jamie sketches, just, it's a fantastic sketch overlaid on top, right? So sketch wise, couldn't be happier for this, for the, for the podcast. Right. As an episode. And, and, but then it creates all kinds of illusions, A L L U S I O N, illusions, to, to something that we talk about. We don't talk about all the time on the podcast, but we talk, Jamie and I talk. Of influences, right? Etymology, or not etymology per se, but Not the, what's the, what's the right word? Um, A hierarchy or a lineage, the genealogy as opposed, Of artists and architects, right? And one, one thing that I learned, As somebody who studied in, Southern California, right? So rage against the machine sort of started in the LA area. However Tom Morello, the guitarist, who's super well known nowadays and Zach Della Rocha met at

Jamie:

Harvard

Kurt Neiswender:

university, Harvard university, not just Harvard anywhere, you know as students in political science. But also then, you know, then moved over to LA. Los Angeles in the West Coast we're also very close and familiar with Andrew Adam Jones and Maynard Keenan from tool, right? They're all of the same generation. Pretty much. They, you know, they're all sort of coming up at the same time and have their own sort of reactions to things. And, and also, you know, the, the, the, the band members of tool, you know, had their own sort of philosophical sort of. Fundamentals that they were trying to imbue into the artwork. But, you know, Ridge Against the Machine is very distinct and through the voice of Zack de la Rocha, you know, had a very political presence politicized sort of sort of presence. To their, to their artwork and I actually, so I didn't see them as early as you did, but I, so when the Democratic National Convention happened in 2000, the year 2000, I was still at USC and it was held at the Staple Center. And I knew, so Rage was playing a concert outside the Democratic National Convention for free, which I, which I heard about. And so I was like, I have to go. And so I got dropped off as close to the convention center as I could and walk the rest of the way and got in and watched, you know, Rage. Ozo Motley opened up. Back in 2000, then you have a band like Ozo Motley, which I don't know if many people are familiar with, but I'm sure Jamie is became the opening act to Ridge Against the Machine, as opposed to his Lollapalooza experience, where Ridge Against the Machine was the opening act. And so, very interesting, you know, as things progress and things like that, time goes on but to me, that was a very formative sort of. Connection between some of the aspects of what I was going through school with in the late 90s, early 2000s design wise, as well as politically what exists around us, right? Like, what are we trying to respond to as a whole? I don't want to get too into the weeds in that regard, but we all are. learning and then practicing within a context that we're surrounded by. And maybe I can bounce that.

Jamie:

Well, and I, and I think, and, and like you say, and influences and, and I think that it, it's certainly one, you know, that, that comes through the music, you know, I, I know that you would appreciate this band. That's why I was sort of excited for us to kind of, you know, spend a little time talking about the sketch, but you know, even just sort of talking about this sketch. You know, on an architecture and art podcast, you know, that includes a conversation over coffee you know, look at, you know, this is one of those ones where I definitely staged the photo very purposely, you know, to show the scale of it, like you were talking about with the vinyl in there, but also just the implement. Right. This is like our golf pencil. So I did this really important. I mean, a sketch that like, and I don't usually start out this way. This one I'm really proud of. I mean, I, I think I really did a good job, you know, rendering a portrait. And, and that's not something easy for me to say because portraits are hard. I mean, they're, you know, it's, they're not something that if I'm not practicing it, A lot. And I don't necessarily do a lot of portraits. You know, it's, it's a, it's a little bit of a mind shift and, and sort of a little bit, little bit of a different creative shift, but because I had this album, because it was a gift, because I love the music because I was looking for kind of a inspiration and impulse this was a great opportunity to challenge myself. And of course, you know, not even in, in thinking about, I'm going to further challenge myself by using a really, really simple, probably irreverent in, in a, in a sense, implement, you know, this golf pencil to try and do this sketch. It's it's okay. It's okay to not, you know, to know the rules and then also break them. And for sure, you know, I think the thing about even with that sketch, you can see a lot of line weight and a lot of texture and it's not like using a really good, you know, graphite pencil or or a series of graphite pencils at different weights to achieve the different tones in this drawing. Even the swath of hair at the top, that's really, really got a really great kind of black kind of gray, you know, dark gray tone to it. That's still all rendered with this little pencil. And I think that that was something that these types of sketches usually start out very light. You're kind of trying to, to get the proportions correct. If anybody's drawn portraits before, there's some mechanics to where You can study the face and everybody's face, sort of the geometries of it. The position of certain elements, once you know where they are. And you think, sort of think about it less as a person's face and more about shapes and their relationships to each other then you, you can set up the drawing. And so that's, that's where all this stuff starts, but it's certainly not that simple when you're trying to really kind of, you know, get those textures, right? Get those. Shadows, right? And I think at that point, the challenge in these types of types of drawings is leaning into the light and the dark and the shadow and where where the lights being cast on the object in this case, like a cheek. So it's, you know, you realize that that cheek has some dimension to it. And so it's using that shade shadow to make that object almost feel rounded on it on a flat piece of paper and, and those types of things are, are great challenges in a sketch like this and in a way to then turn around and use it for, for an architectural design. So it's sometimes good to just mix it

Kurt Neiswender:

up a little bit, you know? Yeah. No, thanks. Thanks for drilling deeper into. The sketch itself the, the hairline or the hair itself has such a strong contour as, as you mentioned, right? It's, it's, it's, it's got that depth and that the, the, the sort of the weight of the, the pencil into it, and then the face facial features have a lot more light lightness or nuance. You know, built up over layers and, and so I appreciate you describing how you approached or developed, you know, this, this sketch and, and, yeah, and totally, you know, own, own the fact that, yeah, I think you did nail it. I mean, like, if you, the fun part is like, when you compare it to the actual album cover, you know, and you got to look at the year that. This occurred, this was probably what, 99 or 96. Yeah. So the artist, whoever created the art album art, right, is not using AI. And I'm not trying to pick on people, but, you know, AI or any advanced methodologies, right? They're using their own hand in developing the artwork. As, as is your sketch over, you know, kind of laid on top of it. But just, you know, hopefully unpacking how you described the, the various elements of the sketch. And I, I fully appreciated your, your breakdown of how to at least generate a sketch of a portrait to take away the sort of essence of. The subject as a person for a moment, just long enough to break it down to shapes and geometries that you can develop as a sort of component of a sketch. And that is a key to understanding just the spatial. Dimension of the subject, any subject really faces are definitely much harder. I think for more architects or artists, you know, that are trying to think in that regard. And so breaking it down into the elements of the, the, the face, right? So, hair, forehead, cheekbones, other features, things like that. So that I appreciate that. Hopefully our. Our audiences is sort of picking up on those elements in regard. And then, and then we can always have a lot of fun with the the subject matter itself, right? You know, what we choose to talk about from week to week.

Jamie:

Well, and, and I thank you for, for appreciating and sort of indulging me to, to talk about this one. You know, even it was a little bit in the way back machine. But it's, I like sketches like this. I will insert them periodically into my. My train of thought both as a challenge to myself, but then when you achieve it and you're proud of it, it, it does boost your confidence so that you don't have those sophomore slumps. And I just, I think it's, it's that sort of draw every day kind of mentality. But thanks man. I

Kurt Neiswender:

appreciate it. Yeah. Thanks. The one thing I did forget, and I'm going to close with. Because I think we've, we've covered, covered what we're going to talk about in, in general is how much I appreciate my students taking that leap with me in, in what you just said, and, and, and trying to render an image of any kind, the prompts do change from week to week and things like that, and, and that can be a struggle and finding a way to, you know, convey the message, convey the image, you So I want all my students, I know more and more are starting to listen. So that's why I'm going to say this. And I just want to appreciate the fact that you go down this path with us, right? Because this is not something that is, you know, starts and end every week, right? Like, this is a, I don't want to use the cliche of the marathon, not the sprint, but it is the marathon, not the sprint. Right? So we're doing this. For the, for the enjoyment of the whole

Jamie:

process, I think you just went there, but that's okay. I

Kurt Neiswender:

did. Yeah. So yeah. Thanks again, Jamie. This is a fun one too. I'm glad we didn't miss it. And we circled back. And so we'll make sure we don't do that again. We don't want to skip any good ones.