Art Fosters Art (“Wow, how do you do all that stuff?”)


Architecture & Art



My house is filled with art. Well, I call it art but I know it is subjective. But whenever people come to my house they comment on the paintings on the walls. They invariably ask who did them. I reply, or my partner does, that I did all the paintings. Then they look at me almost incredulously as I pull out my guitar or plead with them to come to a one of my band’s gigs or watch one of the films I have been in or when I plug the novel I wrote.

(Yes, I tend to promote myself a bit…)

Then, at some point they ask how I can manage to do all of this stuff while being an Architect and a Father and a Partner.

I shrug my shoulders and say that Art is important to me in whatever form it manifests itself. And I mention that time management is very important to me.

I got the same looks when I have looked for work in the past with other Architectural firms. They read my resume and the list of my accomplishments and interests and they always asked how I find time to do all of this.

The gist of the response is that I am first and foremost an Architect but I find that I can’t do that in a vacuum. I find that being creative in music, writing, cooking, painting, acting and parenting informs my Architecture. Doing all of these things keeps my knives sharp. They keep my creative juices flowing and I rarely get stagnant.

Yes, there are times when I get back home after a stressful day of Architecture and look at the half finished canvas or know that I have a rehearsal with the band and I just want to crawl under the sheets and hide from all my interests. But, like everything in life there is no hiding. The condo design still has to be finished, the meetings still have to be attended, the painting still has to be completed, and the novel has to reach its climax. There is no hiding from all of this for me, even when I want to.

Because I know that when that painting is done I get a great sense of accomplishment that the vision I had while staring at the blank canvas has reached its fruition. I know that when the 500 pages of a novel are safely stored on multiple external hard-drives that the story I heard in my head is now on all of those blank pages. When the song is written and the audience has their eyes closed and really rocking to the tune, I know that the music got out of my head and is now realized.

And then, when I get to the office and am looking at the daunting task of designing a condo tower or a school or a high end house I know that it is just a matter of time and focus to get it onto the blank sheets and into the ground.

And just as important to the issue of time management and being creative is the time I cherish just sitting on my deck staring at the clothes drying on the line and the kids playing soccer in the back yard. It is all about rejuvenating the senses and the creativity and the peacefulness.

I know that without all of this my Architecture would suck. And it would be all downhill from there.

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