Find out what happens when you take away our computers and design software and encourage us to get back to design basics.
Here at Chow:Hill, we love design. It’s what we do day in and day out. It’s how we collaborate with our clients and how we shape the possibilities of each and every environment we design for.
Last week, we invited fellow creative Tony McNeight to take our Hamilton/Kirikiriroa and Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau studios for a day-long sketch session. Tony challenged us to pick up pens and pencils, the tools with which we first expressed our creativity, and to immerse ourselves in the sketching experience.
“Sometimes we can get stuck in our creative process and need to be pushed outside our comfort zone,” says Chow:Hill Hamilton director, Jane Hill. “Tony is a highly respected and incredibly talented creative, graphic designer and dedicated travel sketcher. He challenged us to get back to basics and reinstill our confidence in drawing…without the aid of technology! A key skill we can quite quickly and easily forget.”
Our journey back to the basics involved just a pen, a watercolour palette, an A5 notebook and plenty of patience, from our team – and Tony!
“Making the move away from the technology we’ve become used to was, for most of us, a great way to widen our perspective on how to see and describe the world around us,” says Jane.
Tony took each studio through a series of activities, starting with the sketch and colour of a simple object. The real challenge of this first activity was to commit the pen to paper, to just start and not aim for perfection. No pencils, erasing or ripping out of pages allowed!
“Tony challenged us to get back to basics and reinstill our confidence in drawing… without the aid of technology.”
“Once the team had built some confidence with the tools and approach, Tony let us loose on location to draw a real life building,” says Jane. “We found the more immersed we became in our sketching, the less we were aware of our surroundings. Our consciousness of the traffic and passers-by faded away and the team created some fantastic pieces of work.”
“As we worked through the exercises, you could feel the growth in confidence as the team reconnected with their love of drawing. We all surprised ourselves with how much we created in such a short time.”
While we may have reverted back to the digital for much of our day-to-day tasks, the Chow:Hill team has a renewed appreciation for the sketch, with active sharing of sketchbooks between studios following the session (accompanied by a spike in sale of watercolour palettes!)
About Tony McNeight
Tony McNeight is a well-known creative, graphic designer and teacher, who is an exhibiting artist and a dedicated travel sketcher. If you’re looking for a team building activity with a difference, we’d recommend connecting with Tony for creative and inspiring collaboration.
December 6, 2019