Tuesday, May 09, 2017

[tattoos] and [architecture]

in this months edition of architalks we were asked to write our advice to clients.  to that i say...

there are two types of people who get tattoos; those who request lower back butterflies or barbed wire biceps and those who seek out a specific tattoo artist and want to showcase that artists artwork on their body permanently.

architecture clients are no different.  if you're thinking of hiring an architect....be the later.

in my mind, tattoo artists and architects are so similar it's scary.  both work with ink, both are creative, both deal with life long decisions and both deal with having someone else's artistic taste represent you.

now i don't have any tattoos, but i have several good friends who do and i've listened to them tell me how they've seeked out tattoo artists for their specific style. many of them having different tattoos from different artists.  the process was similar, they would meet with the artist, tell them what they were thinking, tell them where they would like the ink, establish a budget, then after a few drawings and discussions, would let artist go to work, excited to have a piece from that artist showcased on their body.   thinking about this architecturally, i couldn't help but fantasize about how this would make for the perfect architecture client.  a person who seeks you out because of your "style", comes in to discuss their project, points out the location, establishes a budget, let's you know a little about themselves and then lets you go to work.

however, you don't often get those types of clients.  there are the clients that tell you exactly what they want, want it fast and with no budget.  i can only imagine i feel the same way about these projects that a tattoo artists feels about someone coming in wanting a little heart on their ankle or a loony toons character.  now, i'm in no way saying those are awful choices in tattoos, merely that if you're hiring an artist, or maybe an architect, deep down their passion is to create something truly unique to you...and with that requires a little bit of trust.  just like the tattoo artist an architect wants to do the best job he can for you.  that's not to say you shouldn't lay some boundaries down, actually in most cases that makes for a better project, but keep in mind they are an artist, their job is to dream and create and after all, isn't that what you're hiring them to do?

in some ways i think architects should be more like tattoo artists. can you imagine how cool it would be to walk into an architectures firm with the walls covered in little framed sketches of buildings, looking into the back and seeing an architect with a bald head, handlebar moustache and neck tattoo is sketching up a drawing for a client? sounds pretty bad ass to me!

maybe if architects also had the letters "P A Y    N O W" tattooed across their knuckles, there would be fewer billing questions.

all this being said, my advice to clients... think about architecture like you would about getting a tattoo.  trust in the artists to do something uniquely you, not the ordinary.

see what other architects have to say aboutt "advice for clients" below.

Marica McKeel - Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
ArchiTalks: Advice for Working with an Architect

Jeff Echols - Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
Advice for ALL Clients

Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
advice to clients

Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
ArchiTalks: Advice for Clients

Collier Ward - One More Story (@BuildingContent)
Trust Your Architect

Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Advice List -- From K thru Architect

Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
advice for clients

Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
A Few Reminders

Emily Grandstaff-Rice - Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Changing the World

Drew Paul Bell - Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
Advice for Clients

Jeffrey Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Questions to Ask an Architect in an Interview: Advice for Clients

Samantha R. Markham - The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
Dear Client,

Kyu Young Kim - J&K Atelier (@sokokyu)
Advice for Clients

Nisha Kandiah - ArchiDragon (@ArchiDragon)
Advice for clients

Keith Palma - Architect's Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Advice 4 Building

Gabriela Baierle-Atwood - Gabriela Baierle-Atwood (@gabrielabaierle)
What I wish clients knew



Gabriela said...

I really like this comparison! As someone with a tattoo, I was very pleased that my artist was trained formally as an illustrator. I got to watch animated cartoons while he worked, and we talked about the joy of drawing of a living- which is another positive similarity in my view.

Collier Ward said...

I also like your comparison.
I also, like you, don't have a tattoo.

Good post!


The journal that I need to write said...

I have two tattoos, and they're very special to me (thanks Living Arts in New Hope PA). I was able to go in and discuss the tattoo, and the artist had some other suggestions that actually made the tattoo BETTER!!

ALWAYS go in and talk to the artists BEFORE you tattoo.....or else you'll have "regerts" *snicker*