Thursday, December 7, 2017

ai3 Employee Sabbaticals - 2018

For the 3rd time in our firm's history, ai3 offered employees a 3-day sabbatical. The goal was very simple: employee growth.  Proposals were written and approved, and each person was required to "present" their journey to the rest of the studio.

Previous sabbatical presentations have been so meaningful and affected our ambitions to travel, create art, be mindful, run marathons, or just drink more bourbon.  We thought it might do the same for you, so here are (3) examples of our employee's journeys.

My sabbatical was an exploration of sketch and watercolor techniques typically used to document urban environments on location. I took photos during a recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina with the intention that I would later use them for this study.  I began with a series of ink drawing exercises using a continuous uninterrupted line from beginning until end of the skyline.  Unlike architectural drawing, this technique forced me to be more spontaneous and let my hand flow free of constraints.

The next was to incorporate watercolor into a study. I chose a photo of the tower at St. Philip's Episcopal Church with a building in the foreground and a tree line at the base. The process began with a single line sketch to quickly study the major shapes and forms. The next step was to draw a light framework in pencil based off of the ink study and then charge in with watercolor. The watercolor was layered on in three separate passes. The first was a light wash of the overall mass and shape. The second pass captured the shadows in a medium warm hue and then finally the darkest blacks and detail went on.

The third study was a combination of the two before using a photo of Broad Street. I started with a single line sketch of waterproof ink as loose as I could be with my fountain pen. It was then followed by a light wash of watercolor. Strong pigments were "charge in" in selected locations to create a vibrant atmosphere. Out of all the sketches created during my sabbatical, I found this one to be the most inspiring. The combination of loose but organized lines and blobs of color create interesting things that causes the eye to dance around the image.

Being a June baby, I've always been attracted to a beautiful pearl, especially a fresh water pearl, and it's been a dream of mine to start a jewelry line centered around the pearl. The pearl symbolized purity, generosity, integrity, and loyalty. 

For my sabbatical this year, I focused my energy on upstarting a jewelry boutique called earthen elegance boutique and "The Knotted Pearl" collection. I spent my time doing the following:
Day 1 - Branding  |  Packaging

Day 2 - Scavenging for the materials

Day 3 - Production of prototype designs & Set-up of Etsy Shop

My sabbatical was a self-guided 3-day @MasterClassOfficial culinary course with Gordon Ramsey. The course allowed me to focus on my love of cooking, to elevate cooking techniques reflective of our chef clientele, and to learn classic recipes with a modern twist. 

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