About Me and my Dad

My name is Nick and I live in Toronto. I’m not an architect or draftsperson…I’m an engineer, but am generally not involved in preparing drawings professionally. My dad was a draftsman in the days before computers, when technical drawings were created by hand. He and I were lifelong companions – we had many of the same interests, including drawing, an appreciation for architecture, a strong appreciation for classical music, and an interest in history as well…we enjoyed watching the same sports, same types of movies, etc. If one of us had an interest that differed, the other would gladly make efforts to appreciate the subject and participate in their enjoyment of it. For instance, my Dad was fanatical about aviation and had encyclopedic knowledge of the subject, while I had an interest in planes but not nearly to the same degree. Nonetheless I’d read or at least leaf through his books and magazines, and we’d travel around attending various airshows together.

We were temperamentally similar as well, fairly stoic and not easy to rile up…our personalities were the same, quiet and reserved, but passionate about our interests. I don’t recall us ever so much as being even slightly at odds with one another – no arguments ever, not even an unpleasant exchange – we were always happy to be together.

My dad and I in 2016 (my portrait of him in the background). This was at a solo exhibition that I won the opportunity for when a jury selected me as the top artist in a group exhibition I was in earlier that year.

My dad loved to draw since early in his childhood. I naturally started teaching myself how to draw when I discovered this as a kid. I got a lot of encouragement from my dad, and had access to his spare drafting instruments as well, but mostly drew comics and movie characters in my youth. Once university and professional life came along, I largely stopped drawing. I took it up again in 2015, and become interested in stippling with ink as a method of rendering shadow and details, rather than cross-hatching or working in pencil. I’ve been focused ever since on improving my technique in this style, and applying it to technical drawings as well as portraits.

I’m completely self-taught, with the exception of some early guidance from my dad regarding perspective and shading. Mainly he offered encouragement and let me find my own way, which I appreciate. I haven’t attended art classes of any kind, I’ve just learned by trial and error, and consulting books here and there for guidance on perspective, casting shadows, etc. Most things required just sitting at the drafting table and using critical thinking to work through problems, try things out, and learn from mistakes. I feel compelled to mention that I have a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which I’m sure has also had some part to play in my dedication to my interests (I’m also a dedicated classical guitarist)…I tend to get fixated on learning and developing the skills I’m interested in, and dedicating just about all of my spare time to these pursuits.

In support of this project I’ve been collecting a small library of books on geometry generally, geometry as it relates to art and architecture, and perspective drawing. Recently, I’ve been reading books on the history of gothic cathedrals, and the construction methods that may have been used. I’ve added a partial list of references that I’ve used – but the list is growing by the week. I will try to keep that up to date.