What is your Story?
We all have important stories to tell.
Most of us use words; either spoken or scribed on a page. Thom Glick uses images. I had the pleasure to attend a workshop hosted by FLOR, on July 14 from 6 to 8pm at their retail location in Chicago, with Illustrator Thom Glick. In attendance were students from UIC’s design department, Harrington School of Design, several local designers and architects, as well as FLOR enthusiasts and customers. In the Spring of 2010, Thom partnered with FLOR to create a design appropriately titled: Character Sketch, in which the viewer is invited to explore a collage of his illustrations. It is a natural collaboration, founded in a common belief that self-expression through design, is an opportunity to convey emotion and start meaningful conversations. FLOR Vice President of Creative, Chip DeGrace introduced Thom, and shared some FLOR Story inspiration. Like Glick’s method, FLOR uses imagery and the unspoken word in the design process.
I attended the workshop to hear Thom’s story. A story told uniquely through highly stylized and recognizable images. His drawings and paintings contain “nuggets” of information described in the details of his compositions. The drawings are abstract representations of ideas; visually well balanced and dynamic. Thom began his talk by sharing a little about himself and his process. He talked about components of successful composition: Environments, Character Interaction, Props and Symbolism. He shared some sources of his inspiration, and reminded the audience that the greatest creative challenges are best solved by looking at pieces of things. A strategy applicable in both art, and life. Then it was our turn. Our hosts provided us with sketchbooks and pencils. Faced with a blank page, Thom asked us questions. How do we create engagement and spark interest? What is the theme? Who is our story about? Where does our story take place? What are the details? As each of our drawings and stories began to unfold, Thom suggested the power of symbols and unique details, which provide texture, depth and life, and allow a glimpse into the story of the artist. It was inspiring to see the wonderful and diverse images created that night. People telling stories of varied content, from different sources of experience and background. All compelling. Without words. Regardless of medium, whether a painting, drawing or a carpet tile on the floor, we learned about the power of our personal creative expression. Thank you Thom Glick. And thank you FLOR. Original artwork provided anonymously by workshop attendees.
All photograpy by Cynthia.