Mike Lin Phenomenon

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    Bob Ross? That’s not fair; he was able to harness the total awesomeness of his incredible afro to make clouds and mountains happy. Bob Ross was boss. RIP bro.


    “…at that stage of conceptualization. It’s about ambience and spatial quality.”


    Alex if you don’t want to listen to me then listen to Jamie. Otherwise you’ll never be a designer. You’ll end up being something more like a decorator.


    Excellent point Jason, sometimes you can give too much information too soon. I made the mistake of providing plant labels on a conceptual drawing for an office building a builder was developing. He had signed up with me for a full set of CDs and construction admin for the project. After I presented the concept drawing I never heard back from him after several follow up calls. So a couple of weeks later I drove by the site to see a bastardized version of my concept design being installed by some fly-by-night landscaper. Needless to say, I was pissed. But, don’t feel too bad now because that office building has only leased out one of the eight suites since it was built in 2009. Karma’s a mother.


    Loved Bob Ross…..he was more relaxing then watching fish in a tank.

    ALEX P

    That was quite possibly the rudest thing i have ever heard (even from myself).  I AM a designer. Maybe im not some backyard-weekend-warrier, but I am a fine graphic designer, landscape designer, et cetera.  I mean lets be serious, how did Robert Ross get drug into this mess? Im confused how listening to Jamie or you Mr. Anthony will determine my life pursuit?  This thread has already steered away from its desired path.  I give up.  No one cares about good design, type faces, good layouts, et cetera.  They all have to take a back seat to something else, because they “waste too much time” or “firms don’t care”  Well Mr. Anthony, I would like you to just examine one (maybe two for good measure) mega firms, in any discipline.  I think they care about all the things i have mentioned above, and look where they are at.  I think ill stick my nose down, and shoot for the (mega) stars. 


    Land8 needs a like button…More than a fish tank…Love it.

    Jamie Chen

    You are aware, perhaps, that having nice typeface and margins just so can only help presentations, but don’t have anything intrinsically to do with actual design?

    So the big firms have standardization. Great. It seems like you wish to use their systems for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with good CRMs, project management, databases, and CAD standards that don’t piss off the subcontractors with janky missing x-refs.

    But you come on here and quite sourly dismiss a person who makes a living teaching other people ways to express themselves quickly and effectively VISUALLY.

    It’s not about markers. It’s not about SketchUp. It’s about process, which ought to be right up your alley, seeing how process-orientated you seem to be.

    Drawing is a process for design. Same thing for writing. Building models.

    We are an ideas profession. Our ideas must be caught and then slapped down into physical rendition. For many in our profession, that way is drawing.

    A picture is worth a thousand words and Mike Lin is just one guy who has one way of pulling that off and he’s sharing it. Bob Ross also shared a method for quick visualization, with paint.

    There are all sorts of ways to do the big do. And as far as I am concerned, all avenues towards communicating the design vision for a client and then WINNING said clients are valid. Everybody has bills to pay.

    So I don’t see why anybody needs to be at all dismissive about methods of visualization. I’ve pulled off some oohs and ahs with models made out of cardboard and toothpicks and generous amounts of Elmers glue. (I knew my green markers were out of juice, I wasn’t too hot with AutoCAD at the time, and I didn’t have enough balsa wood. I DID, however, have access to empty cardboard boxes from Costco. Shazam. As Tim Gunn says, Make It Work)


    That’s the fighting spirit Alex. Of course you’re a fine designer—you said so yourself. [Yawn]

    ALEX P

    finally someone on here actually has a tactful response, i recede in your favour. 

    ALEX P

    confidence is the key to success. 



    you should check out the forums on this site:


    You’ll LOVE it…or tear your face off with rage..either way.

    ALEX P

    oh trust me, im on there as well. 


    …kinda like a dust mite.

    ALEX P

    and your a bed bug

    mark foster

    I also took Mike’s course a couple of decades ago.   I don’t remember it being the “my way or the highway” as you describe it Alex.

    We worked with lots of different media–not just markers.  (One which I found invaluable was prisma color sticks–super fast and subtle.  Good for small presentations.)

    The other was the emphasis on quick… definitely a good thing business-wise.

    Chuck Byrd

    I walked out of a Mike Lin workshop at a CELA conference at LSU in the late ’70’s. Why? Because I was already drawing and sketching using this “style.” But I was taught by Buck Abbey and Van Cox – both L.A. prof’s at LSU. They probably leaned the method from Mike himself. I was also snagging a copy of every book on architectural and site graphics I could find at the time. I did “buy into” the style as a whole, though. I find that it did and still does enable quick, broad-stoke results for idea generation. Details can be refined from there. I’ve never been a good “artist,” so the style helped me cheat a little on getting my point across – to teachers and later to clients and fellow professionals. I could do a 10-12 minute sketch to convey an idea, and then pass it off to a younger colleague so they could take the idea and start to develop the detailing needed to pull the project together. I always found that the style really shown when drawing section and elevation views. 

    I should point out that Ace Torre’s method of tilt-up perspectives have had a similar impact on renderings and presentation graphics, at least in the Southern US. The methods are tools. Tools should be used – but they should be sharpened now and then….. there’s always room for improvement. I appreciate good graphics – mainly because I’m so lousy at them!

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