Meet Larry Kline - Design Institute Perspective/Rendering Instructor & Artist
What exactly is Perspective/Rendering you might ask?...it is a second-year course at Design Institute where students learn to generate perspective drawings and are taught color rendering techniques. These techniques help turn a student's drawings from flat and drab to realistic and alive. Skills that can help the client see the designer's vision.
Larry Kline, Instructor, artist and curator, has a BFA from Herron School of Art, Indiana University at Indianapolis, where he graduated with Distinction and an MFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art; Baltimore, Maryland. He taught as both an undergraduate and graduate student and returned to teaching after he and his wife Debby, also an artist and DI Instructor, moved to California.
For fun Larry plays guitar, but most of his time is devoted to studio work and exhibition planning. He and Debby work as a collaborative team creating art using experimental approaches such as humor to address serious and controversial issues. They have received international attention in both art publications and mainstream magazines such as Utne and Orion. The nature of their work leads to interesting road trips such as digging for clay at the Salton Sea to creating an installation in Tijuana. The scale of their projects often requires extra sets of skilled hands and imaginative minds, which has led them to call for volunteers from DI students. Larry wanted to offer a special shout out to the dedicated DI volunteers who have helped: Jen Sagar, Nicole Von Bauer, Zack Wilkie, Sarah Watlington, Manny Macias and Rosa Zepeda.
Larry explained that this class is important and necessary for designers to be able to communicate ideas to clients in a visual manner. "Design students usually have a better visual sensibility than their clients, so it is important to be able to use rendered perspective drawings as a tool when floor plans and elevations alone simply cannot convey the strength of their ideas. As students become more confident with their skills, they find that they can actually design as they draw, making it a powerful and immediate creative tool."
Sometimes students have already previously learned a certain method of perspective and then they are reluctant to try a different method. All methods use the same basic geometry and it is helpful to temporarily suspend disbelief and try a new method as each ultimately gives the designer a bigger "toolbag" from which to choose.
We asked Larry a few questions that we often hear come up during the course of the Perspective/ Rendering Class and here are his responses:
Is there a learning curve that students might have to overcome?
Absolutely. I show students many examples of past student work to help them understand the design potential of the spaces. I always hear gasping sounds as they are amazed by the quality of their peer's work followed by groans as they realize that they are expected to perform at this level. Drawing is a learned skill that anyone can master with patience and practice. Students begin to have confidence in themselves as they see their drawings build to a higher level of competency. I have had many students who struggled at the beginning only to have that "aha" moment later in the semester when everything came together.
From your experience how do students feel about the skills they learn in your class?
Some students come to the class with a bit of trepidation and it is truly great to see them leave the class with a sense of accomplishment and a portfolio that lets them see their visions come to life. For many, it is the first time that they have been able to successfully articulate their design ideas. It gives them (and me) great pride.
What is your favorite part about teaching this class?
Little compares to the moment of clarity when it all suddenly makes sense to the student. Watching students who have struggled add skill upon skill, first through the structure of perspective and finally as the application of color adds depth and excitement to their designs. Helping students to take on more challenges and "own" their work. We have also made some wonderful friends through teaching. Just this week a former student sent me an email and thanked me as she was hired to do renderings for a local business. She loves her newly-acquired skills and is making money from them.
Is your job rewarding?
Absolutely. I enjoy experiencing my students' growth, and because each student brings their own vision to the interpretation of the spaces, I am also challenged to help them solve specific problems within their drawings.
What advice would you have for students who are about to take the class?
Keep up with homework. Remember that design is a highly competitive field and that a good work ethic is needed for success. Also remember that as you soak up the information provided, you will gain the skill necessary to sit down with a client over coffee and sketch out some ideas that look fantastic!
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