Engineering and Art

This post brings several aspects of engineering together with relation to art.

1) Teaching art and creativity can be done through “Reverse Engineering” — thinking backwards from the final product on how the artist created/constructed it and his or her creative process in the making to improve upon, rather than copying the object or artwork.

2) Reading about Tony May’s work on ArtShift SanJosé, made me think of the engineering needed to construct his sculptures, some of which are made with books.

Tony May_good-reading-light_courtesy ArtShiftSanJose, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Tony May_good-reading-light_courtesy ArtShiftSanJose

Tony May_third-variable-construction_via ArtShiftSanJose

Tony May_third-variable-construction_via ArtShiftSanJose

Tony May_red-branch-books-open_Via ArtShiftSanJose as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Tony May_red-branch-books-open_Via ArtShiftSanJose

Tony May_open-red-branch_via ArtShiftSanJose as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Tony May_altco-open-red-branch_via ArtShiftSanJose

3) The late  George Adams was an engineer and a self taught artist, who helped restore many murals in the US Capitol. His engineering skills helped him decipher the best innovative tactics for this important restoration work.

George Adama_via WashingtonPost. Photo by Paul Vignola, seen on Art Is Everywhere

George Adams via Washington Post.

4) Murals entitled, The History of the United States Locomotives, which were painted as part of the 1930’s WPA government program to employ artists, have been returned to the original owners, The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. They are on permanent display at The Standard building in Cleveland, after a circuitous route of finding their way back home.

Train Murals via as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Train Murals via

5) I like how in this article, The Art and Science of Innovation, by Jeffrey Phillips on Blogging Innovation describes how the innovation of science requires thinking like an artist. I’ve long believed this! On a side note: I recently introduced my younger son to Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain to help him “break down / decipher” basic drawing skills and my older son is practicing the art of innovation by solving problems daily as a civil engineer intern with Clark Construction this summer. Great opportunities for both boys.

Finally, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that ABC News chose Luke Jerram as their Person of the Week last Friday, due to his public art installation, Play Me I’m Yours. Click here to read my previous post on artist,  Luke Jerram‘s technical, artistic and engineering skills to achieve his other interactive and innovative  public artwork.

Some music from this traveling exhibit to Kick-Start your weekend:

Quick Creative Post

Without a post prepared in advance and having just returned from traveling, here are two quick business related items to mention that pertain to art: Innovation and Brainstorming.

I really related to this article Tools for Innovation by Art Markman. No, it’s not just his name that makes it related to art. It’s the process he describes that entrepreneurs and artists use:

The funny thing is, being creative requires using the knowledge you already have. New ideas are often old ideas wrapped in new clothing. This process of finding new outfits for old ideas is called analogy. Analogy is the ability to find similarities in two different areas of knowledge that don’t seem similar on the surface.

This creative process toward discovering a new business solution is what casart coverings is all about — a new kind of wall covering product that revolutionizes the concept of traditional wallpaper. Our wall coverings are different in that they are repositionable, removable and reusable, requiring no messy wallpaper paste. You can decorate seasonally or whenever you want using casart™ as slipcovers for your walls. That’s the “analogy.” I’m the artist who painted the original artwork but then had to find away to make them more user friendly and portable than painting directly on the wall surface, therein casart coverings was born — a perfect solution for interior design, decorating and décor.


The other business concept that I found interesting is the art of brainstorming that comes from everyday people watching and how this leads to creative inspiration. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve used this without even thinking about it. It’s a fun creative process that comes pretty naturally to most of us. It is best described by Stephanie Orma for the Examiner.

Sorry no Kick-Start-Your-Weekend music but I’ll be back on track next week.