A Legacy of Architectural Illustration Excellence

Old Faithful Snow Lodge in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Colored pencil on illustration board. Selected for publication: 2000 ASAI "Architecture in Perspective" International Competition.

At the root of architecture is a passion for design.

The process of design begins with an inspired idea, brought to fruition through detailed planning, and ultimately, artfully executed through renderings. These renderings bring inspiration to life.

Naturally gifted, A&E Principal, Ric Heldt, possesses exceptional talent for architectural illustration. His first sketch ignited a passion for the design process and inspired his future career path. As a member of ASAI, the American Society of Architectural Illustrators, his talents are recognized on an international platform.
ASAI champions the professional and artistic merits of architectural illustrators, devoted to promoting and advancing the profession throughout the world. Boasting a large, global membership, the organization not only brings together an elite class of artists, but also gives recognition to their extraordinary work.

The organization’s highest achievement is Architecture in Perspective, an annual competition during which top pieces are selected for international exhibition. As a selected artist, Ric received the “Award of Excellence”, Architecture in Perspective, in 1998, 2002, and 2003, and “Selected for Publication”, Architecture in Perspective, in 1999 and 2001.

Since his promotion to Principal in 2007, Ric’s opportunities for drawing have lessened, but his motivation to return to his illustrative roots remains strong. He cites incorporating more drawing into his life as a significant goal, whether by hand, software, or a hybrid of both.

Ric served as ASAI’s vice president in 2005-2007, and president in 2007-2008. While honored by the role, and his past recognitions, Ric considers the membership experience the true reward. Through ASAI, Ric established connections with Autodesk, a 3D design software company, leading to a truly unique programming experience. Impressed by Ric’s mixed media style, the company recruited him to participate in a top-secret development workshop, during which the rendering tools Autodesk promotes and sells today were ultimately produced.

From one artist to another, the ASAI experience creates a series of interchangeable moments, as members share methods, tools, mediums, and inspiration. Ric developed a meaningful friendship with Paul Stevenson Oles, ASAI co-founder, world-renown for his iconic pencil drawings. Hearing guest speakers, James Gurney, artist and author of the Dinotopia series, and Syd Mead, creator and illustrator of cult films Aliens and Bladerunner, remain notable highlights.

As technology continues to evolve, the process of design transforms as well. ASAI aims to preserve architectural illustration as a valued artform, critical to the overall design process and the industry of architecture. Artists like Ric represent this mission well, passionate about the process and expertly skilled in the execution.