Meet the Contestants – Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™

Fight Club of Design!……… Has a good ring to it.  So in my best Michael Buffer voice, “In this corner we have the defending champion, Darby Barber of Rochester MI, weighing in at…”  OK. wont go there.  Besides we talked about Darby already (see the report here).  So without further ado, lets talk about the others, in alphabetical order:

Darby Jean -

Mazda RX-7 Concept from Darby Barber


Andre Ayala is originally from Chicago IL.  When we asked him for something inspirational about sketching he quoted a noted modern philosopher “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose”.  Have you guessed who uttered that famous phrase yet?  Yoda




Next up is Ian Broekman from Dearborn MI who is currently a student at Lawrence Technological University.  Ian spent the summer in a clay modeling internship at Ford and appears ready to sketch again.



Steve Brown from Auburn Hills MI is a familiar competitor, having also participated last year.  He is currently an independent design consultant.  A little know fact is that he also has his artwork exhibited at the American Dreaming: Car Style Exhibition at the Scarab Club until February 13th. He quoted Ghandi when asked “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.



Our 5th contestant is Naheem Browne from New Jersey.  According to his LinkedIn Profile, he has an ever-growing passion to learn as much as he can and to gain experience within the design industry. His ultimate goals are to inspire others and to help build a sustainable future for generations to come through design.



The first international contestant is from Callao, Peru.  Andre Fjardo is a Center for Creative Studies graduate who speaks 3 languages.  He is also a past competition winner, taking home the Best Eco Interior at the 2014 Interior Motives event.



There is another contestant from a far away place, this time from Mexico.  Jose Omar Gonzalez Torres is also the contestant who traveled the farthest to compete as his plane from California is due to arrive Monday.  He is current a night student at the Art Center of Pasedena.



Contestant number 8 is also a Sketchbattle regular.  Randy Hjelm is from Arco Idaho and is currently a student at the Center for Creative Studies. His favorite quote?  “Intellect is Beauty”



There are 2 competitors from South Korea.  Hailing from the city of Incheon, Beomseok Kim is currently a student at CCS after already attending Seoul National University and earning a degree in Fine Arts.  He is a fan of Formula 1 and Premier League Football so he is ok in my book.



Our first competitor who is gainfully employed is an Industrial Designer at Sundberg-Ferar Josiah LaColla.  He is originally from new York and graduated from CCS in 2008.  According to his LinkedIn profile, he is “deeply interested in anything that makes or uses power, and my experience specializes in designing such things.”





The second sketcher from South Korea is a native of Seoul.  Jenn Lim is currently a student at CCS working in the Honda sponsored studio. She gave us the “Never stop exploring” quote to put here, so lets explore the final few contestants.Jenn Lim -


The youngest contestant is Jake Lovins, originally from Cincinnati and currently a student at LTU.  Unfortunately we couldn’t get him to tell us anything about himself and we couldn’t creep on his LinkedIn profile.


My second favorite Russian in Detroit is the next to last competitor.  Boris Schwarzer, aka Borka is from Moscow.  He graduated from CCS in 2011 and is currently working under contract at Ford through Kaleidescope.  “There is no better feeling than a powerful idea being born in your head”.



Last but not least is our final sketcher, Justin Sorum from Southern Minnesota.  This student at CCS has probably the best fun fact of all the competitors.  Justin is a chief in the US Navy and was on active duty for 12 years.

So there is your international field of competitors – who are you rooting for?

About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of and Advanced Automotive Consulting Services, partner in The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment and serial entrepeneur. A long time automotive enthusiast, Frank started reading car magazines at the age of 8 and has spent 30+ years working inside the automotive industry. In his spare time Frank races with the Sports Car Club of America, spends time working on his numerous project cars and supports many local charities.
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