At, we have found an additional resource to inspire the next generation of architects.  new resources.  Authored by Xena Stryker, Architecture Around the World: Designing from A-Z! is a great addition to resources for children.  It is available from Amazon using the link below.


Architecture Around the World: Designing from A-Z!”


Having a professional degree in architecture does not confine you to architecture!  This is where the fun begins!  The world is your oyster!

Personally, I have worn many hats – from being a SAG-AFTRA actress to a set designer, educator, and now, an author! In the realm of architectural design, we naturally assume the role of teachers. It is incumbent upon us to educate not only our clients, but also stakeholders, politicians, and members of the community about architecture through illustrations, enabling everyone to grasp the design and its significance. You simply cannot be an architect without embracing the role of educator. Our field thrives on effective communication and the ability to educate the public through plans, illustrations, and simplified language. For entrepreneurs, these skills are invaluable assets that can be leveraged across various career paths to generate income.

I decided to create the coloring book “Architecture Around the World: Designing from A-Z! to inspire young minds to explore the globe and delve into the world of architecture. To my surprise, this venture proved to be highly profitable and significantly bolstered my reputation in the realm of marketing.  Observing a gap in how many architects market themselves, I recognized that today’s youth, influenced by viral sensations and social media influencers, often overlook the architectural profession. They seek glitz, wealth, and glam – elements often perceived as lacking in architecture. To address this, I took strategic steps to ensure that my coloring book not only set me apart as an influencer but also provided a substantial financial return and positioned me, Xena Stryker, as a noteworthy figure in architecture, capturing the attention of prominent brands.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the steps I took to create and release “Architecture Around the World: Designing from A-Z!”

To create the cover of my coloring book, I engaged the services of the renowned and exceptionally talented illustrator, Kayla Coombs. Despite the three-year wait for Kayla’s availability, it proved to be well worth it!  Kayla rose to fame following the viral success of her “Sleeping Beauty” animation, which was famously used in a marriage proposal and broadcasted on news stations across the globe. I recognized that associating Kayla’s cover art and reputation with the coloring book would yield significant benefits in terms of marketing quality and visibility through search engine optimization.  Maintaining my independence, I acquired my own ISBN, barcode, and copyright for the book.

“Shoot your shot”  is one of my cherished mottos as an entrepreneur! A century after its inception, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) welcomed its first African-American female president, Kimberly Dowdell, AIA. While Kimberly and I were connected on LinkedIn, we had never interacted. During an AIA “Nexus” cohort session, where Kimberly was the featured guest speaker, I decided to “shoot my shot”. In front of the entire cohort, I mustered the courage to ask Kimberly if she would consider writing the foreword for my coloring book. To my delight, Kimberly agreed without hesitation! Not only did she craft an exceptional foreword, but she also infused it with the theme of travel, creating a passport for children to explore the world. This innovative marketing approach propelled the coloring book to new heights, establishing a valuable connection with the American Institute of Architects.  I was ready to launch the coloring book!

Upon its release, the book became available on the shelves of various stores like Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and more. Additionally, I made it available on platforms such as Etsy and teacher2teacher. Drawing from my background as a high school teacher, I aligned the coloring book with teaching standards, facilitating its easy integration into lesson plans.

I then utilized personal connections and social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn, to spread the word. Soon, independent minority bookstores also began adding it to their libraries as well. I was deeply honored when The American Institute of Architects approached me to stock the coloring book in their store. It was an unexpected and powerful moment!

From my earliest days in kindergarten, I held a dual dream: to become a children’s book illustrator and to design buildings. Now, three decades on, I find myself fulfilling both aspirations. I simply followed my inner calling. My hope is that this article serves as inspiration for you to pursue your own passions with similar conviction.

My best advice is to start by jotting down your creative aspirations and focus on them with laser-like precision.  Pair your artistic endeavors with strong marketing tactics.  Just as architects create a set of drawings with the support of professional service subcontractors, you should build a team to bring your vision to life.  I encourage you to build a supportive crew that shares your vision, but ensure you have a polished pitch to garner their support.  When you are ready,  “Stryke” without warning and release your art boldly!   Stay relevant by periodically remarketing your project to maintain excitement!  Finally, think big!  Your imagination sets the stage for limitless possibilities.


Dream BIG

Xena Stryker, Xena Design + Marketing Firm, LLC.

Where Architecture Meets Marketing!


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