Re: Doing your own graphics (an illustrators perspective)

Subject: Re: Doing your own graphics (an illustrators perspective)
From: John Posada <jposada -at- NOTES -dot- CC -dot- BELLCORE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 14:11:31 -0400

Technical writers never cease to amaze me.

Yeah...we're a pretty amazing bunch!

Can you imagine the absurdity of a technical illustration group getting
together and talking about "Doing Your Own Writing / Editing". The writers
would have a cow.


Obviously, you come from an environment that has all the specialized expertise
you could ever want, available whenever you want it.

However...while that may be true in the government and ivory tower environment,
in the trenches, we do whatever we need to, to create a document to the best of
our abilities.

I'm going on my 12 straight day, no weekends, and expect to be here until 10PM
or later tonight. My 450 page document has four graphics. If you know of any
environment that will allow a technical illustrator to be sitting around on
Saturday, Sunday and 9PM Monday night, just incase one of a half-dozen SMEs
send in a change to one of those images, then let me know.

Another seem to think that a technical writer cannot be a technical
illustrator. Why is that? Technical illustration, as specific as it is, is
not black magic. None of this is. Maybe some of us are equally good at
drawing and writing, just as I'm sure that some tech illustrators can spin a
good paragraph.

In the ivory tower, vertical specialization is the norm. Harry does this, then
Marge does that, then John does something else. Unfortunately, that
environment doesn't exist anymore. Maybe if your tech illustrator associates
attempted to lay down a few words instead of being ones who sit there
goiing..."My job....don't touch!", then they wouldn't BE

I'm not. In fact, one of my problems is that people in this organization who
have dealt with pure technical illustrators are sending their stuff to me
because their experience has been that while an illustrator may be able to
illustrate, when it came to incorporating words into the illustration, the
words fell short.


If our combined trade skills are supposed produce the optimum in technical
communications, we must each go with our strengths and training. Please get
off the "do it yourself" bandwagon and leave the illustrations to
illustrators. In return, the illustrators will continue to resist the
temptation to write, edit and publish.


Short of work, Huh?

Don't resist it...if you can do it and do it well, then by all means, knock
yourself out.

John Posada
Technical Writer
Bell Communications Research, Piscataway, NJ
(908) 699-5839 (W)
jposada -at- notes -dot- cc -dot- bellcore -dot- com (W)

"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things"
- Vice President Dan Quayle 11/30/1988
I don't speak for my employer and they return the favor

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