Illustrators and Writers and who should do which

Subject: Illustrators and Writers and who should do which
From: Peter Gold <pgold -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 10:40:22 -0700

Hi, all!

The number and variety of responses to this thread indicate that there's
no consensus on something central. The elephant is not visible, but all
responders have a sure grip on a piece or two of its anatomy.

I'm not sure what the part is that I'm hanging on to, but here's how I'd
describe it:

One aspect of the problem I don't think has been addressed is that of how
to present a particular topic, idea, concept, "information unit." For
example, Tufte's books and theories on graphical representation of
numeric and mathematical ideas illustrate (no pun intended) that some
purely mathematical facts can be presented in several forms - pure
numbers (formulas, equations, expressions), hybrids (text and numbers,
graphs), and other visual representations including drawings (to quote
Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant", "8x10 color glossy photographs with
circles and arrows on the backs of each one").

Michael Maloney notes that writer and illustrator collaborating can
invent combinations that suit the needs of their respective views of the
appropriate way to reach same audience. Similarly, the left/right brain
hemispheres of an individual author can collaborate.

As in the recent discussions of tool-competency here, if it's a skill
issue, then the skill is needed, and the best-skilled person available is
the right one to do it. Sometimes the skill is visualizing the problem,
sometimes it's drawing what is visualized. If you can do both, then
that's the answer; if not, do the part you can, and collaborate on the other.

The job is to get the information to the audience, and whatever means does
that, that's the right one. Territoriality is counterproductive. To
*illustrate* this, I'd draw two pictures of a hill with "audience" at the
top. In one, the "good" Sisyphus would be pushing the rock up the hill
and the "bad" Sisyphus pushing it down at the same time. In the other,
both Sisyphuses (Sisyphi?) would be pushing it uphill together.

__________________peter gold pgold -at- netcom -dot- com__________________
"We shape our tools; thereafter, our tools shape us.
We ape our tools; thereafter, our tools ape us."
________...Marshall McLuhan, based on Ted Carpenter's idea_____

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