Thursday, December 16, 2004

An Artist I Am Not

I’m not sure why, but today I feel as if my brain has been poached in eggnog, which makes it all the more difficult for me to execute challenging tasks--like drawing.

For the past few weeks I have been required to sketch (I use the term loosely) pictures of various procedures. These pathetic, worse-than-a-first-grader’s drawings are then sent to a professional artist who has to decrypt them and turn them into something realistic.

The thing I most dread drawing is hands. The people in my drawings always end up with crescent wrenches or cumulous clouds or apple dumplings sprouting from the ends of their arms. It's laughable. Sometimes the drawings are so rottisimo I write apologetic notes beneath them.

My clients do understand that I’m not an artist and, in fact, I’m actually just being a good sport when I provide these drawings--it’s not what I’m being paid for. And my clients swear that even the most primitive of stick figures are of infinite help to the real artists. I don't know that I believe that. I tend to envision a stack of my art specs getting passed from desk to desk accompanied by shrieks of laughter and rude comments.


Blogger Jamie said...

Well, even if that is so, it's not the worst thing in the world. You are creating joy and laughter.

Remind me to never be on your team in Pictionary. ;-)

7:21 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...


I won't need to remind you because after playing Pictionary once, I have resolved never *ever* to play again. I got my ass kicked into the middle of the next week! I'm always up for a game of Scrabble, though.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Well, it depends on the person. Speaking as a graphic designer in training, I can say without a doubt that I understand that people asking me to do stuff (and I'm lucky to be able to say that I've done some real-world stuff despite not having yet gradyeeated) are asking me to because they are not necessarily competent in design and art, and I am.

Some people may laugh at you. A designer who works off your crabby little drawing understands that the reason they're there is because you make crabby little drawings, if I may be so bold as to say.

Also, with what experience I've had, I'm overjoyed when someone who wants something designed brings me some idea of what they want. Designers communicate, usually for others, and the more input from the client, the less guesswork for the designer on what the message is and the more real designing they do.

Of course part of a designer's job is forming the vision; my point is that you shouldn't be beating yourself up so much, and the artists are probably sincerely grateful that you're giving them a direction to go in.

You might want to look into a art class, about drawing. I just went through Life Drawing and thank God for that, is all I can say.

Enough prattle. I'm sure you're alright!


9:20 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...


I never thought of it that way! The designers may be thanking their lucky stars that I (and others of my ilk) can't draw. And if they get a good laugh out of it, so much the better.

9:57 PM  

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