Thanks R, that was fairly exhausting, but conclusive - I had to send some of them home due to it being my supper-time.
Good luck Tony.
Right - well to start with, you can't teach skill, you can only impart knowledge. This may sound a bit cynical, but that is one of the reasons why I have always been - up to a point - completely open when asked about my techniques. It is all very well knowing how something is done, but learning to do it well, and quickly, with, in some cases, your own slant, is another matter. I know how you play a piano, but I can't do it.
You are right about the picture being worth a thousand words, as long as the drawing is accurate, clear and unambiguous. Being multi-skilled, I was asked to erect a tipi for a client last week. I had already erected it and taken it down for storage last summer, but couldn't rely on memory to re-build it, and we had to down-load another set of instructions. Now, I wish the idiot who drew the diagrams and wrote the instructions had been there to witness my rage at the completely miss-leading scribbles. Both technical illustrators and authors have to be accurate, and I'm not sure why (and wasn't aware) authors are paid more, or why illustrators are not more highly regarded. Cheap, powerful software is one reason, I suppose - and that is not a dig at digital - but it does mean that it is probably easier than ever to produce simple illustrations with only basic training. Obviously I am not refering to complex stuff, or illustrations that need a high standard of colouring and lighting. I imagine that the need to be able to read engineering drawings is diminishing too, as CAD takes over, and illustrations can be pulled directly from the design files.
I had to design a small logo for a die-cast collectors magazine some years ago, a rectangular plate, mounting screws at the corners, raised and polished rim and vintage-style script in the centre saying 'Classic Commercials', the field filled with red 'enamel'. A nice little fun job, not worth much, but done for a friend who was a contributor to the mag. to accompany his article. It probably took the best part of a day to design the typeface, draw it and paint it, but I was told later that the Art Director, who had only recently got her degree and the post, couldn't understand how I had done it without a computer, in fact, I think, refused to believe that it was done by hand! Last week there was a feature on TV about architecture students going to life-drawing classes to improve their visualizing skills. It helps, and often it is quicker, if you can DRAW!
I know that illustrating is a dying art, but you can't artificially prolong the teaching of 'skills' that are redundant. I can see some people adopting it as a fascinating and satisfying hobby, and in time there might be a renewed interest in it, like making wicker baskets. I certainly don't think of you as an idiot for carrying on, you obviously have a passion for it, like Mick144, who's wife wants him to get a 'proper' job!
To get back, briefly, to the matter of my recent dental treatment, I'm no longer dribbling and mumbling, but I've got serious jaw-ache due to having my mouth wide-open for an hour and a half. I have renewed respect and admiration for those girls who work in the porn industry...
Edited by Tony Matthews, 13 July 2009 - 21:14.