conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

Editorial Cartoon vs. Rough Sketch

with 5 comments

Pique a place to begin.

Charlie Hebdo meant to disrupt and paid dearly. That is what every editorial cartoonist wants, well, not so much death as to disrupt. I’m a fan of Steve Sack at the StarTribune, who every day tips some social issue on its ear.ows_143276862691410

The contribution of the editorial cartoonist is to change the status quo conversation by putting forward an opinion in whatever outrageous way that gets attention and is instantly understandable. Most of their work is an image that evokes a passionate response. The editorial cartoon is typically polarizing, immediately dividing those in violent disagreement from this in violent agreement.

In contrast, the rough sketch is presented to people who are already with us. They may not agree with our nuanced vision of a project, but they at least have the project on their radar.

We use the rough sketch to present our vision for the project, to show more precisely what we mean and to invite discussion.  The whole undone sketchy ethos of it can accomplish all those things.

TableSketch-05282015Sometimes we need a rough sketch to present our idea in the easiest possible way—so our friend or client cannot misunderstand us. And sometimes we need to disrupt a status quo conversation and risk passionate ire.


Image credit: Steve Sack, StarTribune

Dumb sketch: Kirk Livingston

5 Responses

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  1. Well said.

    Not dumb. Let them try to DO it and then they’ll see how hard that sketch is!


    May 28, 2015 at 11:18 am

    • Thanks.


      May 28, 2015 at 11:27 am

      • I found another book. I’ve put in an interlibrary loan request. We’ll see. I lost the guy in the video lessons. I could follow to a point but once he started measuring angles by holding out his pencil, he got too complicated for me. All the interrelationships. Ok, I’ll stop now. I enjoy your work. Writing and drawing.


        May 28, 2015 at 11:31 am

      • Thanks! Let us know if the book is good.I’m interested.


        May 28, 2015 at 11:38 am

      • No worries. If it works, I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops.


        May 28, 2015 at 11:42 am

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