For this sketch I chose to improve the water cycle graphic that I came across. I felt there were way to many arrows to follow, and in order to understand the process fully I felt it necessary to cut out information and clean it up. The illustrations behind the text in the original graphic is well done and detailed, however the information on top is what causes confusion. The difficulty I found in recreating my own was knowing what information to cut out. I decided the easiest way to show the process, in the littlest amount of space, with the least amount of ink, was to just use the key terms that make up the process: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration. Although the other words in the original graphic added detail to the illustration, such as freshwater storage, snow melt run off, etc, I felt they also added confusion as to what exactly the water cycle really is.
I stuck with the same circular flow of information when drawing out the process. I felt a circular flow was the best way to show this process, as it allows the viewer to start anywhere in the image and follow through the course of events. Since the water cycle is a continuous thing, working with a linear graphic would not be wise. There is no start, and there is no end. I decided to keep my illustrations more simplistic than the original. First reason being, my artistic skills are not that great; but besides that, I felt that keeping the illustrations simple and the information simple, it allows the viewer to get the most information out of the graphic in a short amount of time, rather than studying it in confusion. That being said, I still used colors that are most recognizable in depicting the elements of the graphic: yellow for the sun, blue for the water, brown for the rock. I also chose to use green arrows to go through the process, because most times green means go and it just reinforces the idea that you follow the arrow in that direction. I decided to just stick with black for the text as it stands out and is clearly read by the viewer.
In doing this assignment, I found that explanation graphics are rather complex and difficult to assemble. While on the hunt for a graphic I could reinvent or improve, many were extremely detailed with a lot of work put in. I knew about the water cycle before this graphic, but was amazed to see how many renditions of the process were out there; some great, some not so great. Recreating this graphic was a good experience and I give a lot of credit to those who create them as a career. More difficult graphics I came across were those that included instructions on complex pieces of technology such as parts of a camera, cell phone, or computer. Depending on what process or information you are trying to get out of a graphic, the complexity and detail will vary.