‘The secret weapon for visual journalists is a pencil’

By Katherine Myrick, Indiana University/SND

Kris Viesselman was at her most inspiring when she said that the secret weapon for all visual journalists is a pencil. It is impossible to keep up with every development in technology, but we can all use a pencil, which is the best tool we can use to communicate our vision. But, in the end, we need more than our tools. We need our passion.

When it comes to product development, we have to do our homework, we have to make sure we can do our work, that we can sustain it, that we have a business plan — but we have to be braver. We can’t let all of that stop us from producing things that we love and are passionate about.


Compiled by Chris Courtney, Tribune Interactive/SND

  • Work in micro size to keep people from getting hung up on details and to help them understand the scope of the project.
  • Be the architect of your own future.
  • “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm… Enthusiasm is the engine of Success.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • What we are creating now might only be a bridge to the next thing.
  • Someone will always come along and do what you are creating cheaper, faster and grander but you can’t let that stop you.
  • Ideas aren’t enough to succeed. You need ideas and passion.