I’ve never been one for visual art that I have to make by hand. Photography, I can do. Photo and video editing, I can do. Drawing, designing, sculpting, or anything else along those lines, I’m am woefully inept at. I had immense difficulty with this project,especially since it basically required writing an essay through visuals. I am an English major, a writer, and my skills lie in the ability to string together well crafted sentences to build a coherent argument. Having to omit sentences to replace them with images was challenge, and I still don’t think I accomplished what I had set out to do.
And so I don’t believe that my information was properly transposed from an essay form to a visual argument. My data showed that there is a correlation between state mental hospitals closing and the increase in prison populations, but it also went on to explain the crime rates of the mentally ill, the importance of treatment, and offer solutions to fix the problem. Having to condense the information so that it could be portrayed visually I believe led to a great loss in information. However, it did offer a different way to look at data. The visual symbol of the road and the color red following the road and transforming the medical red cross on the first man’s head to the red of the handcuffs and the pie chart representing the percentage of incarcerated people with active mental illness symptoms. I felt these elements were the strengths of the infographic.
Overall, creating an infographic was surprisingly more difficult than writing an essay, and I doubt I’ll ever choose graphics over essays again. Even so, it was an interesting process to explore, even with it’s frustrations.