Graphic journalism; a possible career path? (emphasis on cities and culture, art?)

I’m really into visuals.

I’m also really into storytelling.

I’m also into empathy and understanding people’s cultures, listening more than speaking.

I’m also into cities, but wish to understand and tell the stories of Chinese cities through the lives of day-to-day people and needs.

Here’s a comic strip to show what graphic / comic journalism is:

This form of journalism takes in several parts of participatory planning, with the focus of the beginning of participatory planning and design. From the perspective of Human Centered Design, this speaks from the perspective of Hearing and Creating.

  • You have to do interviews to get this sort of information.
  • You have to pursue in-context immersion (actually visit scene of project, for example, and experience it)
  • You have to tell a story, and create something that allows people to be able to make decisions based on the way a story is told.

On one hand, I see my career path as trying to improve these areas of HCD, mainly: hearing, creating, and designing. In some ways, should I try to work on each aspect of design as I go through life?

Pursuing graphic journalism temporarily could provide that opportunity to practice listening and note-taking skills, visual story-telling tools. However, I believe this will only help the hearing portion of HCD as I will take the listening/interviews/observations, and turn them into visualizations that show what I’ve gathered. I am not providing any specific design recommendations on how to improve a problem necessarily, but rather develop empathy skills (training my brain) to be observant and clear.

But, in some ways, shouldn’t I develop a strong base for listening? In urban planning, this isn’t even done enough, as we do things so top down!

As for now, I’m going to work more on my drawing skills and see where they will take me.

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