The crucial creative role played by CAD artists today
Respect yourself, respect yourself — If you don’t respect yourself Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na — The Staple Singers
I have noticed that many people who are skilled at computer aided design, or CAD, undervalue their own work. They should appreciate the vital role their contributions play in the larger creative process.
Most projects that are done today using CAD — and that’s an enormous, wide-ranging, mind-boggling array of projects — are of sufficient size and complexity that a team of skilled people are required to bring them from the “idea” stage to fruition.
One person, no matter how talented, just can’t do all of the required work alone. He or she needs a team, and that team needs to include a skilled CAD artist. Possibly several.
And not just any CAD artist.
All CAD artists are not equal. We are not interchangeable. Each of us has different skills, abilities, experience, values, goals, and ways of processing what we take in from all that goes on around us. Each of us is unique.
The CAD artist, or whatever you choose to call him or her — CAD tech, CAD drafter, CADster (my coined word), CAD guy/gal, CAD wizard, CAD jockey — is a vital part of the creative team.
Consider the birth and development of an idea. An idea does not jump fully-formed from the head of the thinker, like Athena springing from the head of Zeus. It needs help, in many cases CAD-capable help, to make its way to reality. When an idea goes from pure thought to being written down on paper, or sketched on a napkin or envelope, a magical transformation has taken place. It has moved from the non-physical to the physical.
When the idea then morphs from a hand sketch to a CAD drawing, another big step in the idea’s path to final realization has taken place. It has become, to some degree, precisely defined, sized, shaped, detailed, and described. This is necessary so that, further down the path, builders may be able to understand, price, and build the creation, and the key decision makers can judge the idea, make tweaks, and give the go-ahead.
Then one day the idea appears, fully realized and fine-tuned, on the building site, the store shelves, the battlefield, in orbit around our planet, or wherever it’s needed.
This could not have happened if not for the contribution of the CADsters. Or if it could happen, it would not have been possible at the speed and accuracy necessary to be competitive and timely in today’s world.
In short, if you are a CAD artist, in the immortal words of the Staple Singers, respect yourself. If you hire or manage CAD artists, take a moment to appreciate the crucial role they play in your business.
Keep on CADDing!