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Erickson - Visual Practitioner - Everett, WA, USA

Michael Erickson

Everett, WA, USA


Visual Practitioner


Visualization specialist, creating graphical or visual models, maps and multivariate data displays that explore technical and strategic subjec...

Work History

Business Process Analyst/Visual Modeler

The Boeing Company

From June 1991

Visual Practitioner

The Boeing Company

June 1991 - June 1991

There is no official "visual practitioner" position in my company (my official job title is "business process analyst"). I've appropriated this title to describe the work I've performed both a contractor, and as a full time employee.

In this role I listen to subject matter experts "data-dump" and than I model their "story" using visual language. I iterate the imagery until it represents a shared meaning or shared understanding of issues, technical requirements and goals or visions held by the team or group.

I've developed Vision and Strategic Concept of Operation "maps and models" for all the 7x airplane programs, Lean Manufacturing, System Architecture support of Tools, Business Process, IT support, Core Engineering and more.

Skills include: Graphic Facilitation, Graphic Recording, System and Process Modeling, Systems Thinking and expertise in Visual Language.

This is not an "art" job, although I'm a fair cartoonist, rather, this is a "thought" job, where facilitation of thinking or holding the "design space" by means of a visual image for a group is of critical importance. Helping people access the "other" side of their brain amid the process of designing and integrating large scale systems, and systems of systems.


Kelly Services

September 1989 - June 1991

As a temp, I did short "gigs' at companies like Pay N' Pack (now out of business), Group Health, Boeing and others.

Freelance Illustrator


January 1982 - January 1982

From time to time I've been asked to provide illustrations for books. Some of my assignments have included:

Illustrations for the book: Before There Were Words: Energetic Meanings of Runes, Written by Kriss Erickson, published by Synclectic Media (amazon:

A set of cartoon illustrations for Ellen Gottesdieners :Requirements by Collaboration (amazon:

Cover art for the Rogue Project Leader, Year 1 (

Taught myself to silk screen print and paint signs. Performed caligraphy and created spot cartoons. Created the Early Product illustrations for the Le Trappe square gold pan that my uncle and his partner designed and marketed for a number of years.

Hired Hand

Assorted Survival Jobs

April 1974 - February 1989

To support myself during the evolution of my Graphics skills, I developed a wide array of capabilities and a strong attachment to practical reality that serves me to this day through many and varied "survival" jobs, across the spectrum including:

Building a few miles of barbed wire electric fence. Milking goats and cows by hand, picking fruit. I'm VERY good with a shovel. Safe on a ladder. Fairly skilled with a table saw, drill press and basic powered shop tools. Although I'm left handed, am adept at the use of inherently "right handed" tools such as skill saws and chain saws, and can accurately drive nails with a standard hammer and operate standard handsaws with either my left or right hand (helpful when working in tight corners).

I built a boat. fought a number of wildfires. Worked in janitorial, high rise window washing, landscaping (mowing/raking/weed whacking/felling trees), Framing (rough carpentry), painting, basic plumbing, installing glass and insulation.

I worked one Winter as a field hand for a custom butcher, another winter hydrostatic testing and recharging fire extinguishers and another winter as a Janitor in a pattern shop attached to the Fick Foundry in Tacoma Wa. where my work "strayed" a bit into some maintenance and restoration of old beaten and abused mold patterns used for sand casting large industrial objects (like train wheels and pump housings).

I spent 8 summers at a small church run summer camp working with small boats (rowboats, canoes and sailboats) in Puget Sound, teaching basic camping skills and I designed and managed a high ropes course (I retain a working knowledge of 30 or so assorted knots and rope splicing/rigging techniques).

In 1976 I acquired an EMT certification, and in the early 1980's spent 3 years as a nursing assistant in an assortment of nursing homes and agencies in the Puget Sound Region before burning out.


Caught in the gears (toon)

How a lot of us feel in our jobs

The Boeing Commercial Airplain Production System

My job has to do with supporting the Airplane Factory infrastructure. Considering a commercial airplane is one of the most complex vehicles known to the human race, The factory that is to create thousands of them is an Order of Magnitude more complex. My job supports ALL the Boeing commercial airplane programs (MANY factories ranging from the parts plants, supplier factories and the Final Assembly lines of the 737m 747-8, 767, 767, and the 787 DreamLiner and their derivative airplane programs.

My "world" consists of multi-variate complexity on steriods, and it's great fun.

Powerpoint file showing Michael Erickson's Samples and skill overview

This presentation gives a short overview of the "visual practitioner" skillset

Qualifications & Certifications

Kilgore College

Ambassador University

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