I am taking an online class this month where I am trying to establish a habit of using a sketchbook daily. When I was an art teacher, I wish I could have taught drawing in a sketchbook the way this online community is structured!
I am having an interesting “tussle” with myself to draw for 30 minutes everyday. I am learning how to reshuffle my priorities and the “have-to-do-this- today” list to accomplish finding those 30 minutes of drawing time. Like any new skill or goal, along the way you finally get to notice and then appreciate the benefits. This the same way it was for me when I started to go to the gym, eating more vegetables, taking my daily vitamins etc. I am starting to “feel” benefits of drawing daily.
There are so many benefits. I think that the need to draw is simply hardwired into human brains. Drawing is a language that predates the written language.
Most of us did a lot drawing/doodling when we were young and it was just what we did, without a thought to whether it was fun. Enjoying was assumed! The big question wasn’t “when did you start drawing?” but “when did you stop drawing?” We drew and painted as kids, without worrying about talent or the quality of the final product. Reconnecting with that playful creative spirit is relaxing and liberating. That inner critic needs to be silenced!
For artists and non-artists alike, drawing is about more than art. It is about the very art of thinking. Drawing is integral to literacy. “When you draw an object, the mind becomes deeply, intensely attentive,” says the designer Milton Glaser, an author of a 2008 monograph titled Drawing Is Thinking. “And it’s that act of attention that allows you to really grasp something, to become fully conscious of it.” Anyone who has put pen or pencil to paper knows exactly what Glaser is talking about. A wonderful video with more of Glaser talking about drawing can be seen at this link https://vimeo.com/6986303 Glaser gives us two simple truths and words of wisdom about drawing, “drawing is how I think” and “accuracy is the least important part of drawing.”
I intend to reach my goal of drawing everyday for 30 minutes. Whether I draw simple doodles or more deliberate free-hand drawings I will return to the fun I had as a child and turn off the inner critic that gets in the way for expressing spontaneous observations and emotions.
Thank you for reading!