Many people, even those who like drawing, have a hard time giving permission to themselves to draw. Why? Possibly because society has left us with the impression that drawing is only an extracurricular activity, it is just for fun, it’s not particularly productive, etc. This has been especially true in our educational system. The good news is that this concept is changing…. one reason is because our world is changing so rapidly, especially in the electronic and computer world. You know the drill: you buy a new device today and tomorrow it’s obsolete because something new has taken its place. Employers in the 21st century now value CREATIVE THINKERS for their future employees. They actively search for people who have had classes in the arts because these individuals THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. These people tend to come up with new and innovative ways to communicate and be productive. Persons who have backgrounds in the arts seem to be able to get inside people’s heads and figure out ways to embrace new technology and make things happen that will profit their business. Artists are problem solvers and dream makers.
DID YOU KNOW…
Art is about making an idea become a reality. There isn’t a single crafted or manufactured object that didn’t pass through an artist’s hands. That is art’s life skill. It applies to everything from the telling of a story, to the functioning of a home, to the building of a business. Every business, large or small, employs artists to design logos, build websites, visualize and advertise products, communicate their messages, and create a brand. *
Art is a universal language. Human history is recorded via pottery, hieroglyphs, painting, and architecture. Our future is planned with diagrams, schematics, floor plans, and animatics.*
Art delivers us safely to our destinations everyday. Road signs tell us where and when to turn safely. We know where to enter and exit motels, libraries, hospitals, etc. Did you ever wonder why certain signs are red, or green, or yellow? That is the brainstorm of an artist.*
The books, magazines, and websites we read were all designed by artists. Every school, every building, was created by an architect’s pencil. Clothing, cars, furniture, bridges, and even the space shuttle began their existence as drawings on a piece of paper.*
Visual art shares something with every other language: it has a grammar and a vital set of skills that can be taught to any student.*
You don’t have to become an artist just because you have taken some art classes. I took lots of math classes, but I’m not a mathematician. (but I’m so glad I can do math! It has come in handy). I took history but I’m not a historian (but I’m so glad I know what the history channel is referring to, and how it relates to me). I took physical science (that’s a scary thought!) but I’m not a scientist. (I’m still working on the relevancy of this one!) So, is there a point here?
Sketching and drawing can be, and is fun, but it also has value in our world today. So go ahead: if you want to draw, just do it.
Your sketchbook, or visual journal, is yours to do with as you please. You can share it, or not. You can doodle, or create more serious stuff. And even if it “never amounts to anything”, when you leave the planet, you have left a piece of yourself behind. After all, it’s not what you take with you, but what you leave behind that matters. (right?)
If you want to further explore the importance of art and drawing, I would like to suggest the book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink. It’s a good read, and an eye opener.
If you have your own thoughts, comments, or experiences about this topic to share, I would love to hear them. God bless!
*From an article by Rama Hughes, titled On Art and Education, SchoolArts magazine, January, 2011.