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Submitted on
January 23, 2012


106 (who?)

"I Can't Draw"

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 23, 2012, 6:36 PM

"....I'm afraid other kids are gonna make fun of my drawing because I'm not good at it."

....said a fourth grade student to me last week at an Elementary school during my character design lesson. The little boy's comment to me about how worried he was about not being able to accurately represent what he wanted to on paper made me stop and think about something our society sort of imposes on our artists.

Since when did skill in drawing = how good of an artist you are?

I'd like to know.

Of course, we all know drawing is a fundamental skill in which every "artist" is expected to understand the Elements and Principles of Art and Design with because these elements and principles translate to ALL forms of visual art.


Think of Art Mediums like Musical Instruments.
Think of Drawing as the Piano.
It's the instrument that most people develop an understanding of Music Theory to begin with.

But what if you picked up a guitar first instead of a piano-- and you learned Music Theory with the Guitar instead? Would someone say you aren't as good of a musician because you can't play the piano that well?
.....I don't think so, Bob Dylan- You're a rock star.

So what if you're an artist who understands elements and principles in Ceramics....instead of drawing? What if you're an artist who uses emotion to power vivid color undertanding rather than using the colors infront of you? What if your process of art making becomes your elements and principles on paper?.....What if your art doesn't exist on paper and it goes somewhere else?

Is it really fair to disregard an artist because they cannot or are unwilling to draw the most accurate, highly detailed, realistic things?

Why do we hold "realism" on a pedestal over every form of visual art? Why do we favor that realistic painting over the simplified minimalistic design?

I told the little boy about artists like Jackson Pollock, who used "action" to drive his final pieces. Certainly, being good at drawing is one way to get something out of art making-- but it's not the only way.

So as an Art Educator, I leave you all with this:
The art you make comes from you-- and that is the single most important thing about art making.

Add a Comment:
Xenongod Featured By Owner Edited Aug 20, 2014
You taught me something importent. That It dosen't matter if it sucks or not. But that the art i make comes from me! I want to thank you for giveing me the will to Draw Athros, and not just any Athros but Wolves! Thank you! I feel like i could slay a god! As soon as i get home, i'm going to start drawing Wolf Athros! THANKS AND THANKS AGIAN!! I KNOW I'LL GO SKY HIGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
supershadow64ds Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Rather than having a specific skill be greater than my rest, all of my skills are slightly less average! :D
ZombieHun Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
see, i've always appreciated one's technique for hyper realism because thats a skill they worked really worked at. Its no different than my abstract form of art that I worked really hard at as well.

However.....realism just doesn't impress me because to me it doesn't feel very expressive, especially when I see portrait art of celebrities.

If I offended a realist, sorry, its just how realism makes me feel inside.
Dementedkookie Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012
wow thank you i cant draw to save my life buut i can spin a tale quite effeviently
Sabathamk Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012
I agree! Think about it... what art sells more... that's the art that speaks to people the most, right? Realistic paintings don't seem to sell nearly as much as the abstract, or the sculpture... people want what speaks to them!
Kazali Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So many of my art classes have taught drawing as a fundamental rather than an option; "so you like abstraction/painting/sculpture better? Too bad, you'll never be good at those if you don't know how to draw a hyperrealistic peach." It's been so engrained into my brain that I've never even questioned it... but it does sound strange, when you think about it. Though the idea that you can't break the rules until you learn them does make some bit of sense, although it's very frustrating to hear over and over when I've been breaking rules for years already without knowing what they were.

My fashion design friends always complain about having to take drawing classes. They can sew their asses off, but somehow drawing peaches will make them the next Vera Wang? ...huh? :shrug:
saminal625 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
true that
EratoTiaTuatha Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Professional General Artist
I don't feel good enough to comment on such a topic myself, but let me quote something I completely agree with:

"If you refuse to study anatomy, the art of drawing and perspective, the mathematics of aesthetics, and the science of colors, let me tell you it is more a sign of laziness than of genius!"
~Salvador Dali

Thank you.
kaylen-lenore Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i get it now!
Stygma Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
First thing that makes me feel good today, after a sh*tty day at work!
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