"....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.
LETS STEP BACK AND THINK.........
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.