DRAW? YOU CAN! Why do we draw? Why do people like to draw? Why do people think they may enjoy drawing? For everyone it’s different. For some, even the less than serious act of doodling, represents an activity to pass the time or to relieve tension. For others, it is a process and although they may not realize it, this process can assist them to better understand and perhaps see the world around them.
It also is a great way to learn problem solving by forcing themselves to use the right side of their brains. But more importantly, to many, it represents the simplest form of joy because they have achieved some level of personal satisfaction or, perhaps even self-actualization. Self-actualization is, oddly enough, a process of establishing yourself as a whole person. It is the ability to exercise and develop your cognitive skills in order to better understand yourself.
By doing so, you are given the opportunity to reveal to others what we see, feel and understand your environment to be. When I was teaching community based learning drawing classes I asked the mostly adult students why they decided to take a drawing class. Their responses were almost universally similar in two distinct categories. The first response: they loved art in school but at some point in time, someone told them art was for children or that it was not a viable profession.
The second or Part B of their response was that because of this interruption or reproach, they needed to know if they could pick up where they left off or, determine whether or not they actually ever had a talent for art. How sad. How many children, adults in the making, have been denied the joy of self-actualization? And, as the result of this injustice, have also been denied them access to an excellent problem solving process?
Art, as represented here by drawing, is much undervalued in our culture. Whenever there is an economic downturn, art and humanity program funding is reduced or eliminated. Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
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