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Wednesday Why Should I: Why Should I Draw?

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Date: 03/18/2015

Welcome to a brand new feature on this sparsely-updated blog: Why Should I Wednesday! Every Wednesday I’ll write something new about common questions designers in a variety of mediums have had through the years.

This week’s post primarily targets artists in the digital medium, but also covers something photographers should think about: Drawing. So, if you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why should I draw?” this post is for you.

Creativity isn’t simple; It’s a complex beast that artists of all stripes struggle to feed on a constant basis. I myself go through fits where I can’t seem to come up with something new, or am struggling at fully visualizing something I want to do.

When that struggle rears its head, I like to switch to a different medium to help break out of the funk. Drawing is perfect; You can do it anywhere. All it requires is a surface and a writing utensil, and you’re ready.

Random doodles, even the kind you might find in a pre-teen girl’s notebook, can help you find a new motivation in your work. Whenever I struggle with conceptualization, I’ll start by taking a blank piece of paper and drawing a few simple lines of varying directions. I’ll glance at it vaguely, trying to discern a subject from it, and then shape it until I have completed something that is visually interesting. Sometimes this is just an abstract form, and other times it’s a recognizable object or living form.

Another great motivation for drawing is the fact that it is so deliberate; You’re not moving a mouse around a screen or selecting brush sizes, colors, etc from a drop-down menu on your tablet. This, in my mind, creates a more direct purpose for art. I purposefully draw with a pen, just because I don’t want to re-think whatever I’ve drawn, relying on the eraser to save me from embarrassment.

I’m by no means a skilled illustrator; When I do my illustration work, I tend to rely heavily on bezier curves to create most of my illustrations, only occasionally utilizing a tablet to directly draw my works. It doesn’t matter if you’re good, or if you’re even pursuing illustration.

The art of creating a form, studying it’s position relative to the space, and discovering the focal points of the piece are key. Every artist needs to understand the value of space, balance, and focus. Drawing in a limited canvas with a simple tool aids in that pursuit.

So, if you’ve got a few minutes to kill, grab a pen, some paper, and start drawing. You’ll find yourself becoming a better artist before you know it, even if you’re drawing a stick-figure scene.

Do you already draw? Pick up a new tool. Calligraphy, for instance, was a great inspiration to myself. The challenges of the medium helped me grow substantially as an artist.