We need to think constantly in terms of “drawing to learn” and “drawing to share”; to identify which is one is primary at any given moment; and to practice, guide, or provide feedback accordingly. Failure to do this can result in the extreme consequence of total rejection of drawing as an option for mark-making. Much research has already been done. We just need to pull the threads together, weave, and believe.
"In my perspective, drawing from observation is a discipline that should be introduced as early as possible. When we begin to draw, we learn to look; when we look, we start to see; and when we truly see, only then can we begin to understand."
"Drawing Connections investigates the relationships between traditional and contemporary approaches to the act of drawing as both a singular and interdisciplinary medium, from the simple yet elegant shorthand of painters and sculptors to the elaborate brainstorming of collaborative event-based artists."
With an extensive background in teaching and researching children’s uses of drawing, Gill Hope describes the ways in which multiple forms of drawing are used by elementary school children.
Lisa Hosokawa's insight:
This is a book about drawing in primary classrooms, but it opens with an appeal to adults to recognize how drawing is part of everyday life. An example: "people can be seen walking around do-it-yourself (DIY) stores clutching sketches of ideas and diagrams of room sizes." Then Hope points out that these drawings that "act as an anchor for evolving thoughts as they move towards a partially perceived end" are treated as "redundant once they have served their purpose . . . and these functional drawings are discarded." Hope wants to highlight "the way in which drawing can be used actively and dynamically to support, generate, develop and expand thinking and enhance learning." This is clearly relevant to adults in addition to children. A book worth reading! (not sure why the editing wasn't better)
"My research has shown that both academics and designers identify two main reasons for why it is important for designers to develop drawing ability; firstly, so that drawing can be used to support conceptualization and, secondly, so that drawing can be used to facilitate communication of design ideas to others." --> an academic restatement of "drawing to learn - drawing to share" I want to take this, and apply it outside of the professional design context.
"In art, Kellogg (1969) chose to claim that drawing development unfolds universally in every culture through a set series of stages from early scribbling to early schemata and their combinations, to increasingly complex schema combinations that enter pictorial, representational constructions. The input, whatever it may be, for such developmental patterns is simply taken for granted."
One-on-one drawing instruction for young children. How children learn.
Lisa Hosokawa's insight:
"Grandpa knew that young children draw without any instruction. But, he also knew that many young children had become uninterested in drawing or afraid to draw because "helpful" adults had discouraged their natural inclinations to draw and learn from the practice."
The second of a series of three posts written before, during and after an event curated by yours truly, supported by The Afterlife of Heritage Research Project and hosted by the the Royal West of E...
Lisa Hosokawa's insight:
"I was bowled over by the readiness of casual visitors to engage with drawing practice. They drew, they wrote haikus, they asked questions, they made comments and appreciative noises, and observed long intense silences while Richard and Paul performed, and I scribed provocative quotes on the blackboards. And as the event drew to a close and artists and visitors mingled and chatted, the voluntary contributions box began to fill with drawings, comments and those haikus."
One of many thoughtful / inspiring posts by a "practicing scholartist."
"Judith Harris, in The Nurture Assumption, reviews lots of evidence taken in tribal societies. She concludes that imitation is our natural way to learn. Village children are given over to the care of slightly older children. By imitating slightly older children, they learn to survive and thrive. Many of us have experienced astounding successes by imitating a very successful example for an assignment or task. There can be lots of natural success when we imitate successful examples. This is why I am not surprised to see the popularity of copy work in art classes. However, when we examine imitation as a learning form for today's world, it may be an instinct that is no longer appropriate in the changing environment we live in today. It is a good way to learn traditional things, but is not a way to foster creativity."
"When we write and draw, we make things clear to ourselves. When things are clear we are able to articulate them better to others, and this improves the quality of communication- that is, if someone is listening."
"[A]lthough ‘in-house’ discussion was described by several respondents as ‘always being with rough sketches’ [drawing to learn] and there was general agreement that, at that stage, the chosen language of the design team remained drawings, as soon as design solutions were to be presented outside the immediate design team, or to a client, it was felt that computer-generated visualisations or renderings must be used [drawing to share]."
"Drawing for oneself and drawing for others demonstrably have very different forms (being free and wide-ranging in the former and constrained and precise in the latter) and so, inevitably, necessitate different skills."
What are comics and how do they function? How does the dual visual/verbal nature of the comics form correspond to the cognitive nature of our thinking? How does one approach composing a comics page to represent experience, memory, and make creative discoveries? What does it mean to draw, outside of technical skills? What can considering relationships in organizing a comics page teach us about what drawing is? What can we discover about our own thinking when we allow ourselves to spatially work visually alongside verbally – as comics make possible?
Includes a "Graphic History of Art Education in the Public Schools of United States: the "happy medium" "of equal value to all pupils" is shown to lie between the objectives of "fine arts" and "industrial arts."
"Drawing was introduced in Massachusetts primarily as a means of contributing to industry, as is stated in the early reports on art education from the state--'to so influence industrial products that this article of manufacture would compare favorably with foreign goods.' . . . Following the World's Fair , art teaching soon tended toward 'art for art's sake' and passed into an extreme form which we are reacting today  in the schools. Art instruction has swung from one extreme to another, and at the present time seems to be emphasizing applications to industry as it did in the early days when it was first introduced. Let us hope that it will soon reach a middle ground of efficiency and stop there."
"We are rapidly learning to think of art work, drawing, construction, design, etc., not as a special subject, but as an integral part of a well-organized curriculum in the public school." [said in 1923!]
"Tomasello (1999) noted that at the present time in our evolutionary history, a human child is born into cultures replete with symbol systems, some complex across all cultures (e.g., language), and others more or less complex depending on the need a particular culture has for complexity in that realm (e.g., mathematical or graphic symbols). One would expect the symbol systems that differ across cultures in their complexity (mathematics, graphics, music, and the like) to vary across cultures both in the means used, and in the relative effort spent, to usher young into the symbolic fold."
"[T]he investment that parents make in bringing their children into these symbolic domains will be influenced by the priorities of the greater culture, their own priorities (e.g., artists may engage their infants in the graphic domain earlier and/or more enthusiastically than nonartists), and their judgment of the capabilities of their infant."
"Nick Sousanis cultivates his creative practice at the intersection of image and text. A doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University, he is writing and drawing his dissertation entirely in comic book form."
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