(No, not drawing with reference.) What does it say about our society that we continue to use this stupid expression to describe our art in our textbooks?
To make this argument, I’m sure there must be a lot of people who have to sit through a day dedicated to teaching in art classes in the public schools; in which students spend a disproportionate amount of time learning how to draw. A good illustration of the problem is a recent article in the New York Times; written by a student who draws like an old man. The piece features the following drawings taken from the artist’s own book titled Draw Your Life.
In order to make it easy on the reader, the author presents the following examples with the artist’s permission.
As you may or may not know, I’m an artist. It was actually an accident. I was drawn to the subject matter of this book at the time, and it’s been interesting to see how far it’s developed… I’ve actually taken it out of the book and begun to create some of my own drawings… I haven’t drawn a lot of characters, but I’ve tried to be as open-minded as possible. Just as the authors of the book are interested to see if my drawings are representative of what they’d want in themselves, I’ve drawn some images that are sort of my own personal “chapters”, and there are others that are more abstract, but are inspired from it… I like to say my work is like an extended family.
That’s true. A family that you don’t need to have children, because they don’t have to be part of the family to live in it. It doesn’t depend on you or any other member living there. It comes together naturally as you grow as a person. The family, then, is the human race.
In any event, don’t let the book fool you, for as much as these drawings make my life easier, they probably lead to some people spending less time drawing in general and the world in general getting richer. Maybe this is an argument against education, though, because what these drawings are telling me is that I can’t draw as well as this old woman. It’s certainly the case that the world would be a poorer place without the work that I do daily, so if I get too busy drawing more it means I’m giving up on what you can do with your life and what you can do to change the world.
The thing is, as I said earlier, there
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