Explaining the importance of learning to draw to art educators is like preaching to the choir. We already believe! Yet we all have people around us, school administrators, parents, and even students, who don’t share our enthusiasm. We need to be proactive in our art advocacy if we’re to avoid having to defend our programs on the chopping block!
One way to educate and inform any would-be detractors is with this fascinating and (super short) 5 minute TED Talk by Brent Eviston from TEDxEureka. This talk could convince even the toughest critics that “drawing is a skill as essential as literacy and numeracy”.
To build his case, Eviston describes drawing as the most basic form of visual communication, and makes the claim that observational drawing is “more of a science than an art…. much closer to solving a mathematical equation than taking a photograph”.
He explains that drawing trains our minds to view our mistakes not as failures to feel ashamed of, but as an essential part of the creative process. Then, when we combine drawing with words and numbers, we will have “a complete set of tools for solving and exploring creative challenges as well as communicating those solutions to others”.
So, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic, drawing can (and should!) be taught.
We live in a world where innovation is key. As teachers, we can help our students become innovators by treating drawing as a skill that’s as important as reading and math. Drawing is a universal language that we should all be literate in. Watch (and share!) this inspiring TED Talk to promote visual literacy for all!