There is Hope for the Artistically Challenged [Sidebar]
In Daniel Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind, Symphony is one of the six essential senses one should develop. Much of the industrial and information age required a person to focus, analyze and specialize in order to succeed. However, Mr. Pink believes that as white collar jobs like analysts and programmers are shipped overseas or replaced by software that there is a premium on the opposite aptitude: Symphony – “putting pieces together, seeing the big picture, crossing boundaries, and combining disparate pieces into a new whole.”
Drawing is listed in the book as one of the best ways to understand and develop the aptitude of Symphony because drawing, like Symphony, is about relationships. To learn to draw, Mr. Pink enrolled in the class: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. This method was pioneered by Betty Edwards, who also authored a book of the same name.
Because I’ve always been horrible at drawing, I thought Symphony would be out of my reach. I purchased the book, Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain, 4 months ago and have been slowly working on the prescribed exercises. To my surprise, my drawings have noticeably improved using this method and I’m not even halfway through the book yet.
One of the exercises prescribed is to draw something upside down because it will force the left side of the brain (analytical) to disassociate and allow the right side of the brain to take over. I was positively shocked with the result.
Therefore, those of you who also thought that drawing is a skill you will never learn (like I did), there is hope. If you don’t believe me, then see what I have accomplished in my spare time over the last four months. If I can do it, then anyone can.
Initial Self Portrait (Feb 2012). Before doing any of the drawing exercises
Upside Down Drawing: Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Igor Stravinsky, 1920.
Upside Down Drawing: Unknown artist. German horse and rider, 16th Century
2nd Self-Portrait (June 2012). After 5 Chapters of the book (12 Chapters in total)