What did you used to draw as a kid? I asked that very question of just about everyone I know, and then drew the results.
Picasso once said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
It has always fascinated me how most of us rapidly lose our powers of creativity as we grow up. I don’t know what your path has been like, but generally there is a cliff-like drop in qualities like curiosity and wonder at the world, as well as activities like drawing and asking questions.
A lot of it has to do with how we are educated. As we progress through the years of school, lessons involving numbers, words, and analytical thinking eclipse lessons about curiosity, imagination and creative thinking. Or rather, ‘creative thinking’ gets boxed into the visual and performing arts. So while our confidence and competence at written communication and analytical thinking go up, it tanks for visual communication and creative thinking. It’s a bit like this:
What a tragedy! Sir Ken Robinson is a famous author, speaker and international advisor on education. You might have seen his TED talk coming to life in this brilliant animated whiteboard drawing. He said: “the whole system of public education around the world is a protracted process of university entrance. And the consequence is that many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not, because the thing they were good at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatised.”
It also has to do with guarding our reputation. The older we get through our school life, the more we care about what other people think of us. If you put these two factors together, it’s easy to see how a lack of training in visual communication will drive people away from drawing. Such a shame!
I could bang on about how awesome drawing is for our thinking and communication abilities here, but for now I just wanted to show you the results of a (highly unscientific) survey I conducted about what and how kids draw. I asked as many people as I could: what did you draw as a child? And here are the results, presented visually, of course. 😉
I’ll leave you to draw any conclusions you’d like to from this, but I thought it was interesting seeing how different they are, and the way we reflect the inputs we tend to have as children in our own drawings (flowers, eyes and fashion for girls, tanks, comics and robots for boys).
So what did you used to draw as a kid? Can you see any of those things in the results above?