Our Article writer Katie Charleston shares her thoughts on creativity.
Here’s a controversial idea: drawing is over-rated. Now, calm down illustrators, hear me out. If you speak to a child, or most adults outside of the creative industry for that matter, and you ask them “are you good at art?”, what they will hear is “are you good at drawing?”. Not just any drawing, either, they will be thinking of amazing, effortless, photo-realistic drawing. Many people also assume that drawing is a natural gift bestowed on someone at birth, but like any skill, it can be learnt, and perfected through practice. It is very easy to feel anxious about people seeing your drawings and judging you for them, especially at a place like AUB where so many people are so very good, and I want to make it clear that I absolutely do not want to belittle these people, or to undervalue their skill and achievement. You go guys. But now that the ego is soothed, let me say this: it’s time for drawing to move over as the poster boy for art and design, and let everything else have a turn.
Personally, I think this is an issue starts when we are young; I’m sure I’m not the only one who experienced the suffocating boundaries of art at school, where many of the teachers have very specific ideas about the images you should be creating, and we never had the opportunity to explore photography, moving image, make up, performance, textiles, spatial design, or really any of the massive field of art that exists in the real world other than drawing. This also brings me to the point that not all art is fine art. The boundaries between our disciplines are very fluid and blurred, so why is the perception of art so limited?
In my opinion, creativity is about two things; idea generation and problem solving. A teacher who can find a way to engage an uninterested child is creative. A physicist who proposes a new theory is creative. The medium you use to communicate an idea is a means to an end, but the choices you make in the process is where your true creativity lies. Yes, drawing is art. Drawing is a very valid and often powerful form of art. But art is about more than just drawing. They are not synonymous. In many people’s minds, art is often about what you can make with pencil or a paintbrush, but in reality, I could never possibly hope to name all the potential mediums you could use to solve problems, and express ideas. To be creative. So why does drawing get all the limelight?
Whatever your niche is, know that you, too, are creative, talented and perfectly valid as an artist or designer. Perhaps we just need to be more open minded about the function of drawing; for most of us, it is the best way to spill our ideas out onto paper, but that doesn’t mean that your outcome needs to be limited to pencils or paint. But hey, maybe I’m just bitter because I can’t draw.