Drawing forces the new designer to open up and use parts of the brain that our “point and shoot” society rarely accesses.
Photography has made creating pretty things too easy. We, as designers, are spoiled by the quick “click, whir” of the shutter. We think everything has to be captured in 100% detail, perfectly rendered. Design can be photographically perfect in appearance, but it is often much more about suggesting shapes, ideas, perhaps even a mood.
With just the suggestion of a shape, perhaps a doorway, or the shadow of a person, the imagination will fill in the blanks. The old saying: “less is more” holds true in the design and art world. In drawing, the sheer complexity of recreating a complete scene forces the artist to reduce the drawn shapes to those that can be finished in the time available. To the artist, it is unfinished, but to the viewer, it is lovely and suggestive of much more.
A perfect example is drawing a white egg on a white tablecloth. The average person will draw an oblong ball, put a flat horizon line under it and call it done. Someone who has learned to draw will observe the infinite variety of shadows on the egg and the tablecloth as the light passes by the egg, bounces off the white tablecloth and reflects back into the shadow on the underside of the egg. A carefully rendered egg can take an hour or more. Rather than seeing it as an egg, (been there, done that, bought the tee shirt) the artist sees it as a series of infinitely complex round surfaces, defined by the light and shadow in the environment.
This ability to “see” as an artist sees is a skill that can be learned, just like riding a bicycle. Once you learn how to access this part of your brain, your creativity will be enhanced, not just in your ability to draw, but in your ability to take the software tools you learn in Media Design and apply them in new and creative ways to your design projects.
The artwork below was created by students in the Media Design and Production Program.