When people hear I once taught art their first response, no matter what age, was “Oh, I can’t draw. I can’t even draw a stick figure.”
Let me get this out of the way up front: If you feel that way, then the educational system has done an excellent job of beating your innate creativity out of you.
Small children don’t need to be taught how to draw or create, just set them down with some materials and they go at it. People who grew up to be brilliant scientists, doctors, lawyers, people who work at gas stations and mini marts, people who groom dogs and fight fires, everyone started out at the same place in life messing around with finger paints and gluing bits of paper down and giving it a name, a story, giving it life. As our education progresses the time allotted for art continues to get cut and eventually gets folded into a sociogram for a social studies unit, a cover for a book report and finally, when the system has completely beaten the art out of you, doodles on the cover of your binder. It ceases to be a valuable and legitimate subject worthy of exploration
If you spent the same amount of time in your life drawing as you did reading you might be surprised at how good an artist you really are. The problem is, there’s no value in art, so there’s no point.
My point today is that I recently saw that they have repackaged some of the Ed Emberley Drawing Books thematically — currently a Halloween book caught my eye. In looking through at the way he teaches young artists how to build stick people, animals and common objects step by step from little boxes and stems I realize that there is no earthly reason why adults cannot learn to at least master Emberley’s stick figures. There is no harm (and no shame) is taking ten minutes a day to sit down and explore the visual, to revel in creating amusing little drawings for ourselves, to joyfully confuse the left- and right-brain functions, to play.
Play. Let’s all go out and play.