What is making a picture all about? Is it for everybody? What makes kids draw? What makes adults scared to draw? Yes, is IS real fear. But of what? Why aren’t kids scared of it? And what is it that one day comes to make them afraid? 

– from Lynda Barry’s book “Picture This

Drawing realistically is the about the relationship between your eye and your hand. To draw what’s in front of you, you need to break the relationship between what you THINK you see, and what you’re really seeing. 

Let’s take say, a book. Your logical brain has strong ideas about what a book is. This gets in the way of what a book actually LOOKS like, sitting there on the table – it’s really just a solid rectangle block. 

But here’s the thing, there’s more than one kind of drawing. It’s been drilled into us that realistic drawing is the only kind that’s worth anything. If doesn’t look ‘real’, it’s no good. This is one reason why I became scared to draw. It became a closed door. 

If any part of art is a closed door to you, I highly recommend Lynda Barry’s two books Picture This and What It Is. To me, reading them is the kind of art education we all deserve. Cheaper than a Fine Arts degree, too. Warning: they’ll make you want to make art right away. 

Art = Door, meet keys.