Drawing to Help Construct Meaning

Drawing is a dividing word.  For some people drawing highlights their weakness. Few people it turns out can draw like Michelangelo without practice–not even Michelangelo.  Artists are trained.  They practice their craft. No one is born drawing. If you can get past your hesitation about drawing out of the equation, drawing can be an incredibly useful thinking tool.

Why use drawing?

We live in a visual world that we translate into text. We use so much text that it feels natural, but it is a form of translation nonetheless. The world is a complex, and some ideas are hard to articulate with words. Think about strong feelings you have experienced. Do you think about them in prose? Or do you have a series of images in your mind?  Images are natural to our thinking, and so a wonderful way to put thoughts to paper.

How can you use drawing?

  • Start by the times you can’t say what you mean in words. What if you diagrammed it? Don’t try to be realistic.  Try to be schematic.
  • What about when you think of a problem and pictures come into your mind? Well, draw it.
  • Then there are things that require millions of words or just one picture! Draw those.
  • Some things are about connections. Connections can be a whole slew of words or a single line.
  • Drawing helps you look slowly and carefully. Some problems need that type of focus. If you need to really see how something ticks, drawing it.

Basically, draw, draw, draw if you want to try to get a different look at the same problem.

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