Many people are put off art because they think they are unable to draw. Don’t despair if you or your child is one of them. Not being able to draw well does not mean you cannot enjoy art.
Firstly, when people say they cannot draw, what they usually mean is they feel they cannot draw something realistically with a pencil on an empty, white sheet of paper. There is a lot more to drawing than that. You can draw for example, with your finger, a paintbrush, a stick or a pair of scissors. Drawing also does not have to be representational; it can be about pattern or mark making, tone or line. Often it helps to draw on something other than an empty sheet of paper. Ripped up newspaper, cardboard and sandpaper are just a few of the surfaces you can draw on. Drawings are often successful because they have an interesting texture, background or range of marks so drawing on a blank sheet of paper is really making life difficult for yourself.
Secondly, drawing is by no means the only way to make art. Photographers, printmakers, ceramicists and sculptures can all produce work without the need to draw. Drawing is an important skill for the artist but mainly because it helps to build a sophisticated visual sensibility by forcing you to look carefully at what is around you. However, it is not the only way to visually express yourself.
What I am trying to do with my Art ASA on Tuesdays and Thursdays is to give children the chance to experience ways of making art, such as printmaking, papercutting, stenciling and puppetry; which they may not have previously tried to do and that do not necessarily require traditional drawing skills. My hope is that this will foster an inclusive atmosphere where “I can’t draw!” does not mean “I can’t make art!”