Everybody can draw (2.5 Minutes)

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I was initially going to come up with a super-deep/cool title for this post but I figured, “What’s more intriguing than stating something that most people would consider untrue?” Regardless of what you think, I’m of the firm belief that everybody can draw.

I have the privilege of teaching design at Humber College in Toronto and I’ve come across a lot of students who default to the belief that they are not creative, let alone have any ability to draw. I suppose I can understand where they’re coming from; perhaps their conceptual thinking or drawing style isn’t as refined or developed as someone who does it for a living, but I wouldn’t necessarily write it off as an inability. I believe that every single person in the world is born with a creative ability. The way that it manifests itself in us will vary, but regardless, it’s there and thriving in those of us who choose pursue our passions.

When I was in college, I used to take sandwiches to school that were wrapped in tin foil. I would typically eat on my way home, and spend the hours in traffic creating little people and letters out of the tin foil. I began to craft these pieces day after day and slowly began to develop a new outlet for my creativity. In the same light of curious creation, I believe the great inventors of the past decided to utilize their inherent creativity to design roads, trains, planes, and computers, and there is no lack of such imaginative thinking today either. Really, creativity will manifest itself in these massive inventions but just as well as when you rip off a piece of a pizza box, fold it, and shove it under the uneven table leg in your kitchen. The creativity is there but for some is only utilized out of necessity. For others, it is a daily used tool for business, exploration, love, and life. Creativity will not die out because it’s one of the greatest inexhaustible resources given to humans.

With that as the ground work, I’ll revisit my initial statement. Everybody can draw. Again, some people will argue that they can’t, but perhaps that’s because they’ve compared themselves to what people around them—even they themselves—have recognized as “good” drawing. Isn’t it all subjective anyways? Who determines that? Surely history dictated no such standards—have we forgotten the eyes of Pablo Picasso (and the like) that would bring such standards into question? Yes, the eyes; not the hands as some would typically ponder. This is the crux of my argument. The greater skill of the creative person—the human being—is perception. Without perception, I believe the art and design of this world would lack any sort of stimulus or necessity. There would be nothing that stands out, nothing that solves a problem—mundane, boring, and undesirable our world would be.

So then, it is the perception of a unique human being (that is, each one of us) that identifies an issue, a need, a problem. Our originality and creativity will come through in the way we decide to tackle the thing. Not that we choose to be original, but that we choose to do good. The main thing that will stifle our natural creativity and keep it from being used well will be our inaction rather than inability; our laziness rather than our talent.

I’m not saying that everyone is gifted in the same ways—I have some friends who could not comprehend a musical note to save their life—but I am saying that everyone is gifted in some way; we are all creatives.

I encourage and implore everyone to discover their gift, find their voice within their gift, and express that to the world. We may just need to hear it.