The Necessary, But Unloved, Skill

The school year has begun, and I’m starting to meet new students at the tutoring center. One of my new study skills students and I were talking about his course load for the year, and I discovered he was taking both an Auto-CAD and a drawing class. When I asked why both, he said he liked drafting, but he needed to learn drawing skills to really get where he wants to be after high school.

I could appreciate that. The road I’m building under my feet will definitely benefit from my having some sort of drawing skill, but I struggle to create stick figures. Last summer, I took the time to work through the beginning level of Drawspace in the hopes of developing some sort of skill. What I found was that I could duplicate the lessons, but when I tried to apply techniques on my own, it was like I had never learned the skill. To make matters worse, I hated doing the real-life human lessons. In fact, I often put them off because I didn’t want to do them. I completely ignored the last lesson because I felt like I’d had enough. I gave up and promised myself that I’d go back to it when I was less frustrated.

Despite my problems recreating people, I enjoyed the cartoon lessons. I knew that if I wanted those to come out well, then I needed to understand human proportions and the basics of drawing a well-constructed, believable person. I found a book that taught drawing people from stick figure bases. I could wrap my mind around that, but in the end I became frustrated again and put down my pencils.

Even though drawing and I don’t really get along me right now, I know that I have to gain a little mastery over it to really be successful in my chosen future. I’ll keep at it in these little bursts until it frustrates me less, and then I’ll work on it in longer bursts until I’m where I want to be. By then, I might even enjoy the thought of drawing.

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Struggling With Something? Draw It!

Current education theories tell us that there are three-four learning modalities- visual, auditory, kinesthetic (gross motor functions), and tactile (fine motor functions). The mode in which you learn best can be helpful in other areas of your life to, like planning or organizing.

For example, if you are a visual learner, then drawing images of what you are working on can help you see what you are trying to accomplish. You can then make decisions and plan activities to help you continue to move in the direction you want.