Drawing, in the same way as speech, writing, gestures and facial expressions, is a fundamental way of communicating with the outside world. Historically the earliest, technically the rawest, but also the purest intellectually, it’s one of the most direct forms of expression – used as a standalone work just as often as a simple raw sketch of a bigger project. Even as little children, as soon as we are able to grab a pen and a piece of paper, we instantly feel the need to use it in order to inform the world about our presence.
Drawing is a very natural way of transferring our thoughts and feelings into marks and lines. It records our emotions and impressions. The character of the line we make often reflects our own character – after all, our handwriting is a kind of drawing as well. We can easily start to draw at any second and capture the moment on a piece of paper. We can draw with anything, anywhere. We don’t need to prepare or buy anything, we don’t need specialistic knowledge, we don’t need experience.
Drawings are always truthful and timeless. They can be made hastily and spontaneously or with attention to every detail – but ultimately it doesn’t matter. Even poorly made ones will always reflect our emotions and tell the truth about ourselves. An attentive viewer will often find more answers in a drawing than in text or speech.
Can drawing, in its most traditional understanding, still be a relevant field of art in today’s world, dominated by mass media and technology? It is an interesting time: we might witness a complete redefinition of drawing, or maybe the opposite – we will disregard technology and turn back to more primal ways of expression, without the use of electronic devices or binary code. Perhaps a new concept of drawing, not limited to pen and paper, will have to fight for its autonomy and equal force of expression in the dialogue with other fields of art.