…..one of the most important tools of visualisation is drawing.

I am not concerned that nurseries are not introducing children to hand and finger manipulation to express themselves, or the knowledge and understanding of colours and the tactile media they are presented with. Most importantly, of course, their hand/mind co-ordination, necessary for the lightest or  firmest of grip to touch, hold and lift anything for the next potential sixty plus years. Rather the drawing skills among ten year olds onward are vanishing, technical drawings by hand almost unheard of. Even drawing to domestic screens with stylus is rare.

I am worried that the ability to imagine a three dimensional object stereoscopically in one’s minds eye then rotate it, take it to pieces, modulate it and even mutate it to a functional object mentally, is lost to most. Now the ‘creative’ child or teenager is becoming dependant on the machine visualising for them. The best ideas really were scribbled on napkins or envelopes. I am writing this now, on paper before transferring it through the keyboard, even that is rapidly being pursued by the audio command and dictation software writer.

At 11 years old, I started several years of technical drawing (T.D.) and art classes beside the basics. Performing tasks which are now instant at the touch of a key or stylus or more difficultly by a computer mouse. I was lucky desk top publishing software was on the market when I graduated as a Graphic Designer, so witnessed the process of change from both sides, the old and the new. The ability to visualise three dimensionally is a skill used by all, most importantly when driving, thinking about the length of your vehicle within a tight space particularly. I am most worried that the ability to draw and express oneself, even if it is only to stave off boredom, will be lost. I am assured, for instance, that cartoons and comics will never vanish, but already the uniformity of computer line drawing, filling in and the grading of colour and texture because of the way pixels interlace is producing a similarity that defeats individual talent and identity.

Getting hands on the control interface and the 2D screen is leaving pencils and pens redundant when not only the ability but the pleasure to realise a potential idea and note it for further use or even rush it to the drawing board or screen is being sapped away by the latter. I have a good mind to photograph this page for my blog!

I am stuck with the habit of writing in capital letters, because it is fast for me. It happened because I was taught and advised to write all printer’s instructions this way so there were no disputable misunderstandings. So that if 10,000 copies were printed in the wrong colour after client’s proofed work, a printer could forget about invoicing me. I have read recently of illegible handwriting by those leaving school with only keyboard skills.

This pen is slipping and sliding a little on this glossy paper because I am recycling an old book as a memo pad. It was a book design mock-up, which had to be a centimetre thick. Can you imagine a text instruction from a mobile phone to a professional printer defining the weight and texture of the paper to be used let alone the colour mark-ups, resulting in every poster in a country announcing the name of a famous company, misspelt and logotype in the wrong colour? That is the other potential of drawing or writing in these penstrokes (the spellcheck can’t find penstrokes incidentally)! My scrawl gives up its mistakes faster than something that is not in a database and therefore paradoxically hiding, beautifully displayed in a uniform tidy typeface but wrong. My hand writing is a form of drawing remember, and its personalised, unique.

Philosophers such as George Berkeley and David Hume, and early experimental psychologists such as Wilhelm Wundt and William James, understood ideas in general to be mental images, and today it is very widely believed that much imagery functions as mental representations (or mental models), playing an important role in memory and thinking. Some have gone so far as to suggest that images are best understood to be, by definition, a form of inner, mental or neural representation. In the case of hypnagogic and hypnapompic imagery, it is not representational at all. Others reject the view that the image experience may be identical with (or directly caused by) any such representation in the mind or the brain, but do not take account of the non-representational forms of imagery.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_image

what do you think?

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