I received a message from fellow artist John Bolton, where he was describing his artistic style, and he included this comment:
I cheekily call myself an artist, but in truth, I cannot draw. Landscapes, people, flowers etc are a complete mystery to me.
It’s interesting to me that we still consider being able to draw a prerequisite for being an artist. I can’t remember the last time I sat down and actually drew anything other than a rough sketch or doodles.
When did this idea that you need to be able to draw get started, anyway, and why does it persist? Is it a right of passage to be able to draw before you can be considered an artist?
I’m guessing that it started in the days before photography, when art was the only way to get a realistic rendering. But now that we have photography to cover that need, why is realistic drawing still required?
Here are some photographs of John’s incredible art, just so you can get an idea of how unrelated it is to drawing. It’s hard to imagine that he might not consider himself to be an artist just because doesn’t think he can draw.
What do you think? Should realistic drawing continue to be a requirement for art? Are there some other qualifications one needs before declaring themselves an artist? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share them with us in the comments section below.
With love and appreciation,