Drawing as a tool of thought: an investigation of drawing, cognition, and creativity that integrates text and hand-drawn images.
Drawing is a way of constructing ideas and observations as much as it is a means of expressing them. When we are not ready or able to put our thoughts into words, we can sometimes put them down in arrangements of lines and marks. Artists, designers, architects, and others draw to generate, explore, and test perceptions and mental models. In Drawing Thought, artist-educator Andrea Kantrowitz invites readers to use drawing to extend and reflect on their own thought processes. She interweaves illuminating hand-drawn images with text, integrating recent findings in cognitive psychology and neuroscience with accounts of her own artistic and teaching practices.
The practice of drawing seems to be found across almost all known human cultures, with its past stretching back into the caves of prehistory. It takes advantage of the ways in which human cognition is embodied and situated in relationship to the environments in which we find ourselves. We become more aware of the interplay between our external surroundings and the inner workings of our minds as we draw. We can trace moments of perception and understanding in a sketchbook that might otherwise be lost, and go back to reexamine and revise those traces later. Kantrowitz encourages readers to draw out their own ideas and observations through a series of guided exercises and experiments, with her lively drawings and engaging text pointing the way. Drawing is a tool for thought in anyone’s hands; it is creativity in action.
About the Author
Andrea Kantrowitz, an artist and educator, is Associate Professor and Director of the Art Education Program at SUNY New Paltz. She leads workshops and symposia on art and cognition around the world.