Putting Pencil to Paper | The Importance of Drawing

This week’s #TheBlogRace challenge asked us to create a multi-platform campaign raising awareness to an October-specific cause. Wow, that’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it?

My fellow contestants have so far created some amazing and inspiring campaigns, raising awareness for many things including Dyslexia, Breast Cancer and World Ostomy Day. There have been heartfelt and informative threads, creative Instagram posts (I’m looking at you, Cherie!) and just heap loads of well-intended and important awareness. Basically, it’s stiff competition – but I’m glad, because, awareness.

Today, I’m sharing both parts of my campaign (the other part being over on Instagram stories for the next 24 hours), which is promoting and raising awareness for the importance of drawing. Yep, drawing. Initially, I’ll admit, drawing probably doesn’t have the same emotional pull as speaking about mental health and life-changing diseases do, but it has its place in supporting people to become balanced, functional adults (I’ll let you know when I get there) and October is the month of The Big Draw.

The Big Draw is an arts education charity, promoting visual literacy and drawing as a universal language – one that is used for learning, expression and invention.

They champion the importance of drawing and organise events primarily for children and schools, to promote drawing and reiterate it’s importance in learning and the UK curriculum. Even though The Big Draw mainly holds events for younger brains, they champion us all to get drawing and I truly believe that drawing can help every single one of us, for so many different reasons.

Even though I always loved drawing and art in school, it was all quickly dropped when I left. Even though I kept my passion for pencil slightly alive when working in print design, it’s been a while since I really sat down and sketched. Below is one of my favourite pen sketches from my morning of drawing, which if you squint your eyes a little almost looks like something that could be sold on Etsy… but maybe not.

Anyway, without further ado, The Big Draw, why drawing is good for us and just how to get more drawing into our lives (oh and reminders to vote in #TheBlogRace).

Photo-06-10-2017-13-24-00 Putting Pencil to Paper | The Importance of Drawing

Why drawing is good for us

Drawing improves coordination

We’ve all been rubbish at drawing, haven’t we? Much like anything that requires motor skills, drawing requires practice. If practice happens then those fine motor skills will only get better and better, and those motor skills can support us in other areas of our lives too – all thanks to drawing.

Your brain actually grows (well, kinda)

As we use our brains and minds when we draw, we actively build new pathways which results in brain growth. No, your head won’t suddenly swell, but we are giving our brains the variety they need to stay in tip-top shape. After hours and hours in front of screens, they tend to get bored and drawing is one way to bring both the creative and logical sides back to life!

It lowers anxiety

Often roots of anxiety stem from worrying about the future or re-living bad moments from the past – drawing requires us to be in the present moment. When we draw we’re constantly making decisions about how to depict our subject and therefore we have to be completely in the moment. Even if we get distracted (me, constantly) we have to bring ourselves back to what’s going on in front of us – a mindfulness skill that helps lower levels of anxiety.

It’s the foundation of artistic creation

Even if you work in an industry not naturally leaned towards artistic creativity, many of us have creative hobbies, passions or dreams that we’d one day like to live out. Drawing is a building block of basically all art. Developing the ability to draw in different styles can develop into any other art forms; sculpture, interior design, graphic design, pattern design, photography and so much more!

Drawing gives us a truly personal perspective

When we notice something beautiful, many of us now whip out our phones to capture it. To an extent, this is pretty great – an easy method of capturing moments and memories – but drawing allows us to see and experience what’s in front of us from a truly unique perspective. The end result of drawing also includes emotion, something that can be hard to capture in an iPhone snap.

How to draw more every day

Many of us don’t have the time or need to fit drawing into our everyday lives (unless you’re like an actual artist fella), so instead of leaving you with all these amazing reasons to get back into drawing, I figured it’s only kind to round this lil’ awareness post off with some actionable ways to get involved in The Big Draw – whether it’s on a big scale or a small one (that’s kind of a drawing pun, right?).

Organise an event

If you want to organise an event then follow this link, alternatively have a check out for any local events and get involved! This year’s theme is #LivingLines, which I interpreted in my drawing hyper-lapse (over on Instagram) by doing a try-not-to-take-the-pen-off-the-page drawing – because… loads of lines!

Illustrate your to-do lists

When I make a to-do list I usually procrastinate for an extra half an hour before actually starting it. I’m sure I’m not alone in doing this, so utilising that wasted time by adding some illustrations to your to-do list really does kill two birds with one stone (the birds are not wasting time and drawing btw). Also, super fun for shopping lists!

Jump from doodling

Doodling is kind of like drawing but without the concentration. Whenever I have a doodle I always tend to carry on creating weird cubes and flowers long after the boring thing has passed/been dealt with. This is a great way to get drawing hours in, jumping off from a few doodles and turning things into an actual sketch!

Take it off the paper

Traditionally, you draw on paper, I mean that’s pretty well-known, right? How about making it all a little more interesting and instead of creating a picture to hang, creating a life-size art piece to experience. Aside from sounding a little bit wanky, I think painting and drawing on walls, cars, clothing, furniture is a great idea! It makes it fun for those who don’t like traditional art – this from the girl who once projected a picture of a VW Bettle onto her wall and traced over it in crayon…

Draw out photo compositions

Especially for my other #TheBlogRace challenges, I’ve really relied on sketching out photo compositions and general layout ideas to solidify my concept. It’s something that I didn’t think of as drawing in the past, but of course, it is! If you’re a fellow blogger this is probably the easiest way to get drawing and start gaining all of the wonderful benefits that drawing has. Get into the habit of sketching out your flat lay, roughing out your blog post layout or even adding digitally sketched words and symbols to images.

Start a sketch diary

Much like a regular diary, daily entries of sketches or small drawings is a creative way to not only record your life and practice drawing but to encapsulate certain emotions or feelings in real visual language. Visual language is universal and learning to refine our visual communication skills only gives us another weapon in our personal arsenal.

Join a drawing challenge

Finally, a sure-fire way to get into drawing in any way would be to join a drawing challenge. Instagram has some great ones going on, including #inktober, which a few bloggers and makers have been getting involved with! With most challenges you follow a prompt as to what to draw – which automatically solves the biggest problem of actually getting the pencil to paper, doesn’t it?

Have you heard of The Big Draw before? I hadn’t but I’m glad that the arts are still being fought for. Not only am I surprised to learn of all the benefits of drawing, but I’m also pretty damn inspired to revisit drawing myself (hops to Amazon to buy a notebook).

Let me know if you’re a big drawer; did you study art in school and then forget all about it? (my hand is up). Or have you always been a sketcher and doodler?

Until next time,


This post was created as part of a multi-platform campaign for challenge 4 of #TheBlogRace. Thanks to Vix and Laila for creating the blog race, and if you fancy voting for me on Saturday 7th, then click here!