WRITING, DRAWING, & THE LINES OF THOUGHT

Writing and drawing are practically twin siblings.

They’re two peas in a pod, from the inception of a flickering notion. That’s because words are nothing but lines—curved, straight, connected, and otherwise—brought together to help us digest another person’s thoughts. And drawing helps us see those thoughts as if we could peek around the corners of someone’s mind and observe the still frames for each idea.

I’ve always known how to draw. I took several formal drawing courses in college, and my graphic design background helped me determine how drawing could be used in my creative writing.

But it goes beyond lines. Both writing and drawing require form and function, because a word that doesn’t make sense will tie our brain into a knot; and a thoughtless collection of scribbles will force our brain to discard the subject altogether. That means each word of a sentence must be strategically chosen, just as each line of a drawing must be applied with care. One serves the other, a back and forth between our mind’s eye and our mind’s heart.

I was reminded of that interdisciplinary relationship after recently spotting a how-to book on drawing in a local arts and crafts store. It was more than a stroll down memory lane though; instead, the experience reached through my cranium and gripped my consciousness like the shock of stubbing a toe or biting a lip (except without the subsequent irritation, of course). It was a small epiphany: the connection between writing and drawing. I’ve actively incorporated drawing—in one way or another—into my work as a creative writer but I’ve never formally explored that relationship. So here I am, writing today, my perspective now shared…with the hope that it might inspire you as well.

Because in my opinion, everyone can write and anyone can draw—maybe not professionally, but at least on a personal level, for personal benefit—but sadly, most misplace their fervent desire to engage those activities when moving from childhood to adulthood. So, dear readers, I urge all of you to pick up a pen, pencil, marker, etc. and grab a piece of paper. Write and draw whatever comes to your mind. Explore, discover, build, or invent. Create and color. Feel like a kid again…but instead of putting out the fire and packing the tent once the experience has ended, keep stoking the flames and never let them die.

Writing and drawing connect the mind with the heart, so go make art!

Writing © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved; illustration © 2016 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.