Drawing is a marginalized skill. It’s left to the artist and other creative professionals. At a very young age we are encouraged to nurture this ability because from the moment we can pick up a pencil or crayon we can make marks – and in these marks we can see (as the viewer) anything. It’s our window into the mind of children. We spend the first couple of years in school simply drawing. But just as soon as we begin to hone the ability to communicate through images it is stripped away from us. We are forced into written arguments and rote memorization to shape our relationships with the world.
An argument for drawing out-loud being more intimately expressive of everyday context than standard ethnography techniques is probably rather obvious – but it bears repeating.
Unfortunately, our society is burdened with clichés like “a picture says a thousand words” and we are seldom encouraged to look deeper at the raw expressive quality of marks on paper, lines and shapes.