Drawing has always been a BIG part of my life. My love for drawing started when I was quite young. During those early days of my engagement with print media, I was mesmerized by the Hardy Boys illustrative Classics and Archie comics, and I started to draw “childlike” creations of what I was reading. My love for drawing remains true till this day, and it is the basis of my illustrative paintings – and let’s think about it, every great painting begins with the act of drawing to some degree.
While in school, I learned to utilize my ability to sketch and draw to my advantage. Essentially, I was able to encapsulate the large volumes of information presented during lectures in sketches, and sometimes in detailed drawings. One had to be “quick on the draw” to keep up. This led to a personal discovery of my most astute ability- my visual/spacial intelligence.
A recent post on Fast Company highlighted recent research done by the University of Waterloo, Ontario that discovered that drawing is particularly beneficial for older adults regarding memory. This is so because certain regions of the brain dealing with memory remain intact in spite of aging. As human beings age, the brain deteriorates; oftentimes leading to diseases that affect memory like dementia and Alzheimer’s, so episodic memory is directly affected. What is interesting however, is that while structures like the hippocampus in the brain (thanks Fallout 4) that deal with memory retrieval and coding may deteriorate, regions associated with visuospacial skills remain mostly intact, and this is what aids in the memory retention despite the effects of aging.
Illustrations by Adrian Blake.
There are myriads of studies that prove the positive correlation between drawing and memory development and retention. Each individual has unique skills and talents, and I know that not everyone will become famous artists and illustrators. However, if only for the fact that drawing promotes memory retention in humans as they age, or simply just passing the time without the guilt of wasting it, it is a good enough reason for everyone to explore their creativity and simply draw more. For as Paul Klee said: “A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.”