Drawing as Thinking


Our brains are amazing, aren’t they? So much of the brain is dedicated to the visual. In fact, roughly 1/3 of the weight of the human brain is related to vision. This compares to an eagle’s brain which is 90% vision. The left hemisphere of brain has longer focus and is able to concentrate on the smaller details yet, the right hemisphere is bigger on the whole. 

So the questions becomes, could we use image as knowledge? Perhaps use photos as thinking? What’s behind this visual thinking?

I think it goes to the quality of our thinking. When we come across problems to solve, often strategy a visual act. I know that sometimes I work through an idea by drawing it out like a story. Not fine art type drawing but more on the doodle side of things. It helps me see the path to get to the objective or destination, quickly and wholly. 

As a visual artist I understand the power of the visual, but there’s also the dominance of the verbal mind in our evolution. Have you ever asked yourself, what do you believe -what you SEE or, what you HEAR others say?

Here’s something to try. The next time you run across a problem, try to draw out your thoughts. Kind of like Storyboarding. Often, it reveals ideas and organizes them in a way that allows us to see the pattern of the solution through visual thinking. Or, is it really just seeing?


Allison Towe