Some real gems in this New York Times article called “Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing”:
With both of these types of drawings, there is a certain joy in their creation, which comes from the interaction between the mind and the hand. Our physical and mental interactions with drawings are formative acts. In a handmade drawing, whether on an electronic tablet or on paper, there are intonations, traces of intentions and speculation. This is not unlike the way a musician might intone a note or how a riff in jazz would be understood subliminally and put a smile on your face.
As I work with my computer-savvy students and staff today, I notice that something is lost when they draw only on the computer. It is analogous to hearing the words of a novel read aloud, when reading them on paper allows us to daydream a little, to make associations beyond the literal sentences on the page. Similarly, drawing by hand stimulates the imagination and allows us to speculate about ideas, a good sign that we’re truly alive.
I recommend reading the whole thing, especially for the author’s comments on the three types of architectural drawing: the “referential sketch,” the “preparatory study” and the “definitive drawing,” a process that is analogous to what some writers go through when preparing a novel.
When I write, it’s on a computer. I rarely write by hand because the pen cannot keep up with my mind. My hand is not strong, or fast enough, to track the flow of my thoughts. I do make notes on paper (my “referential sketch”, the occasional “preparatory study”) — but when it comes to the actual act of writing the story, I have to move fast or else lose the flow of words as they tumble out.
But typing, that connection to the instrument with which I create, has its own tactile pleasure. When my fingers fly — or I make that satisfying clicking sound — even, the very act of pressing the keys — all of that is part of the riff. My fingers are the bow and the keyboard is the string, and I’m composing my music on the computer. All the emotions bundled inside, poured into words in one long melody.
Architects are storytellers. So are dancers. Musicians. Sculptors. Artists. Each of us has an instrument that brings out the best in our art (our own bodies, a pen and paper, paints — a chisel and hammer).
What brings out the best in you?