From retaining more information in lectures to creative problem-solving skills, drawing and doodling have benefits for any student.
Art majors at USD are required to take three separate drawing classes as part of their degree. But beyond these classes, art majors are constantly drawing. Art students, as well as many non-art majors, have a tendency to doodle in their notebooks during class, which can actually be a beneficial tactic for note taking.
According to a piece by Matt Davis on Big Think, doodling impacts how the brain processes information. The reason, according to Davis, is that it can help students pay attention during a boring lecture by helping to maintain a baseline stimuli when other stimuli are lacking.
In fact, Davis cites a EurekAlert piece that stated how people who doodle during class or meetings are 29 percent more likely to remember information covered during this period.
Another benefit of drawing is improved problem-solving skills, according to a post by Hessam Moussavi on LinkedIn. According to the post, drawing can help individuals realize that there can be multiple solutions to a problem.
In the literal sense, drawing allows art students to fully develop the artwork they are working on. For graphic design students at USD, they often sketch out several possible layouts for websites or logo ideas. For painting and printmaking majors, sketching and drawing allow these majors to develop what their final image might be.
For engineering majors, drawing or sketching could possibly allow them to improve design for a project. For example, it could allow civic engineers the ability to work through designing a bridge or building.
According to the same post on LinkedIn, drawing can increase the mobility of one’s hands. This has to do with how different techniques for drawing and shading require different hand, wrist and even arm movement. In Michael Hook’s figure drawing class, he requires his students to draw while standing up because he believes that drawing involves using the whole body.
For students who are hoping to pursue a career in medicine, specifically surgery, drawing can help them to start developing some of the necessary muscle memory for using a scalpel. This stems from how one may turn their wrist while drawing.
Another benefit drawing offers is that it can help increase non-verbal communications. Art therapy expert Cathy Machioldi was quoted in an article on Alive’s website that the visual arts have the advantage of being a method of non-verbal communication. In the field of art therapy, drawing is a way for people to share how they’re feeling. Strengthening one’s drawings abilities can help to find new ways to get points across without using words.
Regardless of why one decides to draw, drawing can be beneficial for any number of reasons. So pick up a pen or pencil and doodle a bit in your notebook during class, or go out and buy a sketchbook, and do some drawing for fun.