On Drawing

POSTED ON: February 7, 2017

By Sam Chun

Applying to college can be stressful and confusing. Art colleges are no different. There is as much preparation in the application process as any other school. Portfolios are a huge component to showing schools your thought process as well as your skill. And drawing is one of the major ways to show these schools your ability to bring thought into the tangible world. It’s proof of your ability to draw and also how you present your personal visual language to portfolio reviewers. 

Drawing is the foundation to a majority of artists in their practice. It allows them to see ideas develop in real time. It is also a form or recording ones thought process, which allows an artist to revisit and rework ideas. Drawing develops their ability to observe and observation is a skill that requires one to pay attention to the details while at the same time keeping in mind the image as a whole. Observation and drawing come hand in hand which then allows the artist to use their imagination in ways that can push their ideas into much stranger and attention grabbing territories. These are all attributes of drawing that portfolio reviewers are able and would like to see either in your portfolio or in your sketchbook. 

But above all else, it’s important to have fun and to enjoy your experience while drawing. I’ve heard that you can taste the mood of the cook when the food was being made. And I believe that drawing can show a similar kind of transfer of emotion as well. When you are enjoying the process of making work, you will find that you are much more open to learning and more willing to explore new ideas. And that's when the best kind of work is made.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.