International Journal of Art & Design Education

Early Obsessive Drawings and Personal Development

Volume 16.2   1997



Drawing activity may not be inherently therapeutic, but evidence of the affect of (traumatic) experience in drawings, is especially apparent in the work of some exceptionally creative persons and of children who draw obsessively. The notion of drawing as potentially therapeutic rather than merely responsive, assumes that the activity and the imagery are interactive in some way with the personality and development of those who draw. This assumption is supported by a new childhood-to-maturity case-study, which focuses on the drawing and development of one individual with exceptional drawing skills, who has gradually emerged from acute learning, emotional and social difficulties. The evidence from his drawings over a twenty-year period is extended by his own memories (and current observations) of their early motivation and significance.