Drawing from Within

Drawing From Within: Unleashing Your Creative Potential
Nick Meglin with Diane Meglin, DCSW

A couple of years ago, one of my drawing students walked into class with a book in her hand and said "This is the best book on drawing! It sounds just like you! You can borrow my copy and read it in a day."

After class, I sat down and did just that. This is the best book on drawing (although I have a few favorites) and I heard echoes throughout of what I tell students in my own drawing classes.
"No one can teach you to draw. Where art education often fails is in the premise that drawing can be taught. It can't. Then how does one learn to draw? One doesn't! One draws! The education of an artist is the result of his or her experiences of drawing."
Nick Meglin knows what he's talking about. He taught drawing and illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City for over ten years and was editor of MAD Magazine for decades.

What a thrill to find a richly illustrated (by 47 different artists), brilliantly written book on drawing by a kindred soul.

One of the most difficult challenges of teaching drawing is to get students to bypass the thinking mind. I use a bit of gesturing to describe the process of making a drawing in my opening classes. Nick Meglin sums up the mechanics of drawing succinctly —
"Ultimately, the drawing instrument becomes only the extension of the eye by way of the hand. The eye sees, the hand reacts, the instrument delivers the message to the drawing surface. It should be a brainless process."
Written with Nick's daughter, the compassionate Diane MeglinDrawing From Withinprovides tremendous support for allowing students to accept their unique efforts. Notions of perfection, mastery and techniques are great hurdles for adults who want to draw.
"Drawing without concern about "making a drawing" is what personal, sincere self-expression is all about. And the wonderful paradox is that the work that is sincere, personal, and created for one's own satisfaction is what is most often celebrated by both critics and public alike."
Each of the fourteen chapters is completed by a set of relevant exercises. You can use this book to set yourself on a drawing course for life. The remarkable quality of Drawing From Within is that — in addition to being a great book on drawing — the Meglins make the connection for the reader of drawing practice being the key that unlocks the barriers to creative expression.
The creative process often provides answers when no questions were asked, arrives at solutions where problems weren't apparent, and ties into neat packages many thoughts and ideas that were previously isolated or unrelated. This process isn't unique to the art of drawing alone. It is true of each form and fashion of art and it's true of all creative endeavors."
Drawing From Withinis fun to read. It's a page turner! How many books can you say that about?