I don’t know about you but with the ubiquitousness of computing, my handwriting is in the toilet. Evidently it’s not just me and it’s not just handwriting. From a C-NET story (via Slashdot), it would appear that art students have become more comfortable drawing by computer than with paper and ink. According to university art professors:
Students are more comfortable manipulating computer graphics than doodling, drafting and drawing with pen on paper, and this has created a sharp decline in drawing skills in recent years, teachers say. Additionally, tech-savvy students simply lack the initiative and persistence developed by drawing, resulting in uninspired work–at least work on paper. “I see an increasing passivity on the part of students,” says Marc Treib, a University of California, Berkeley architecture professor.
Unfortunately, it would seem that commercial interests may be partially to blame:
John Woodbridge, director of the San Francisco-based university’s School of Computer Arts-New Media, says traditional art skills are important but students aspiring to become commercial artists must be conversant with software because employers say they want artists and “production people” capable of working with an increasing number of programs.
This paragraph would explain why I choose to make patterns by hand:
Computer graphics allow artists to move briskly. By contrast, drawing on paper can be frustrating, forcing concentration, introspection and revision as an idea or vision takes shape. The process hones essential skills and sensitivity and personality that make artwork unique, instructors say.
Before I read this, I didn’t realize how fundamental the ongoing thought process for the duration of the work was necessary to render a quality result because it’s not just drawing. I imagine the same process would be true of designing. And it explains the necessity of solid blocks of uninterrupted time in which to do it. There’s no way to multi-task pattern making.
Back to my original point, the reduced quality of my handwriting is not relational to the issues of art students. Bad handwriting does not affect my ability to string words together -only to read them- making computing an easy substitute in most circumstances. My spouse may kindly defer from commenting.