i recently read a blog that brought up the question of whether an artist needs to learn to draw to be an artist. i don't know if there is a "need" or a "should". what i do know is my own experience.
drawing connects to my right brain activity which is a non-verbal place of creating. i look at something and i follow the outline, shape, form. my eye is the worker bee here, and my hand. i develop eye/hand coordination which will help me when i put brush or pencil to paper to develop a finished work. i explore without analyzing, without words, which i think helps my imagination. allowing my right brain to work gives me the freedom from shoulds and rules and supposed-to's. it is very clear -- my eye sees, my hand follows what my eye sees and, because of lack of verbal analyzing, clarity comes with freedom. my eye and hand learn to follow line and bulk and my brain remembers, so when i draw from imagination, not from life, i have developed a language to work from. i can put my ideas down on paper using a wealth of language i have developed.
i think this is the main reason for me to draw. i expand and fine tune language for creating. drawing gets my creative juices going. it puts me in a right brain place where rules don't have to exist. there is no judgement either. i just draw or paint without the filters of analysis or words. that's for later when i look at my work and decide what i can change, improve or discard. drawing reminds me that creating isn't about the end product. it's about the process or the journey of discovery.