Is Drawing Considered “Art”?

Most people have at some point in their life spent time drawing. It could be anything from small sketches at a boring lecture to large drawings that took many hours of focused attention.

Since you landed on this page, I am pretty sure that you must have spent some time drawing, though it might not have been something you considered art.

But maybe you should?

In simple terms, art is nothing more than arranging elements with the purpose of appealing to the senses or emotions. If that is the purpose of your drawing, it should be considered “art”.

As you can probably guess, there is more depth to the question than that which I will elaborate on below.

The question actually touches upon an old and still controversial philosophical debate on what art truly is.

Drawings That Are Usually Not Considered Art

A common way to make the distinction between what is art and what is not, is to consider the purpose and/or function of the “potential art”.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, art is the making of objects, images, music, etc. that are beautiful or express feelings. Drawing is even listed as an example.

If it is has a function that is more than being aesthetically pleasing or incite some kind of emotion, then it should normally not be considered art.

There are many kinds of drawings that clearly fall outside of this scope, incl.:

  • schematics and technical drawings
  • maps
  • diagrams
  • illustrations, e.g. drawing of an organ

The drawings might have been intentionally created beautifully or even artistic, but they have another purpose as well.

What Can Be Considered “Art”?

As I alluded to above, the question of what can be considered art is actually a deep one, and there is not a clear answer.

I think the best argument as to why that is, is because the designation of what art is, doesn’t rely on any rigid or specific qualities but is instead something we agree upon – a social construct.

It is very rare that all people can agree on the same thing, and therefore it is very likely that there will disagree on whether something is art or not.

You might think your drawing is art, and someone else might disagree. Depending on how you or the other person define art, you could both be right.

That probably seems weird, so let put it in another way:

“Art” is not an absolute thing.

It might be based on just personal preferences regarding what is aesthetically pleasing. Meaning if I don’t find your art beautiful or stirring some interesting emotion, then I would not call it art.

Then again it might be based on requirements for the person creating the art, e.g. the person needs to be a professional who attended an art school.

Or you could say it relies solely on the intention of the creator, meaning if the creator intends to create art, then it is art.

Can My Drawing Be Art?

Art is not an absolute thing and it can depend on many factors individual to the person you ask.

If you think your drawing is a piece of art, then you should call it art. Other people might not agree with it – but who cares?

People will most likely always be disagreeing on whether something can be called art. As our world changes due to new technology, the media we interact with also changes, and we will be able to call new things art that was not imagined before.

About the author: My name is Marcus, I am a lawyer (LL.M.) and the founder of this website. Besides sometimes doing lawyer stuff, I like to draw and improve my skills as a “digital artist”, and I write about what I learn on this website. If you want to know more about me or reach out, then you can click here.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge