What Percent of The Population Can Draw?

If you can hold a pen and put it on a piece of paper, then you can draw!

I would say that these are relatively simple requirements and because of that basically almost every person can draw.

There are some unfortunate few who are born with disabilities or have been in an accident that took away this ability.

But excluding that group of people, I would say that almost 100 % of the population can draw, which I am of course going to elaborate on below…

Understanding The Question Properly

If you ask the kids in the second grade of elementary school:

“Who in this class can draw, raise their hand.”

Pretty sure you will see every second-grader raise their hand…

If you ask the same question to a group of adults, on the other hand :), I highly doubt you will see more than a few raise their hand (if any at all).

That is quite interesting, and I think there are two major reasons for this.

  1. Misunderstanding. It is not a question of whether you are very talented and can draw well, which by the way can mean many different things depending on perspective.
  2. Being overly self-critical. Criticizing your drawing as soon as you have put a few lines on the paper. Asking questions like “does this even look good” and making the conclusion that you cannot draw because it doesn’t look like art.

The above often leads many to believe the following:

“I cannot draw because my drawing doesn’t look good, and therefore I cannot be an artist. Why then bother drawing at all…”

But that is a ridiculous and faulty conclusion!

Let me ask you this, did you ever quit writing because it didn’t come out like a poem?

Do you normally write like Shakespeare? Did you ever stop yourself from writing, because it didn’t turn out like a Shakespeare play or a poem?

How Many People Can Draw?

Pie chart showing percentage of people who can draw

Almost everyone can draw…

To sum things up, it might very well be a limiting belief, if you think that you are not able to draw.

Because if you can put a pen on paper or tablet or even a thumb on your phone, then you are able to draw.

In other words, almost everyone should be able to draw and I made this beautiful drawing of a pie chart to prove my point.

After all, drawing and drawing well is not the same. Furthermore, drawing is much more than an art form, and you don’t have to be an artist to draw.

Drawing Is Much More Than Art

Drawing is not just about self-expression, artistic abilities, or just art.

Drawing is a form of communication, and it is a way to think about and express things by using visual representations.

Where a written language uses letters and sentences as its basic elements, drawing uses shapes and forms.

We see and experience this form of communication in our everyday life. It is used to communicate anything from complicated ideas to very simple things.

In my opinion, it is especially useful when we want to clarify or maybe even amplify an understanding of a concept that would be otherwise difficult to explain using only words.

If you are more curious about this subject of viewing drawing as a form of communication, then I suggest you check out the TEDx talk below.

It is a bit long but worth the watch. A key takeaway is viewing images as vessels of meaning. The presentation also addresses the (wrong) belief shared by many that they are not able to draw.

Examples of drawings used as communication effectively:

  • Graphs
  • Maps
  • Pictograms
  • Icons/symbols
  • Emojis
  • Illustrations
  • Signs

And I am sure I forgot many…

This way of communication can be very effective because we as humans and as you probably already know are very visually perceptive. In fact, we have a large part of our brain (the visual cortex), that specializes in processing visual information.

How To Become Better At Drawing

Drawing is a skill that has many parts, I like to say that it is more like a set of skills because it includes many diverse things.

However, like any skill, it takes a lot of hard work and practice to get better.

In order to set yourself on the path to becoming better at drawing, there is really only one way:

Start drawing on a regular basis!

If you can find time to draw on a regular basis and a strong reason for why you want to draw, then you are already on the path.

It also helps if that reason really excites you 🙂

Unsure where to begin?

If you are excited about improving your drawing skills and don’t know where to start, then this should prove helpful to you:

The Bottom Line

The unfortunate truth is that most people will draw something and not be satisfied with how it looks. Based on this observation, they will then conclude that drawing is not for them because they can’t draw.

It is my hope that after reading the above, you now understand why that is a wrong conclusion.

Because your drawing does not have to be a piece of art to be a “drawing”, and it is not a determining factor for your ability to draw.

If your drawing helps you think more clearly and can connect with others, then your drawing works!

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.

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