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Visual literacy

Neha Kumari  | New Delhi |

A picture is worth a thousand words ~ this aptly describes the art of drawing as well. A powerful tool of visual communication, the worth of drawing is often not recognised when a child is growing up. Pointing to the importance of drawing in a child's development, experts say it is the single most accessible form of art available. All one needs is a pencil and a sheet of paper. 
 According to several health reports, many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills (a motor skill is simply an action that involves a child using its muscles) in young children 3-4 years old. Drawing, sculpting with clay and threading beads on a string all develop visual-spatial skills, which are more important than anything. Even toddlers know how to operate a smart phone or tablet, which means that even before they can read, kids are taking in visual information, the reports add. 
 Doodle, India's first unique children's drawing festival, aimed at spreading "visual literacy", brought together children of all ages can come together to draw, paint, scribble, sketch, imagine, innovate, create, doodle or "simply get inspired". A fun-packed event held in the Capital recently, it combined workshops by handpicked creative artists, exhibitions, interactive sessions and many other ways of experiencing and understanding drawing. It stimulated children's creativity by giving them an opportunity to shake hands with professional artists, who shared their knowledge and encouraged young minds to explore their imagination.  
 Commenting on the event Ajit Narayan, a freelance professional cartoonist and the brain behind Doodle festival said, "I not only want more people to draw but also wish for everyone to understand how significant drawing is as a means of communication. A person doesn't have to be really literate to be able to understand what a drawing is trying to say."