Milton Glaser Draws Shakespeare & Explains Why Drawing is the Key to Understanding Life

In this fascinating over-the-shoulder film of the artist/designer Milton Glaser, we watch as the man behind the “I Heart NY” logo, the Bob Dylan psychedelic silhouette, and the Brooklyn Brewery logo draws Shakespeare and delivers his thoughts about drawing.

He only talks for five minutes–and before you know it, he’s produced a sketch of The Bard. We wish it was more, but his observations make for some good inspirational quotes, whether you dabble in art or not. He critiques art schools for dropping drawing from their curriculums because drawing doesn’t jibe with their computer-based, career focus. “While people have what they need, perhaps, for their professional life, what they don’t have is a fundamental instrument for understanding the reality of that life,” he opines.

Drawing is how Glaser understands the world, and how it keeps him present in reality. It’s the basis for all art that is to come, no matter if the student goes on to abstraction. It’s also essential, he says, for child development, and any child not given the tools to make art is being done a disservice.

For those wondering about that book Glaser mentions writing, Drawing Is Thinking, you can get it here.

And if you’re curious about Frank R. Wilson’s The Hand, which Glaser compliments, it’s here.

And finally, if you need a quick primer on the man, here’s a quick overview of Milton Glaser by the New York Times. “Drawing is my greatest pleasure,” he says, and it shows.

Related Content:

World-Renowned Graphic Designer Milton Glaser Has a Laugh on Old Jews Telling Jokes

Sketches of Artists by the Late New Media Designer Hillman Curtis

Mickey Mouse In Vietnam: The Lost Anti-War Animation from 1968

Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at and/or watch his films here.

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