Imagine that you have a pencil and a piece of paper. You proceed to make a few marks with your pencil on your paper. Now stop and look what you have done.
You have done one of two things. One outcome is that you have produced a recognizable lingual character. If you did not produce a character in your language, then you have drawn, doodled, made something unrecognizable.
This binary result is, of course, a product of our culture. With the limitless possibilities of what can be done with a pencil and a piece of paper, this either / or set of cultural possibilities is stunningly limiting.
To say this with more emotion, there you are in grade school, and you have your pencil and paper. And the sooner that you make marks that are comprehensible in your language, the better you will do. If you proceed to make marks, however interesting, that are not characters, well then you are not very smart. You are not getting it. And from this point on, the subjugation of drawing to writing is one of the central enculturations of your education.
I googled the phrase “between writing and drawing” (please do the same), and nearly all of the results were focused on early developmental and educational concepts. Most of the google results immediately started talking about kindergarten and the child’s ability to differentiate, with their pencil, between the two.
You can make any of the following with your pencil: sketch, picture, illustration, representation, portrayal, delineation, depiction, rendering, or a study. But in our early enculturation, what is valued the most is your ability, with your pencil, to make lingual characters.
It’s probably unfair, but I found this abstract from a psychological paper, written in 2001 by Esther Adi-Japha and Norman H. Freeman. And I simply have to leave you with this. Note how, toward the end of the passage, they talk about interference between writing and drawing. Interference? Really?
“When does a writing system emerge out of children’s drawing to separate (a) script processing and production from (b) picture processing and production? And does one system’s activation help or hinder the other system’s operation? Children 4–12 years of age wrote repeated Os and Vs and drew matching shapes, in the contexts of script and of pictures. The technique elicits matching products in order to identify differences between production kinematics in different contexts. A transition occurred around age 6 in which (a) production was more fluent for writing than drawing and (b) activation of one system interfered with the other.”
Adi-Japha, Esther; Freeman, Norman H.
Developmental Psychology, Vol 37(1), Jan 2001, 101-114.