Glaser’s Reclaimed Doodles

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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There is a lot to be learned from an artist’s random doodles. For example, the most telling thing about Milton Glaser’s sketches made when we served together on the AIGA board during the late 1980s is how beautifully he draws and how vividly and expressively he depicts the human form.

I’d sit next to him at these meetings, making my own scribbles, occasionally peering over to my right in order to take a look at what he was up to. Extraordinary. I routinely noticed he’d either leave them behind or discard them. I never let them be destroyed and collected dozens over the years.

These sketches were entirely impromptu. He wasn’t solving a problem or daydreaming in pictures. I could see that his attention was on the meeting at hand. Glaser says “drawing is thinking,” but I never asked him what he was thinking at the time. These splendid drawings were coming from somewhere deep inside, but not the board meeting, which, I can assure you, was free of nymphs, devils, lions, bears and elephants.


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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →