Straight as an Arrow


When I teach the basics of drawing, the first thing my students learn is to draw a straight line. This simple act is the basis of design discipline — there are several aspects of mental and physiological skills that have to happen in concert to produce our wonderful line.

Physiological discipline is the understanding of how our arm and body functions and taking advantage of its limits. The mental discipline involved is a simple act of looking to where you need to go. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but it’s even faster when we’re looking at the finish. Where our mind goes, our body will follow.

In my never-ending quest to understand life, I realize the act of drawing a simple line is all that’s needed to accomplish any goal — look to the finish or in other words, “Keep your eye on the prize.” When we focus on where we need to be, every action we take will get us closer to the goal. We don’t waver, we don’t get distracted. We focus on the endpoint and our line is straight as an arrow.

This is true discipline. This is design.