Blogs by InnovatorsBox®

LESSONS FROM MOUNTAIN DRAWING

How do you draw a mountain?

When I was growing up in Washington DC, I did not know how to draw it. However, my parents tell me that I started drawing mountains as soon as I moved to South Korea, and they’d be in every illustration I drew. What was different? Education? It was most likely the exposure and experience.

DC landscape is mostly flat. To see any curve of a mountain, you have to drive out 2 hours to see the first glimpse of Shenandoah Valley. On the other hand, over 75% of Korea peninsula is mountains. As a child, I was apparently shocked at what mountains meant having never been exposed to them before. I may have struggled to draw something I have never seen before but as soon as I saw them with my eyes in Korea, I was able to draw them with ease. I still sketch mountains like that as I start to draw.

Studies show this interesting phenomenon in every child. When you ask a child in China to draw mountains, you get a sharp tall mountain scenery.

Ask a child in Korea, and you’ll often get rounded hilly mountains. This reflects their visualization by type of mountains that exist in Korea and China. It’s not their fault for not being able to draw the other types of mountains that also exist. They are just absorbing and expressing what they see and experience.

This makes me wonder how we spend time understanding the world.

How would our learning be different if we focused more on experiential learning instead of memorization?
How would our understanding of diversity change if we were exposed to diverse cultures and languages earlier in our lives?
Would we be understanding of how everyone’s ‘mountain drawing’ is different when we work in the office? Or that there are various types of mountains? Or that it is not someone’s fault for their inability to draw mountains that they’ve never seen?
I’m reminded of this as I look out my window at a DC view where I no longer see the mountain views that I commonly saw in South Korea.

How would you draw mountains?

With love,

Founder & CEO, InnovatorsBox

About the Author

Picture of Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang, Founder, and CEO of InnovatorsBox® and Author of Rethink Creativity is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. She helps companies rethink culture, leadership, and team development by making creativity practical and relatable regardless of industry or job title. She has worked with clients worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government, and nonprofits. Monica’s work has been recognized by The White House, Ashoka Changemakers, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Prior to InnovatorsBox®, Monica was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert. She holds an M.A. from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a B.A. from Boston University.

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