“Although imitation of others’ drawings has often been disparaged by Western art education [e.g., Arnheim, 1978; Cižek, 1927; Lowenfeld, 1947], transmission of cultural conventions
through imitation of external stimuli has long been recognized as a spontaneous and
common trait of development in general [Piaget, 1951].”
I always felt that tracing was discouraged and it was.
This thing I’m reading, “Explaining ‘I Can’t Draw’: Parallels between the Structure and Development of Language
and Drawing “, is explaining why Japanese children are so far advanced in drawing compared to ANYWHERE else in the world, but particularly in contrast to America.
It’s the consistency of style that forms a common language, whereas in the USA there’s such a variety of cartooning / drawing styles that it’s hard to know who to pick, the exception being American children who cluster around Japanese cartoon style.
I think memes are changing some of that. I see many common imitative forms with embedded meanings forming a common language.