Chapter 1 raises the question of the meaning and significance of drawing in contemporary culture: with technology at our fingertips that enables us to make and share images within moments, why do people still bother to draw? In response to this question, I present instances of drawing that exemplify and particularize the range of circumstances and professions in which drawing occurs. Citing examples of initiatives that have been taken since 2000 to research and promote drawing in Europe and North America, I suggest that drawing is flourishing, among professional artists as well as hobbyists. This situation calls for an examination of the lived experience of drawing for those who practice it. The chapter concludes with an explication of the focus of the book on observation drawing with primarily traditional media.