Doodling is the brain's way of releasing energy while trying to focus on a task. The more mind-numbing the task (being on hold leaps to mind)... the greater the urge the brain has to break free. Doodling can be such a stress reliever.. if we let it.
During a class back in 2019 a lady asked if I could teach doodling. At the time I thought it odd that such a simple thing needed to be taught, but in an age of easy online criticism, she was afraid of even doodling WRONG. Everything needed to be perfect. More on that disturbing trend later.
So.. let me just say. There is NO WRONG way to doodle! Anything can be a doodle.. from chicken scratch to loops da loops. As long as its pencil to paper.. it's okay. Doodling is way more than an art form, people have been doodling since writing implements were invented. There are even books about doodling, like '200 years of Presidential Doodling'. Check it out, its a cool book.
Mindless doodling, is just that. Don't think! You're sitting at a desk, waiting on the phone. And waiting.... so out comes your pen or pencil. Grab a piece of junk mail, the back of a envelope.. the margin of a catalog.. any of these places can become a doodle canvas! Then just let your hand go where it likes... even if its just lines and circles.. it's a start. When you are done.. toss it or keep it. It's up to you. I've seen great ideas born on the side margins of a telephone pad. What's your favorite thing? Food? draw a slice of pizza...Flowers? draw a daisy... or just draw lumps and bumps and swirls. It does take practice to be "good" at it. To make it look like something. The best doodles are the ones you can make over and over again and not get tired of it. Each time changing and redefining it will make it so much easier the next time.
Then there's the Mindful Doodling or what was the rage a few years ago.. zen doodling. That has rules. Guidelines and patterns. For people fearful of rejection or being made fun of, zen doodling is just the ticket. There are books and videos, what once was just a mindless bit of fun now has careened its way up the hill as an art form. With its guidelines and sets of patterns (let alone the tools now available) it is now possible to make frame worthy doodles every time.
Where does one start? If you are reading this then just do a search on your favorite search engine - mine's DuckDuckGo and do a search for patterns. That's the hardest part. What do I draw inside those boxes? Select three maybe four patterns and then practice them..Yup. I said it... PRACTICE! Draw them in boxes .. in circles... in between wavy lines. Experiment on those back of envelopes and such. And when you are ready. Grab your paper and pencil (you can overlay it with marker or ink if you like it once its done). I wouldn't mark it directly in ink the first couple of times just in case you make a design change or make an oops. Mindful Doodling has form so find some objects, plastic cups for circles, 3x5 cards for boxes or straight edges. Cookie cutters for shapes. Anything will do. Even free-form drawing shapes, too. Anything goes with doodling! Draw your shapes so they overlap. In each space start doodling your patterns. When you hit a line in the design.. change your pattern or color. That's it!
Greetings once again.
As that old song goes "time keeps on slipping into the future" and it is so true when it comes to creativity. "Finding" time is a mistaken idea... as is "making" time. None of these things work when adult life slaps you squarely in the face.
Time doesn't matter when there is passion or joy. It's that simple. If you enjoy it then you will just do it. Ever wonder why times seems to go fast when you are doing something you enjoy...even a chance conversation.. how many times have you said.."oh gosh. Look at the time. Gotta go." Your brain stops counting when you are doing something you love. You lose track of time. How wonderful that feeling is. Those things.. those things on your todo list.. THEY DON'T MATTER, when you are enjoying yourself.
Do you ever wonder why you doodle? Your brain needs to "pass the time". Same reason video games or social media are addicting. They are the insidious paths to passing time, sapping your creativity from reaching out into the world.
SO...What can one do? Carry a journal or small pad of paper and a pencil. Doodle. Even if you can only make stick men and smiley faces. Just draw. And if you don't have a journal. Use the back of an envelope or a napkin, if you are lucky enough to be eating out. There's a cool artist named Ivan Brice who doodles on such things while traveling or working. Leaving your work behind.. might make someone have a better day.
When I was General Manager I use to save my employees doodles (the better ones) and hang them up in my office. Not to remind my employees I knew when they weren't "doing" something, but because I found them interesting as an artist, plus it pointed out to me which employees had a creative mind and needed to be challenged. I have this black and red ball point sun doodle from a former employee who doodled on the phone message pads when talking to customers. It has become a cherished memory since that young man was killed in a car accident a few years ago. He once told me his high school art teacher told him he wasn't any good and he needed therapy because he only drew AC/DC album covers. (That should be a whole other topic)
But you know what? HE STILL DOODLED! Because he enjoyed it.
So you too, get out there and DOODLE, before time just slips away.
Welcome to Artify your Life. It's been tough out there since the pandemic started to get together and share the love of art. So... I decided to start writing a blog! Hope you like it.
The goal is to bring into your life the exuberant energy that every 4 year old knows when they are creating their own masterpieces of art. It is said that every child has this innate sense of being masters of their own domain when they have crayon or brush in their hands. That is, until the age of seven. Then things change... they are no longer the wild abandon of creativity. They become shy and unsure.
Some of us never recover, and I think the world suffers from this lack of art and creativity. Others must be "taught" what goes on the canvas. Still others find their own way, and enjoy it!
Don't be afraid to be judged! Just do it! Those are easy phrases to say, but hard to do. I am hoping in the future to bring you tips to try and projects to create. And I hope that each of you find that 4 year old again and let them play! Hope to hear from you soon.