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!