ARTIST • TEACHER • AUTHOR

Is there any use Doodling?

Priming the Pump to get the creative juices flowing

Do you ever find yourself doodling while talking on the phone? Or when listening to a boring speaker when you should be taking notes?

I often find myself doodling shapes, lines and circles that go on and on in those times and it takes me to a quiet place in my head where I’m not really concentrating! And yet, amazingly I found I have been listening and can recall much of the phone call! I’m not sure how that works, but it is one reason to doodle!

As artists “creating daily can be an exciting – and sometimes daunting – task. Creativity can’t be turned on and off like a faucet – when it comes, the results can be exhilarating, but I know first hand that the dry spells can be really frustrating, too. Blocks are common in the process of art making, and it’s okay to get stuck from time to time. But over time I’ve learned that when all else fails, doodling is the answer.” [1]

There is something special that sparks once we put marks on the paper and draw with no pressure to produce a gorgeous piece of art. I like to think of it as a way of priming the pump to get the creative juices flowing again.

So if you’re feeling a little stuck, or haven’t picked up a pencil in years, choose something – a coloured pencil, a felt pen, a gel pen, or a crayon in your favourite colour and try this little exercise:

Blind Doodling: With your eyes closed, doodle a continuous line around your page without looking at it or picking up your pen. Do it for about a minute, and when the time’s up, have a look at your page. What do you see? Try to doodle something from what you’ve already doodled. Perhaps it’s a face, a creature, an animal, a landscape or an object of some sort.

Happy doodling!

[1] Devries Sokol, Dawn – “Year of the Doodle”, 2015 by Stewart, Tabori & Chang Books.

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