I’ve enjoyed doodling since I was a little one. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered how frequently I liked to doodle, especially during online meetings.
At school doodling was always a “no-no” thing to do. But, I have always found it helpful and grounding in so many ways. Doodling is how I start to imagine my patterns or a starting point for new illustrations.
What is doodling?
Doodling is making spontaneous and quick marks (scribbles) that take on many forms, from images of concrete objects to abstract images, complex repetitive patterns and really anything that your mind comes up with.
The more you doodle the more you begin to find certain marks stay with you, and new ones often come up.
Doodling can help in many ways
- It can spur on creativity
- Help you process emotions
- Help you under stressful moments
- It can be a form of creative outlet
- Help you process information better. This is certainly true for me! I retain more information after a meeting where I have scribbled/ done some doodling than when I haven’t.
We learn by taking information either through images (visually), by listening (auditory), by reading/writing and by hands on experience (kinaesthetically). To actually absorb and learn information we need to engage at least two of the above.
Did you know that doodling engages all four ways of learning?
How can we start doodling?
Anyone can doodle! You don’t have to be wonderful at drawing but you have to be willing to relax into it and forget about judging yourself. You need to be willing to let go of your inner critic. And remember, nobody has to see what you doodle.
- Have your materials at the ready. It’s always a good idea to carry something to draw on ( like a piece of paper or better yet a sketchbook) and something to draw with. I like to carry a variety of drawing materials and don’t think too much about which material I choose when inspiration strikes me. I gravitate towards an ink brush pen and or Sakura Pigment Micron pens (I like these because of the variety of thicknesses they come in). Take a look at some of my other frequently used drawing or doodling materials.
- Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. It’s great when inspiration comes and you put pen to paper and start doodling. Sometimes this doesn’t happen so just grab a drawing material ( often the pen I’m writing my notes with) and let your hand make a mark and then the next and more often than not this leads to more marks and it all just begins to flow.
- Remember, that there are no mistakes. You are doodling for fun and no one is there to judge what you draw not even yourself. Let your mind loosen and relax into it.
If you’re finding it challenging to start doodling then try the following.
- Learn some shapes. Here is an example of marks that might be useful for your own doodling session.
- Put on some music and let your mind wander. With your drawing tool, and a piece of paper take yourself on a little adventure. It’s important that you don’t get hung up on trying to draw any particular image unless you want to.
- Doodle in the dark by closing your eyes.
Remember too have fun! Start with a tool that feels comfortable to you, that feels just right. The more you continue this practice the easier it will become.
Once you start feeling more at ease with it, that’s when you begin to experiment using a variety of drawing pens and varying the thickness of your lines.
Take a listen to this awesome TED talk Here if you would like to learn more about doodling. It really is worth a listen.