I have been surprised to see a few very high profile articles and news stories lately on the practice of doodling and its many newly discovered beneficial effects. I've been a long time doodler and for me it has always been a subconscious habit that many times I am not even aware of until I look down at my paper and see that it is covered with unintelligible repetitive patterns and words. I doodle on anything that is within reach which can be a very big problem. I've doodled over important information like client's phone numbers or vital measurements for a job. I doodled on checks, tax documents, even a certificate of completion for a course I took once. I've spent a lot of time trying to decipher the important information underneath the doodles that are covering it.
Most of my doodling occurs when I am on the phone. I seem to have a deep rooted need to always be doing something with my hands and this subconscious need rears its ugly head when I'm listening to phone conversations. I don't just draw shapes and patterns I also write words over and over. Profound words like yeah and okay. I don't know why, it's just something I am compelled to do. The doodles above are the cleanest examples I could find. Most of my doodled pages are a big mess and show no creativity whatsoever. But since this is a post about artistic doodling I have cheated and included some reasonably legible doodles.
Susan Smalley of The Huffington Post published this article entitled:
"Doodling is the expression of a wandering mind and new research is suggesting that a wandering mind may be a good thing for humanity. A wandering mind appears to be a time when our brains are not 'doing' but rather 'being' and in that state (called a default brain state) we seem to increase in self-awareness (Raichle et al., 2001; Lou et al., 2004). By that I mean we gain a greater intuitive understanding of 'who we are' in relation to our bodies, thoughts, feelings, and actions, to others, and the universe at large. This increase in intuitive self-awareness may be a key to authentic happiness (Cloninger, Feeling Good, 2004)."
Read the full article here
"Doodling may look messy, but it could .in fact be a sign of an alert mind, a study suggests."
"Plymouth University researchers carried out memory tests on 40 volunteers, asking them to listen to a phone call and recall names and places. Doodlers performed 29% better than non-doodlers, the team found."
Read the full article here
I recently stumbled across a company that has systematized the doodling process for "non-artistic", "art phobic" and novice doodlers as well as the artfully inclined. They give instruction on their form of doodling called Zentangles. You can buy a beautifully put together kit which includes squares of special paper that they say are the perfect size and quality for creating your original doodle artwork. A pencil, and a Micron Pigment pen ( My personal fav and what I do all of my illustrations with) and an instruction booklet and CD. The whole thing is enclosed in a classy looking box. The kit is pricey at $50 but I think it would make a great gift. (hint - hint)
Here are a group of kids from a Montessori school checking out their artistic handy work.
Apparently there is currently a popular artistic movement that encourages doodling and some of the resulting work is quite amazing. Just search doodles on Flikr! You'll be amazed at the art people have posted.
One self proclaimed doodler I found on Flikr is Margaret Storer-Roche'. Her work is amazing and she obviously has a lot of natural talent. Her doodles range from totally abstract to providing little commentaries on moments in her life.
She has turned these doodles into cards on her website / blog Water Blossoms
She seems to like hearts and has a whole series of these heart shaped images.
She uses colored pens, black pens, pencil, and watercolor.
I love this image and the vibrant color. She often incorporates little statements or quotes into her drawings. I think I see a Mary Emerling influence here.
Here are a couple of examples using a variation in pen colors.
I love the message here :: Simplify ::
Check out her blog for more inspiration !