One of my favorite creative outlets is doodling, maybe because it’s one of the easiest and most immediate ways to put visual ideas on paper without the expectation of refinement or perfection . . . If you’re not a doodler, I think maybe you should try it and not just because I said so . . .
There are actually some researched benefits to doodling, drawing, sketching, etc, as explored in this fun article from The Atlantic.
Doodling actually changes one’s state of mind. It’s a calming activity that can help people go from a frazzled state to a more focused one. “You can use doodling as a tool . . . to change your physical and neurological experience, in that moment.”
I hear some of you out there groaning, “But I’m not an artist!” or “But I wouldn’t know what to doodle!” or “I’m not creative!” . . . to which I say a resounding Fiddledeedee!
You ARE creative. You don’t NEED to be an artist. And HERE is a starter list of doodle ideas just in case you really can’t think of anywhere to start:
Some of these ideas might seem silly (or just not your cup of tea) . . . and of course, you can decide what works best for you. Maybe you don’t want to try any of these but could use doodling to brainstorm ideas for a big project you’re working on or to jot down ideas about a unique family challenge you’re facing. The idea is just to start somewhere simple, to help build the muscles and neurological connections that allow your brain to express thoughts through your hand.
Doodling is as simple as grabbing some paper (whatever you have is fine – no need for a fancy sketchbook unless you want one) and a pen or pencil. Then, just start to make some marks and see what happens.
Here are some quick tips for finding joy in doodling:
- Doodle Often. The more you doodle the more natural it will feel & the more your mind will latch onto ideas of things you might want to try to doodle.
- Don’t Judge. Don’t compare your doodles to Leonardo DaVinci or to anyone else for that matter. Just doodle.
- Surprise Yourself. Try doodling things you never thought you’d doodle and see how you feel about it. See if it sparks some other creative thoughts.
- Share Your Doodles. This might seem awkward at first, but you might be surprised that it could be fun or encouraging to share your doodles or see what your friends are doodling, too!
Earlier this year, I started sharing some of my doodles on Instagram under the hashtag #deardoodle. I’ve enjoyed hearing some feedback about those doodles, and I love to see other people (artists and non-artists alike) putting pen to paper as a way to process their thoughts or channel their restless energy.
Sometimes I doodle word concepts, like this one about the word “Courageous” . . .
Sometimes I doodle collections of objects, like this group of hats . . .
And sometimes I doodle intricate designs, adding more and more lines until I feel content with the result (This is not complicated by the way — it’s mostly just swirls and loops — and there’s no pressure to be perfect!)
If this blog post inspires you to do any doodling, would you share some of your doodles with me? You can either tag them #deardoodle on Instagram or post them in a comment below. I’d love to see!
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