Friday, October 14, 2016


I am doing an online art course on Art Therapy.  I spent the morning learning about doodling.  It went over some of the basic mark making associated with doodling.  Of course, being myself, I looked up doodling online.  It was kind of funny that finding information about art doodling was more difficult than I thought it would be.  There is a program named doodle, some apps about doodling and many, many how to draw links so it took a while to narrow down to several useful pages.

The first page I found that I liked talked about what it is and what it isn't.

Which led me to this TED talk about doodling:

I enjoyed watching it and adding this to my growing information about doodles.

Don't bother looking up "doodling" in the dictionary, because the definition in the Oxford Dictionary is dismal: "to scribble absentmindedly." This is a decidedly dismissive way of describing doodling.
The definition of doodling offered in the aforementioned TED Talk is superior: "To make spontaneous marks to help yourself think." Have you ever felt like you listen better while doodling?

Well, there's a science to it. To retain information, we need to engage at least two of the following four sensory skills: visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic. Doodling engages some, if not all, of these sensory skills, allowing doodlers actually retain significantly more verbal information than non-doodlers. It might take some time for the memo to reach your boss, but basically, it's not a bad thing to be doodling in the board room.

Note: Is doodling a view into the psyche? While some will analyze doodles for meaning and insight to our personal issues or leanings, they don't necessarily have to carry emotional significance. Ideas may come to you randomly while you doodle, or you can make specific decisions about what to doodle.

This I believe is just the tip of the iceberg about the value of doodling.   We spend our lives having more and more information pushed at us.  This is the age of information and we are flooded with it.  Our past experiences get locked up in our minds and present experiences just keep piling more stuff on.  I am suspecting that the main value about doodling is something to keep us busy so we can do nothing.  It is during this nothing time that our subconscious and conscious mind can share information.  Why it is helpful in concentrating on complex problems.  Why it helps in the healing process.  There are few activities that we allow ourselves time to mull things over.  Take time to think consider and keep our hands busy while our whole brain has a think session.  Another beautiful thing about doodles is they don't have to look like anything.  Whatever flows out of the pen is just fine.  Words and letters mix in with squares, circles, squiggles and swirls.  Some doodles may achieve the lofty heights of art but they don't need to.  Squiggles in the margins serve a legitimate purpose as well as those high brow cousins.

I spent the morning reviewing the basic mark making for doodles.  As I continued through the lessons I realized that I was being taught the same basic mark making principles I learned in my art drawing class.  In my drawing class I learned the value of a wide variety of basic mark making vocabulary.  Marks close together reveal density while marks widely space imply open spaces.  A variety of mark making adds interest, volume and details to my drawings. 

Basics needed paper, pen.  I recommend pen rather than pencil to keep myself from erasing everything I put on paper.  The need for perfection can keep me from the joys of putting marks on a paper.

I decided to add doodling to my evening routine.  Hopefully it will help my overly busy mind settle down so sleep doesn't drag its feet to arrive. 

Ideas for doodling
How to doodle

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