May I ask you a personal question? Do you doodle?
Oh yeah, I’d seen the art journal pages, covered with writing and hand-drawn images, by real artists. Too cool. But that wasn’t me. I plot and plan and digitally enhance my designs. I’ve been known to re-do an ATC seven times to get it “right.”
But then I saw a page by Lisa South. She called it a “doodle.” A doodle. That word set me free. I tried it. I love it. It’s fun and fast and spontaneous. It’s everything my usual style is NOT. Doodling is like being a little kid again. You’ve got to try it.
Here are tactics to get past “but-I-can’t-draw.”
There is no right way or wrong way to doodle. Your doodling will be as unique as your handwriting. “Ugly” handwriting is no excuse. In fact, “ugly” handwriting contributes to an arty, distinctive, personal style.
Tell yourself, “It’s just for fun. It’s just fooling around.” Initially I tricked myself into letting go by using pages from the old phone book I use as a glue pad.
Once you start, be fearless. I drew my first doodles with a black Sharpie pen. That choice seemed bold and liberating and contributed to the “Outsider Art” look of some of the doodles.
Work rapidly and fluidly. Disengage your thought process. Don’t allow yourself to lift your pen until the main design element is completed.
Fill in blank spots with handwritten words or little squiggles or asterisks.
Even if you think the drawing isn’t working, go ahead and color it. You’ll be amazed how much better it looks. I use chalk or soft pastels, but I might break open that big box of crayons soon.
There you have it. No excuses. Uncap that pen and start doodling.
Maria Lamb. 4 04.