I have always enjoyed doodling or as I like to think of it – ‘free drawing’. Long before I started writing I would draw in sketchbooks or school exercise books – wherever there was a blank area on paper. There wasn’t any real purpose to these doodles; I just went with the flow of ink on paper, adding more and more forms until it felt right to stop. What I didn’t realise at the time was that the doodling was keeping my creativity in shape. A bit like regularly stretching in between football matches.
I use sketch books in much the same way now, by starting with any shape that comes to me then adding another shape to it and bit by bit I begin to build a picture. I especially enjoy the discovery aspect of drawing this way. I often have no idea what I am going to do before I start.
Even though doodling can seem overly simple, it can have a powerful impact on the way we process information. As you draw on the page your thinking can become clearer and freer. An article in The Wall Street Journal talks about research in neuroscience, psychology and design that shows that doodling can help people stay focused, grasp new concepts and retain information.
Try this doodling exercise for yourself
One of the simplest ways of getting started is taking a blank piece of paper and pen and start making marks on the page. The one thing people struggle when they do this though is letting go of their inner critic. The idea with this exercise is not to over think what you are drawing, instead let your intuition lead the way. The lines can be swirls, triangles, circles of all of the above. When you do this consistently and let yourself go, you’ll find something that works and you might keep adding marks to it. It’s kind of like limbering up before a race. Share yours today – @osvaldoq, I’d love to see them.