8 Reasons To Start Doodling Right Now

Why does part of the art community not take doodling seriously? Is it because you don’t necessarily need fancy supplies or techniques? The dictionary says a doodle is “a rough drawing made absent-mindedly”. On the other hand, Sunni Brown says it should be described as “to make spontaneous marks to help yourself think”. Yes, I’m more on Sunni’s side.

Let’s start from the beginning. I was that kid who had his books from school full of doodles. Even at university I kept doodling on the tables (with a pencil, I’m not a CRIMINAL). I wasn’t doing a bad thing: according to this article, people who doodle while listening to something else (a phone call, a lecture, a conference) retains more information than the ones who don’t. Believe it or not, doodling keeps you focused and improves your memory.

That happens when you doodle while doing something else. Imagine how powerful doodling can be as an art form on its own (actually, my favorite). Just take a look at the gorgeous artwork below, or these 52 examples of doodle art. Don’t feel inspired yet?

Doodle art by @monkeydoodling

8 BENEFITS OF DOODLING:

1. You learn how to analize objects

When you draw something from reality, you need to understand how is that object first. Is it textured or smooth? Is it 2 times or 3 times bigger that the object next to it? Which part of it is getting direct lighting? Is that part of the object a square, or a rectangle? By answering those questions, you’re analizing that object or shape with a level of detail you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. You’re training your analytical and observation skills.

2. You improve your abstraction skills

You usually don’t draw things in their full complexity, you’re concentrating on the important parts and highlighting them. This act of simplifying and not representing things 100% how they are (even if you’re trying realism, it’s impossible) means you’re training your abstraction skills on a certain degree. This reaches its highest point in the case of geometric drawings and doodles (which I love!).

Think about it this way: drawing means you’re applying a filter to reality and reinterpreting it in your own way. You’re who decides that filter’s intensity, so this abstraction process is very personal.

3. You get past creative blocks

I’m sure you have ideas for drawings and other projects all the time, but what happens when you actually sit down to start working? Where are all those ideas? Doing regular brain dumps might help with that. Wait, what is a brain dump? It basically consists of getting all your thoughts out of your brain, writing them down so you don’t forget anything and can start planning your life accordingly (Learn more about brain dumps here).

Here’s my proposal: instead of writing your thoughts and ideas, why don’t you doodle them? As I said earlier, visual information is much more powerful and easier to remember. Did you have an amazing idea for a drawing while taking a shower? Spend 20 seconds doodling it right away. Doing this regularly will end up with you having a catalogue of ideas that can get you out of a creative block.

4. You can learn about any topic

Drawing is a way of learning new things about many different topics. Let’s say I want to draw some minerals. Before picking up the pencil, I would do some research on the Internet to know more about types of minerals, how they crystallize, where are they located… so I can have a better understanding of the subject and at the same time obtain a deeper and more complex result. By drawing you can learn about Geology, Physics, Maths, Anatomy, Botanics, Ornithology… isn’t it amazing?

5. You go back to basics

As cheesy as it sounds, doodling is how I connect with my inner child. Almost every kid out there loves drawing, and I was no exception. But at some point, we tend to loose that connection with our artistic side (you know what they say, “it’s not useful”, “look for a proper job”, “come back to the real world and start earning some money”). I think it’s extremely valuable to keep alive that passion we had as children, get back to basics, step away from the screen and use your own hands.

6. You let perfectionism go

Doodling is not intimidating as an art form, right? The supplies are cheap, you just need a notebook and a pen. There’s also not complicated techniques to apply. Its simplicity and convenience are my favorite things about it, and somehow make you realize mistakes don’t matter that much. Getting over this notion that everything you draw has to be complex and perfect will make it easier for you to produce lots of stuff. Which, by the way, is the only way to get better at something.

Bonus points: you will have all that improvement documented in your sketchbook. Compare the first and the last page, and it’ll make you feel much more confident about yourself.

By Saddo Jdero

7. You can communicate ideas and make connections

There are so many different languages, so it could be difficult to communicate with the rest of the world using the *for example* Bosnian language, right? However, drawing is an universal language where you can express complex concepts or emotions and pretty much everyone around the globe will get it. I think that’s very powerful, and a tool to get closer to each other. Visual information is easier to remember, so everything that you explain with drawings will generally stay longer on people’s minds.

On a more personal level, drawing is a way to connect with people that have similar interests than me (for example, on Instagram).

8. You practice self-care

Last but definitely not least, doodling is also an excuse to find time for yourself and relax. We live in a busy world where not everyone can sit on their chair, play some music and forget about everything else while they choose their favorite marker. Doodling can be very therapeutic and help you with anxiety, stress, overwhelm and so much more. It’s a way of meditation, and how I personally take care of myself.

By Davivid Rose
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