Creating a nonsensical pattern while listening to teachers drone on, or drawing abstract images while stuck on a boring phone call or at an exceptionally long meeting.
Yes, we have all been there and we all have ended up doodling at one point or another.
Whether you are a budding artist and have a professional interest in doodles or you're just looking to enhance your creativity, doodling is an activity open to everyone!
If you have found your way to this blog Im going to go ahead and assume that you know what doodling is and what exactly it consists of , but to give you a brief gist of it before we jump right into it;
Doodling in a traditional sense is the act of creating abstract images and patterns while being otherwise preoccupied, resulting in creating lowkey art and sketches .
As opposed to images you see on pinterest and tumblr, doodling is not about creating beautiful sketches and figures which portray a flair for art . Doodling is an activity picked up by people no matter their artistic capabilities.
This is an important tip to remember by all the first timers out there as most beginners motivated to start doodling are held back because they feel inadequate or confused about their current skill levels.
That's why I encourage people to start doodling without really setting particular standards or rules but rather acknowledging and enjoying the process as a way to destress and relax.
Doodling as an activity is beneficial in so many ways contrary to conventional beliefs where doodling was supposed to be associated with people who have low attention spans and are considered fidgety.
It's proven today that doodling not only helps to alleviate stress it also helps increase concentration , productivity as well as helps process complex emotions and feelings. All by sitting and letting your inner creativity flow.
So as this blog suggests , if you're that beginner looking for a way to finally get started but want a bit of guidance along the way then read on to gain a bit of insight as to how to channel your inner doodler!
Don’t take it too seriously
Before you pick up that pen or pencil to start doodling let's put things into perspective, you are not going to make any progress if you sit to doodle with some specific standards or limitations in mind. You need to recognize that art is individualistic and you're not going to be doing any favours to yourself by comparing your work to all those professional pictures you see on the internet
So if you find yourself randomly picking up a pen at your desk or are even setting a dedicated time to practise doodling, first things first…...relax.
That's it , don't stress , don't fret. Just put the pen to paper and let it flow.
While doodling can be a stress reliever in a high pressure situation it can also be something you resort to whenever you have free time and feel at ease, maybe while listening to some music or whenever you are hit with certain inspirations.
Practicing a bit everyday , in whatever environment you find yourself in - be it corporate meetings , school work or even while drinking your routine cup of coffee is totally fine.
It has to be more of an exploratory process rather than a monotonous ordeal, that's why while practicing a bit everyday is ideal , let it not turn into a tiresome and boring activity.
Replication to the rescue
A certain memory , face , image can trigger inspiration to start sketching , but to all the other times when we are suffering from a lack of ideas and motivations , don't worry it's easy to still be doodling.
If you find yourself wondering what to create and draw, the answer is simple - Replicate.
Sketching outlines of figures , simple shapes and objects are all a baby step when it comes to actually creating concrete doodles.The next step would be of course to refine these outlines, but to set your boat sail in the initial phase replicating a single curve or shape and then building up to a more complicated pattern is a good start. Lettering is also a tried and tested way to break into doodling.
You can try cursive writing , calligraphy to amp up letters, create intricate loops and basically beautify letters. You can start with fine lines, to thickening edges and borders, varying face cuts to experiment while you’re in the beginner stage.
This helps to make the whole process a lot easier by taking things one at a time.
It's all in the Details
Paying attention to the small features and details is incredibly important when bringing life to the bigger picture you have in mind.
Details can go a long way in adding a spark to your otherwise normal sketches.
Understand that creating fantastic pieces of work is not your priority right now.
When starting out with doodling it's more important to start enjoying and loving the process itself. This is why it's important to go slow and take things at your pace so as to give yourself some time to grow into your own creative standard. Once you have managed to successfully create shapes and figures with a freehand or even with the help of tools and you feel confident to take the next step then it's time for details .
An example of this would be to start by filling in a particular shape with patterns and subtle details.
These patterns could be anything that you strike a fancy for , you could experiment with shading , colours , intricacy of your sketches etc.
The possibilities are enormous and completely up to you. A good way to keep track of your progress as well as keep you motivated is to have a doodle journal filled with your ideas and content. This is a great way to analyze how you started off , what skills you have acquired along the way or what skills you need to develop in order to become better.
This could show you a promising difference from where you started off to what you have managed to achieve.
Build on your mistakes
Now as you constantly doodle you will come across new concepts and ideas that you may want to integrate into your doodles. And while that is an important part of the process , everytime you feel lost or a mistake creeping up starting from scratch is not your only option as many tend to think it is.
Rather than starting fresh , it's time to take a slight detour. It's common for beginners to hesitate and initially keep erasing their content when not being satisfied with it.
So to try and keep growing from mistakes , is an important tip when it comes to doodling. Instead of constantly creating new pieces ,rather grow on the art that you have already created.
Even if you are not satisfied with the doodle , you should try being fluid and change slight aspects instead of completely trying to revamp.
This will help to enhance your creativity and widen your imagination. You will be motivated to look at the doodle in different perspectives giving you unique ideas to diversify as well as add new aspects.
Take control of your doodles
The last but probably one of the best pieces of advice to keep in mind while venturing into the world of doodling is to take control of what you create .
Doodles are unique to the person who is ideating and creating them. Therefore it's important to do what you like without being held back. Looking at doodles of other people for inspiration is one thing but starting to copy them will lead to a downward spiral. As with all creative processes, doodling should be unique to the person practicing it. It isn't necessary that you stick to the stereotypical designs that you come across on the internet. It's more of an individual journey. Moreover trying to create a story with your doodles helps to create a connection with your abstract art bringing about a flow to your doodles. Connecting things with logic isn't necessarily important but rather try to create your very own universe where you take charge . Being the master of your universe is the apt representation to invest completely in the world of doodling.
The following is a comprehensive list of tools that I would recommend beginners have when starting out;
1. Sketch books and sketching paper - You can also start to experiment with different surfaces e.g. fabrics,shoes and bags.
2. Pigment liners - I usually go for microns as they are reasonable and give great quality for price , you can opt for staedtler pigment liners too.
3. Pencils - 6b/2b pencils are a good option as well as Nib pencils , you can choose depending on personal preference.
4. Eraser - The non dust kneaded eraser is a good tool to have , one that I especially use while doodling.
While starting out on doodling, the basic tools that are needed are -
Papers, erasers, pencils and pigment liners.
Once you decide to advance and add more colour and evolve your doodles you can start using brush pens, colourful markers and even cake paint.
All the best!