Monday, September 3, 2012
I doodle when I can
And even when I shouldn't
Why, I doodle once again.
I doodle in the phone book
I doodle in the dust,
And when they ask me why,
I cry, "I doodle 'cos I must!"
Do you doodle? As you may have guessed from my silly ditty above, I'm an inveterate doodler. If I'm listening to a lecture, or waiting someplace I can't read my book, I grab a pen or pencil and draw patterns. Sometimes, if the lecturer is a poor communicator, the patterns morph into a stick figure holding a gun with a BANG flag coming out of it. But usually doodling for me is something to occupy my hands while my brain is busy with something else. Studies have shown that doodling in this way actually improves comprehension, something I wish I'd known when my teachers scolded me for it!
As I said in Make Your Own Mandala, "…if I have a creative problem to solve mentally, giving my hands something uncomplicated to do can release the answer to a problem." So now I consciously use doodling as a way to solve problems.
What exactly is a doodle anyway? According to the UK's National Doodle Day website, "Doodles may be shapes, patterns, drawings or scribbles – anything we produce in an idle moment while the focus of our attention is elsewhere." The website also has some meanings associated with doodles. Wikipedia defines it thus: "A doodle is an unfocused drawing made while a person's attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes." The great thing about idle doodling is that it's up to individuals HOW they do it, with no hard and fast method or format being necessary.
Yet recently I discovered that there is a more conscious doodling. People all over the world are putting their own spin on the doodle. Have you heard of Zentangles? Basically, a zentangle is a way of creating an image with repetitive patterns. The name might be new, but I saw this sort of creative drawing many years ago. I love it because it's accessible - even I can do it! I think it's something kids will enjoy, and find both absorbing and relaxing.
Here are some examples of doodles and zentangles that might give you and your kids/students some inspiration for creativity. Don't forget: parental and teacher supervision is always advised.
Doodle Coloring Pages
Usborne Free Doodle Bookmarks and Pages
Celebrating the Art of the Doodle: 20 Awesome
TanglePatterns.com - How to draw some of the intricate zentangle patterns.
Back issues of the Zentangle.com newsletters
25 Most Creative Examples of Doodle Art
Video of a zentangle being created on Youtube: How to Draw a Tangle Doodle 1 and How to Draw a Tangle Doodle 2.
Let's give doodling the respect it deserves! We could throw a doodling party, have a doodling week at school, introduce a doodle a day after homework is done, or learn more about this fascinating art form by following the links above.
If children's creativity interests you, you might like to read Fun and Easy Ways to Make Digital Art with Kids or click on Creating in the blog's right sidebar.