Time for some doodling! If you feel pressure to make something spectacular and realistic on every piece of paper you get in front of you, you might never start. Right? Pressure is on to create a masterpiece. To not waste pretty paper, to invest in your art. Or to fill your notebook with something instagram-worthy… It’s that horrible feeling of not being able to Start. So my suggestion to you is: re-focus.

Just relax, and doodle

Don’t make art, relax a bit and create something simple and fun, a doodle.

Like many people, I resort to doodling as a place of escapefrom boredom waiting at yet another airport gate, a distraction during a long-winded lecture, or a way to pass time at a meeting. To me, doodling is purposeful action that more than mindlessness. Having watched a couple of thousand doodlers in art therapy sessions over two decades, they often find self-soothing in their mark-making. And all doodlers have a few enjoyable and pleasing patterns and images they return to again and again, just because they like them.Cathy Malchiodi, PhD

Mindfulness and relaxation

I return to flower doodles all the time, but not to create great art for galleries or walls. Just to relax, or to mindlessly let my hand move. To decorate a journal page, to try new pens, to play. I love doodling for it is both mindful and relaxing, while still helping you to listen more carefully at meetings and lectures.

Neon and white doodle flowers

We are visual creatures. When you doodle an image that captures the essence of an idea, you not only remember it, but you also help other people understand and act on it – which is generally the point of meetings in the first place.
Tom Wujec

When I make art I listen to music, podcasts or silence, but when I am doodling I’m often in the middle of activity. Like sitting in a meting or talking on the phone. I love the kind of art (and craft) that you can do while doing other things.

Neon and white doodle flowers and pens

Great Places for Doodling

Like knitting, doodling is great to do when you’re around other people but you’re not their focus. My favorite places to doodle are:

  1. Meetings – When you’re mostly listening to others and have a paper in front of you, doodling is great for concentration
  2. The News – when you’re watching TV, but you’re not really watching but just glansing ocatonally or listening to the news that’s on, grab a piece of paper and a pen. You’re mind is elsewhere so what comes out on paper is just what needs to come out!
  3. In Class – if you’re in school or taking a workshop, sometimes you’ll want to take notes, but sometimes you’ll just listen. To not loose yourself in your own thoughts, having a piece of paper to doodle on is a great way to stay concentrated and listening.

I also doodle before I start writing in my diary, to relax and decide what I want to write or where to start.

Lastly a quote from Sunni who wrote the book The Doodle Revolution : Unlock the Power to Think Differently:

I use doodling for a variety of reasons: I use it to get clarity around a concept, I use it to relax, I use it to communicate ideas with others and get their refinement of them, I use it to map complex systems for companies, I use it to run innovation games for business, I use it to get insight on something puzzling me. Sunni Brown

Where do you doodle most often, and do you have a go-to-doodle that you repeat over and over again. Mine are round flowers.