Why I love to doodle more than draw and why I prefer the word doodle to the other ones

I love the word “doodle” because it is so open-ended and non-judgmental to me. It is an activity that has no agenda of being accurate, perfect, life-like or even close to rendering reality. Instead “to doodle” is (to me) to relax and let what ever comes up in your mind come out on the page.

I so love that!

Right now my big love is to just sit and doodle little dots in my art journals. Once I start I have a hard time stopping, and it is awesome not to care at all that the page looks too crowded in the end. I will leave no breathing room behind – I will absolutely fill it up with all the ink I’ve got (or all the time I’ve got available to fill it up).

Flower Doodles by iHanna in altered book #artjournal

I sit with my Art Journal in my lap in the sofa and watch some series on Netflix while I create little dots, hollow or filled, on brown-paper envelopes, on previously laid down acrylic paint and all over the magazine images I’ve pasted in.

Neon doodles in altered book Boken till dig

My favorite pens are the neon gel pens! I’ve got pink, yellow and orange Neon Gelly Rolls by Sakura that I re-found in a pen drawer (I had forgotten about them). Those three colors are currently the only ones I own.

And then of course a white pen that I bought at the end of last year. It is a Uni-ball Signo broad by Mitsubishi Pencil also in Japan. I probably have mentioned these brands several times over the years, but I keep coming back to them because it is almost hypnotizing watching the ink flow out of the nib, settle on the page and dry opaque on almost any surface.

I love to doodle

I love the word “doodle” also because I feel no pressure when I tell someone that I doodle, because a doodle can be this: just polka dots on a page. They’re just my pen touching the paper and making marks. I love mark making, repeating a pattern over and over again on a page, or randomly creating swirls, lines or my signature move: doodle flowers. It’s not fine art, it isn’t even drawing!

[tweet “I love the word DOODLE because I love no-pressure creativity!”]

Image in altered book that I covered in doodled polka dots

To me, “to doodle”, is a step away from drawing or sketching, and that feels a lot more comfortable for me. I always talk about how what ever you put down on the page is “good enough”, and that what ever you want to call it (doodles, paint splatters, mark making – yes, art even) is okay. Calling it art makes it so, maybe not for everyone but for you. And you can create art, we all can.

But there is so much stigma around certain words that it is difficult to shake them off, even for me. So that is why I like the word doodle so very much. I even remember when I first heard it and how it since has changed my approach to having a sketchbook (i.e. doodle notebook) and embracing line drawings a lot more openly and freely. Yes, I name my sketchbooks “Doodle Books”. I am proud to be a part of the book Craft-a-doodle and I am proud to have found a drawing style that fits me so perfectly!

Doodles in my art journal by Hanna Andersson aka iHanna #artjournal

Of course I don’t dislike the word drawing either, it’s just a little bit more difficult to use for me personally. And I love people who “can draw”, it is such an impressive skill!

When someone says that they’re “drawing” we almost always feel instantly intimidated, maybe because we ourselves “can’t draw” (e.e. don’t think we can draw as good as we would’ve like to). But with drawing there are so very many different levels as well, that it is stupid to always imagine that to illustrate or draw or sketch is more artistic and something you need to be born with a certain skill to do. It can be something to be envious of, but also something you get better at with practice. For me, it is just something I’m not that interested in. And I have tried, I promise. I’ve even attended Urban Sketch meetings, but drawing from life (nature, architecture, people, scenes) bores me to death. I’d much rather doodle the same flowers over and over and over…

Magazine lady with doodles by iHanna

I think that what ever you are drawing – or doodling – you should feel comfortable showing it, talking about it and mentioning what you’re doing without feeling bad about it not being as perfect as you think it should be. Right?

What you want to put down on paper (and what you want to call it) is up to you, and you alone. The most important thing is to put pen to paper and then move the pen. So let’s go do just that.

I’m a fan of “doodling” – how about you?