Once upon a time, in a life far far away, I came upon the instructions for an activity called creative doodling. Before describing it, though, I have to confess to a tendency I may have been born with to absorb activities like this one and then immediately turn around and teach them to any person or group halfway willing to give them a try. I used to say about myself that I was born to disseminate information. But the complete truth is that I was also born to show you how to do this stuff–whether you want to do it or not. Well, I haven’t actually hogtied anyone yet. That would be kind of counterproductive when it comes to creative doodling.
Creative doodling is an art therapy exercise, but don’t let that put you off. It’s also fun. And so easy to do. Start with your dominant hand.
- Get out a couple of pieces of drawing paper (larger is better), masking tape, and some colored markers or crayons.
- Tape a piece of paper to a flat surface with masking tape to keep it from moving around.
- Choose a marker or crayon.
- Close your eyes and run your hand over the page to locate the edges.
- With your eyes still closed, start drawing on the page. Don’t lift the marker off the paper; your drawing should be composed of one unbroken line.
- Don’t try to draw anything in particular. Just let your hand (and marker) wander all over the page until you feel like you’re done.
- Open your eyes and check out your work. Look at it this way and that (sideways, upside down) until you find an image in it. The image can take up most of your drawing or only a portion of it. It can be fairly complete or only hinted at.
- Once you’ve found your image, use the rest of your markers to elaborate it.
- When you’re done, title your drawing.
- Repeat with your non-dominant hand. (You can use your dominant hand to finish the drawing.)
These are examples of two of my creative doodles, the first with my right hand and the second with my left hand.
I include them to demonstrate that NO artistic talent whatsoever is required for this activity.
I love color and I enjoy coloring, so sometimes I do this just for fun. But it’s an activity that can also provide a little personal insight if you take the extra step and either journal about the pictures or at least tell yourself their stories. Another thing to do is write down the first five or six words that come to mind when you look at a finished drawing.
This doodle, Bird’s Eye View, is one of my favorites.
My doodles tend to include a lot of critters, among them a one-eyed flying fish and a rather demented frog. That’s just what I see. So now you know.