First Rule of Doodle Club is: There are no rules!

Over the course of this blog, I’ve had a fairly steady stream of emails asking what my approach to doodling/sketching is, and if I had any tips. My answers have varied, depending on the specifics of the question, but my general response has always been pretty much the same. I received another such email yesterday, and figured I’d go ahead and post my response so that anybody else who might be curious could read it.

   As far as tips for sketching, I’d have to say the first thing is let yourself just relax and have fun with it. Take more of a flow of consciousness kind of approach. If you happen to hit upon an idea you want to take further, that’s great. Do that on a second piece. (I’ve actually had doodles that turned into paintings and published illustrations.) But don’t let that be the goal of sketching or doodling.
   I guess the difference, for me at least, between doodling and drawing a finished illustration is like the difference between running around in the backyard with my kids and running a marathon. They both use the same set of muscles, just with vastly different goals in mind.
   If you’re still struggling with wanting to overthink a sketch, another thing you can do is the timed sketch. Give yourself a VERY short time limit (60-90 seconds) and turn yourself loose on an idea. But- and here’s the hard part- when that time is up, THAT’S IT. No more drawing on that sketch. None. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. Don’t even go back later and tighten up or erase anything.

In addition to the points I made in this reply, I’d add one more: use different tools. Don’t always feel like you can only doodle or sketch on a certain paper using only a particular pen or pencil. Try a wide variety of surfaces and media. Use crayons on a napkin, or colored pencils on an envelope, or Sharpies on an old shoebox. Whatever. Just don’t stifle your creativity by setting any strict parameters on something that is supposed to be a fun pastime. You might be surprised at the new possibilities or favorites you discover.

Hope this was helpful. Happy doodling, everybody!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “First Rule of Doodle Club is: There are no rules!”

  1. jamieahughes Says:

    I love your comparison of doodling and running…especially since I’m equally bad at both!🙂 The same rules apply to writing as to drawing, and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks scribbling down poems on my napkin is a valuable use of time.

  2. vonholdt Says:

    love the idea! i started carrying around a six sided die to randomly dictate how many minutes i have to doodle sometimes. at the mark, have to quit!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: