Doodling’s a beautiful thing. Whether you’re thoroughly engaged in it, or absentmindedly filling the corner of a paper, it’s a wonderful activity to get lost in. As I filled my divided page with patterns, I started thinking about a particular style of doodling referred to as Zentangle®. Examples are everywhere. Thousands of images are on Pinterest alone. And while they can be quite beautiful, I was curious as to why they were considered distinct from other doodles, to the extent of having their own trademarked name, and a pending patent application. I started nosing around and discovered it’s definitely a controversial issue.
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Filed under doodling
There was no photograph taken of the moment a dog mistook me for a tree, while I innocently sat in a park in Italy. It was, however, recorded in my friend’s sketchbook, with a drawing and accompanying explanation of how I was peed on by a busy little Italian dog. I was still overcome with hysterical laughter when shown that image some twenty years later, as I relived the moment and all the wonderful things that happened on that trip – which beautifully illustrates why journals and sketchbooks are the best, in their ability to capture moments in your life, and take you back in time.
My son took a Moleskine with him while traveling in India last year, and it gave us a tiny glimpse into the amazing experience he had. It’s filled with doodles and drawings, and many thoughts – both humorous and serious, which will help him revisit that time in his life.
And so, with the lazy days of summer upon us, it’s an ideal time for your kids to fill up some of those sketchbook pages with doodles, drawings and stories of all the wonderful things they’ve been up to. Imagine the smiles it will bring later on.
We’re off on another road trip – this time through beautiful eastern Canada. Happy July to all of you, and looking forward to sharing lots of travel inspired ideas when I get back.
They say Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was inspired by a drawing John Lennon’s son made at school. There are also those who insist other things were on John’s mind when he wrote the lyrics, but the fact remains it’s a wonderful song. It was released in 1967 on the Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, which became the most successful selling album in the 1960’s. Its dream-like lyrics and powerful imagery makes it perfect for getting lost in some doodling.
I doodled endless geometric shapes while talking on the phone as a teenager. And when sitting in a classroom where the subject matter wasn’t exactly captivating, I seemed to get lost in eyeballs, swirls and the names of bands I was obsessing over at the time. Today, it’s the daily paper that’s targeted. It seems almost impossible to resist coloring in a few teeth of the poor bloke who was unfortunate enough to make the front page.
Doodling is a great activity to get your creative juices flowing, and drawing skills are completely irrelevant. The trick is to avoid thinking too much about what you should do. Just go with the flow and enjoy the moment.
The very talented illustrator and author Maurice Sendak, has this to say about doodling:
“I have been doodling with ink and watercolor on paper all my life. It’s my way of stirring up my imagination to see what I find hidden in my head. I call the results dream pictures, fantasy sketches, and even brain-sharpening exercises.”