The Humble Doodle

March 10, 2020. by

Almost everyone has, at some point in their lives doodled on a piece of scrap paper, either intentionally out of boredom during a telephone conversation. It’s a time-filler, a thought or feeling suddenly finding itself etched into being. For me, it’s usually an idea that needs to be materialized before it escapes into the ether: a way of burning it into my mind forever. All my artwork originated from a doodle, in the most unassuming form.

 

Every situation calls for a doodle: sitting in a bustling coffee shop, in line at a casting, at a petrol station, and even at home, waiting for the floor to dry after mopping it. But not all doodles are created to live long and prosperous lives. Most of them will see the inside of a wastebasket quicker than the time it took to create them. I’m guilty of committing such atrocities. Many a doodle has been crumpled up and discarded because they did what they were supposed to do: kill time. Or after completion, seemed too primitive to be regarded as something of importance. 

 

But it is more than that; it deserves so much more than an untimely end. Most artists have perfected the art of doodling and have consequently created comic strips, caricatures and dreamlike abstract patterns that are revered by others.

 

Even caves of prehistoric times are filled with simple hand-drawn lines, teaching the modern man about how it was like to live in those times. Since then the doodle has become more sophisticated: from being scratched into cave walls and pyramids to clay tablets, to sand sketches in the desert, to paper, to human skin, to computers, to electronic tablets and mobile devices and can now even be printed in 3-dimensional space. This art form is thriving and will continue to do so.

 

Doodling is very meditative and has been reported not only to calm and centre your mind but also to assist in memory retention. That’s one of the main reasons I do it. A bolt of inspiration will strike me in the middle of the night, and if I don’t write it down immediately, with doodles to reinforce it, it will be lost in the dark corridors of my mind forever.

 

Lately, my doodling skills have improved dramatically, and I no longer scribble hastily. I  create detailed little drawings with smooth blending and unique ideas. They might not be detailed enough to be specified as Drawings. They are created within a few minutes, usually on a scrap piece of paper, and I forego strict anatomic rules in favour of speed. In my eyes, they are still humble doodles.