I’ve never considered myself a visual artist, especially when it comes to drawing people. Most of my drawings of people in early school were of alien visitors, or at least that’s what they looked like. And yet, sometimes, I would do AMAZING drawings of a foot or a hand, for instance; then, I would try to recreate that amazing set of strokes, and fail miserably. The other foot or hand always looked like it was in the process of mutating. Sigh.
Generally, I’ve always tried to draw life exactly as I saw it, down to the smallest detail. Perhaps that’s where I fail as a visual artist–I’m too focused on making the shoelaces look right, and I barely spend any time on the face or the rest of the clothing, so to speak. (Either that or I’m too A.D.D./impatient, LOL) I always enjoyed crafting the little details and making them look cool and realistic. Unfortunately, those little details I worked so hard on usually faded into a big-picture backdrop of excrement on paper.
Doodles Can Be Art, Too!
Even though I had no confidence in my drawing ability, I started doodling randomly in late middle school, needing something creative to do with my hands while I listened to a lecture. (For some reason, not having anything to do with my hands while I listen drives me batty.) Little by little, delicate but simple flowers and vines spiraled down the red vertical lines of my notebook paper…and even little faces appeared at the top of the page and spoke volumes with just a pair of eyes, a pair of eyebrows, and a mouth. I found myself enjoying the fruits of my distracted labor, even as I jotted down notes from the class discussions and lecture.
I sketched the original, small drawing of this flower drawing on the back of my church bulletin one day. I re-sketched it later, expanding it to a larger size (with limited success), and scanned it in, rendering this picture.
Now, many years after middle school, I am a well-practiced doodler. Any scrap of paper that’s lying around close to a pencil or pen is fair game when I’m bored or having to be still and listen–the backs of church bulletins, for instance, end up being doodle pads as well as note space. (Yes, I admit it, I’m an adult and I STILL doodle during church sometimes…) Through this and other absent-minded doodling sessions, I’ve slowly started expressing myself through the art of the tiny drawing–the itty-bitty scene or teeny little face that speaks more than a huge picture of mine ever could. Since I’m good at the tiny details, why not capitalize on that, right? (Also, tiny pictures don’t take forever, LOL)
These doodles have lately gotten some positive feedback–people comment on my little drawings, saying “Oh wow! That tree is just perfect!” or “Ha ha, that stick figure guy looks funny!” I never realized how artistic doodling could be–not when I’m just puttering about with a pencil and drawing stuff that makes me giggle. It is a great way to relieve stress, comment about what’s going on, or just make myself or others laugh, and I don’t have to be exactly perfect (which is good for my blood pressure :P). But that, in itself, makes it art; it communicates with others about the world I see.
Do You Doodle?
Have you ever tried your hand at doodling as an art form? Tell me in the comments!