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Doodling Illustration by Violette
Violette : Journal Bliss – Creative Prompts Excerpt: Doodling

Journal Bliss: Doodling

By Violette

"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college— that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, 'You mean they forget?'"
— Howard Ikemoto

Who doesn't love to doodle? How many times have you sat at your desk or kitchen table during a long phone call, pen in hand, and wound up with some pretty phantasmagorical doodles? Now don't tell me you can't draw or doodle — of course you can! Your doodles can be windows to your soul.

A Journal Bliss ExcerptWhen I went back to college in my mid-thirties, I couldn't decide whether to major in psychology or art, so I took classes in both. The notepad for my academic subjects was peppered with so many faces, arrows and other doodles that there was barely room for writing. The arrows were shooting off in every direction. In Harry Nilsson's epic song "Land of the Point," he says, "A point in every direction is like no point at all." So my point is — ha! — that I didn't have any direction! Eventually I realized that art was my true love. You will note, however, that psychology has crept into my work as well. Visual journaling for me has been a vehicle to move toward my bliss, and a totally transformative and life affirming experience.

When you doodle absentmindedly, you relinquish control of your left brain and allow your right brain to take over. That's when the magic happens. Doodling while you are sitting in a classroom or meeting, talking on the telephone or waiting in a waiting room is a good start. Now, if you must watch TV (and occasionally I do), grab a pad and a pen or pencil and, while watching your program, aimlessly begin doodling — anything. I've found that often my doodles relate to the subject matter of the program, whether they're patterns, objects or even faces. The trick is not to judge yourself at all while you draw. Just have fun and play! It's all about exploring your creativity.

The following pages are designed to inspire you to let go and doodle to your heart's content. When you're ready to move on from mindless doodling to mindful doodling, begin by practicing drawing anything that you find yourself drawn to. Eventually you will notice that your own symbology or imagery will emerge. In my artwork, you'll notice that I love using spirals, hearts (both flying and stationary), stars, moons, columns, faces and flowers. Begin sketching without judgment, and let your inner world have a voice! •

Next: Symbolic Stories: Life as Journal Fodder »

Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash Your Inner EccentricExcerpted with permission from Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash Your Inner Eccentric by © 2009 by Violette. All rights reserved.

Updated 12/23/13