How Can Doodling Help Your Creative Spark?
There’s this little bit of magic that everyone can have available if they only have a pen and piece of paper. It’s called doodling, and it has the capabilities of sparking anyone’s creativity.
Long considered as a way of getting distracted, doodling is actually a way of getting thoughts in order. Doodling has the power of centring the mind and therefore opening up the creative flow. There have been neuroscientific studies about doodling and also cognitive studies about how doodling helps the mind work in a more creative way.
Are you a doodler? If so, then you know what I’m talking about. If you are a creative of any sort but not a doodler, let me tell you the reasons why you might want to start.
No rules – almost
Doodling has hardly any rules. You can doodle in your notebook or a scrap of paper, anywhere, at any time. There is no good or bad doodling, doodling just is. It might not be a good idea to doodle on the edges of a library book or a professional proposal, but that’s just common sense.
The best way to have a positive “no rules” doodling experience is to have your own paper and pen available at all times. Or a digital doodling app if you like digital better than analogue.
Helps you focus
According to cognitive studies, doodling while listening can help you remember more of what is being said. Unfortunately, doodling has a bad reputation in the classrooms. If the teacher is giving a lesson and there are kids doodling, seemingly distracted, the teacher will tell them to stop.
Some teachers understand that the doodling is actually helping the student stay focused, and those teachers are shaping the future.
Try doodling while listening to a podcast or an online course. Doodle while commuting to not think about how long it’s taking to get there and the piles of work waiting for you. Focus on yourself instead. Try doodling when you are tired from work and need a mental break. Doodling without a specific idea in your head can help you focus on what you were trying to do in the first place.
Helps you find a solution to a problem
Let’s say you are having trouble figuring something out and it’s taking too long to resolve. Try taking a break and doodle a little. Think of the problem at hand while putting pen to paper freely. Make an effort to not have expectations for what you doodle but do think of the problem while you’re doing it.
You might realize while you’re doodling that you are sketching words that have to do with the problem you’re facing. You’ll notice that the little decorations around the words can show you a new way of seeing the problem. This can help you solve the initial problem in a way that you hadn’t even expected.
Can make you feel more creative and in tune with your creativity
Doodling regularly can help you get in tune with your creative side. If you’re new at doodling, it might take a little while to get used to doing it more than once. Once your pen and paper (or doodling app) are available at any time, you will notice how your creative outlook starts to change.
You might even want to get more pens in different colours or a special notebook. Once doodling gets into your regular habits, it usually stays.
Doodling can be a personal thing which you do on your own time and for your own purposes. But it can also be a group activity in the workplace. Group brainstorming sessions and planning meetings can be done with doodling on a board or large piece of paper.
Info Doodling is the art of visualizing data and information with doodling. Infographics and mind maps can be doodled for a group creative experience.
Believe it or not, there are professional Info Doodlers who will doodle your visuals for a fee.
The myth of the non-creative person
If you consider yourself a non-creative person you might think that you aren’t capable of doodling. But that’s not true, anyone can doodle. I’m not talking fine art, I’m talking about doodling. Drawing little lines and circles and speech bubbles and zigzags is doable by anyone.
If you want some doodling inspiration, try looking at Instagram or Pinterest but don’t compare yourself too harshly with the amazing doodlers you’ll find there.
Pen and paper vs. doodling apps
When doodling, some people prefer the usual pen and paper combination while others like using doodling apps on their phone or tablet. Moleskine notebooks and thin sharpies are a favourite with hardcore doodlers.
There are lots of doodling apps available for both Apple devices and Android.
The magic of doodling every day
Doodling every day can change your outlook on life. Try doodling your surroundings! Doodle the coffee cup, your shoes, your favourite snack. Try and do it every day and see how it helps you feel more creative in all aspects of your life.