14 January 2008


Doodling is a nice word don't you think? It's a lazy sort of word that meanders across your mindscape like a river slowly curling across its floodplain towards the sea. Doodling is often about passing time and it's about daydreaming - switching off and retreating to your own little bubble - but this isn't always the case.

I feel no shame in coming out of the closet to admit to the world that I have been a lifelong doodler! Give me a pen and a blank sheet and it isn't long before faces appear, distant gothic cities, fields and hedgerows with distant mountains, mythical beasts and geese flying into sunsets - but most of all faces - millions of them. If I had saved all of the doodles I have ever done, I could have wallpapered this room I am sitting in - including the ceiling and the floor.

As a school pupil, doodling became natural in those subjects that I found most disengaging - Chemistry, Physics and French. Latterly as a school teacher, doodling mainly happens in meetings when I am not leading them. Over the years, I have come to learn that doodling will often help me to concentrate on what is being said - it may appear as if a doodler isn't listening but that's a biased non-doodler's view and some people never doodle. It just isn't in them.
Doodling is an odd kind of "art" because nobody really plans what they will doodle. You don't even know for sure that you're going to doodle. It just happens. The mood or the circumstance takes you and something starts to form on the paper.

Psychoanalysts could have a field day interpreting doodles. With my ongoing obsession with faces, an onlooker might surmise that I either love my fellow human beings or I have spent the best part of a lifetime trying to understand these other - rather weird - humanoid creatures who also walk my planet.

Doodlers need not be ashamed of their habit. Make no apologies. For people of certain mental persuasions, doodling helps concentration, creativity and problem-solving. It can be a kind of self therapy. One day soon I will scan a few of my doodles - even though the vast majority have simply been binned like rubbish - and post them on this blog. But for now here's a couple of doodles I found via Google Image Search:-


  1. It can be a valuable part of therapy, YP. See me for an appointment ASAP. ;)

  2. Jennyta. Under your hypnotic influence the therapy might go in a direction I hadn't anticipated. I might wake up somewhat dishevelled and you'd be asking ME for a fee!

  3. My brother's girlfriend told us that people who have to doodle or do something involving movement while listening to someone talk are "kinetic learners."

  4. Being as how you are one of them there vastly overpaid teachers, you bet your life I would be asking you for a fee, YP! ;)

  5. Im a doodler too but you'd think as an artist that I would have really good doodles.. I don't.

    However I "decorate" everything, wallets. phones, furniture, once I even painted my computer. But then I have "issues"

  6. A man after my own heart! I can't attend a meeting without soemthing to doodle on. I do horses, unicorns, moon and suns with faces, stars, and half faces, usually with a solitary tear dripping from their eye...

    Yours are rather artistic I must say.

  7. Chronic doodler here, too.


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