How Doodling helps you Slow Down and Unwind
Do you ever get the feeling that life is moving too fast?
I’ve had that feeling too much recently. It makes me overwhelmed, less productive and it zaps the joy from things I normally enjoy, like drawing.
A little story for you…
In my online art classes we were drawing wolves. Wolves are a tough subject – some of my students were struggling to draw them, and so was I for that matter.
In my daily life I do a lot of drawing, but I don’t do much doodling. To me doodling is simply a pen, paper and no pressure. So it got me thinking, perhaps I could use doodling to help me explore wolves? It turns out YES, but the real benefit I discovered was in relaxing my mind. The best reason to doodle is …
To SLOW DOWN.
As I mentioned, I draw a lot! It’s a necessity as I teach eight online art classes each week to adults and children. In fact my Discover Your Inner Cartoonist class is quite a challenging class. I always want to deliver a great and inspiring session and so I feel the pressure to draw something really creative and high quality every time.
This week I found myself speeding up, sketching, drawing and moving too fast. I wasn’t feeling in my flow and I wasn’t producing the feeling I wanted in my work. Worst of all, I worry that I start to rush students through the cartoon narrative we create. Not the goal!
So I decided that I needed to switch this up and take some of my own advice. Time to SLOW DOWN. I’d bought myself a new blank journal to do some doodling and work on my new creative platform. In the evenings I have started to do some SLOW doodles before bed. This week I tried it out with the wolves.
Normally, I sketch with pencil then draw when I’m doing characters like this. But I wondered what would happen if I just tried doodling them? They are complicated to draw right?! They need an outline and a plan right? Maybe not…
I SLOWED DOWN, just me and my pen, no plan and doodled. My wolf doodles were perhaps not stellar to begin with, but soon enough I was doodling quite nice, chilled, cartoon wolves and enjoying it! Why’s this?
When I only have a pen (no rubber, no pencil) I SLOW DOWN. I watch the line, I am focused and my mind SLOWS DOWN. It feels great. It’s a different experience to how I normally sketch and draw. I think that both have their place, but when I’m not producing what I think I can, it seems that SLOWING DOWN and just doodling is a major help!
I had a laugh when I looked back at my doodles and my favourite one was of this wolf chillin’ with his coffee. What was my mind needing? Clearly I needed to SLOW DOWN. Thank you Pen!
If you have a child who loves to doodle I invite you to try one of my online art classes: Cartoon Club for Kids (1 hour for ages 8-12) or Cartoon Club Junior (30 minutes for ages 6-7) and if you like to draw there’s Discover Your Inner Cartoonist (you got it – 1 hour for adults!).