Everyone needs an outlet to express him or herself and everyone has one readily available: doodling.
Doodles represent self-expression in its purest form. A doodle is usually just an idle drawing done with pen or pencil on a sheet of ordinary paper. Doodles reflect a person’s innermost feelings, even if the artist doesn’t realize it. I often sit and doodle for inspiration before I draw seriously. That way, I get a deeper understanding of my own feelings, so I know what to draw.
Doodles don’t have to stay doodles. An artist can develop a stick figure into a detailed and recognizable character. For instance, Matt Greoning’s The Simpsons and Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes are both doodles at heart. They are simple line drawings that have become cultural icons.
A doodle doesn’t need to be planned and it can be changed with hardly a thought. That allows doodles to further lend themselves as an outlet for expression. If an artist is just doodling on a bit of scrap paper, then he or she can be free from worrying about what others will say about the drawing.
When I doodle, I often don’t realize until I am finished that the doodle expresses my mood or surroundings. If I’m feeling bored, I will sometimes draw scenes of exploration and excitement. If I am sad, my doodles tend to be darker in both subject and coloring. Happy news brings about funny or silly doodles. From day to day, the subject of my doodles may change without my realizing why.
Other times, I know exactly where my doodles are coming from. If I am in a musical mood, I may draw my guitar. Sometimes I doodle based on my surroundings. For example, if my history teacher is talking about the World Wars (yes, I doodle in class), I will draw soldiers charging into battle. Whether I know it or not, my doodles show what I am seeing, hearing, thinking, or feeling.
I believe that there is no greater thing than free expression and nothing can express like doodles. That is why I believe that doodles can be fine art.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.