Sunday, September 04, 2011

Doodles make a difference


Doodle pattern a sample of Mary Corbet's drawing found at her blog: Needle-n-thread.
When I was a little girl, I had a terrible time sitting still for any extended period of time. In light of this my Dad used to call me "Tigger", because I bounced everywhere, all the time! One of the most difficult places for me to sit still when I was little was church. It might have been the combination of the itchy lace on the collar and hem of my dress, the shiny patent leather shoes, and the big sanctuary that seemed made to run and romp through with it's high ceilings and all, but it usually took an act of God to make me sit still.

My Dad was the person I'd usually sit next to. I suppose he might have been considered the muscle in this circumstance. Most of what I remember about sitting next to him was holding his hand, singing from off his hymnal, swinging my feet that were too short to touch the floor and doodling on visitor cards that were sitting in the back of the pew.

Dad would hand me a card, a pencil, and a hymn book to support my doodling each Sunday. I would draw over every single part of that card and fill it with drawings of patterns, people and puppies. I would draw puppies as a hint to my Dad because I wanted one! The amazing part of this doodling practice is that not only did it work positively to channel my fidgeting, but I believe it helped me to learn more of what what being said and done in church. Week in and week out, I would sit happily as long as the papers kept coming and the short pencils in the pew in front of me were sharp!

Years later, I still love to draw and even paint when I get the chance. Doodling became a means of channeling creative energy for me then in a way that still helps me today.

When I am in a meeting, the best notes I take are a mic of doodles and words. If ideas come too quickly, I can sum up the idea much better in doodle form. Remember the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words?", it's so very true for me.

You can imagine how thrilled when I saw this segment on CNN about "What we learn from doodles."

It turns out that doodling is just as helpful to me in my meetings, when I was personified as "Tigger", and to multitudes of visual thinkers as well. According to the article at CNN, some of the worlds most famous doodlers are people like, " George Washington, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Vladimir Nabokov". (CNN Doodling article)

All this talk about doodlers make me wonder, who else benefits from the focus-aiding-idea-channeling-fun-giving art of doodling? Doodling talk also makes me wonder where my pen and sketch pad are. If you'll excuse me, I have an idea I've got to doodle before it bounces away...just like Tigger.

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