Doodle Your Way to Art Journaling

Remember when doodling was seen as a slacker activity?  Now it's a brainstorming method, a meditation practice, and a gateway technique to art journaling.

art journal doodling
My doodle.

Doodling can be aimless, stream-of-consciousness sketching or meditative, purposeful drawing. Your doodle can be an end in itself and doodles can be used as art journaling prompts. Doodling can lead to a design you interpret in another medium (like painting or embroidery), or your doodling can help you work out an idea for a bigger project.

If nothing else, doodling is a way to get started. For example, the other evening my husband was drawing an artichoke and my daughter was sketching a nail clipper for art class (the assignment was to draw something from your bathroom; all things considered, I think she made a good choice).

Anyway, I decided I would draw, too. But I couldn't think of what to draw. I kept rejecting items around me-that's too complicated, that's too big, etc.  I could feel myself tensing up under the pressure. So, I thought, let's just do some doodling.

I picked up my art journal and drew the first thing that came to me: a series of alternating short and long lines. OK, what next? A stack of horizontal lines below. Then what? Rows of long and short circles. And it just went on from there. I stopped judging and thinking so hard and just let it flow.

A few minutes later I sat back and was not only surprised that I had drawn something that pleased me, visually, but I had a million ideas for how I could use the doodle design in the future. I could see it interpreted in embroidery stitches, as a Thermofax screen, a carved stamp, a wall hanging . . . Can you imagine the ideas I could come up if I doodled in my art journal every day?

Traci Bautista, left, and Dawn DeVries Sokol, right, duke
it out in a Doodle Duel, in Art Journaling Exposed.
Whose style will win?

One of the beauties of doodling is that you can do it any way you want, with any materials you want. There is no right or wrong way to doodle. There's a fascinating example of this in the brand-new eMag Art Journaling Exposed.

You can watch Traci Bautista and Dawn DeVries Sokol doodle side-by-side in time-lapse video Doodle Duel. They have completely different styles-but they're both doodling.

And you know what? If you download the Art Journaling Exposed eMag (or get the iPad app from iTunes), you can vote on which one is your favorite doodling style.

The winner will get a prize, and you could win a copy of Doodles Unleashed: Mixed-Media Techniques for Doodling, Mark-Making & Lettering by Traci Bautista and Doodle Diary: Art Journaling for Girls, or Doodle Sketchbook: Art Journaling for Boys by Dawn DeVries Sokol, just for participating.

The Art Journaling Exposed editors will also be looking for the next great doodler via future doodling duels, and it could be you.

If you're having trouble getting started in your art journal or any other project, I highly recommend doodling. It's the gateway to creativity.

P.S. How do you doodle? Expose your doodling adventures below.


Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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