Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Doodle Power


To see all my illustration portfolio samples, visit stevensalerno.com 

Doodling, like singing in the shower... is an uninhibited act, because there is no one around to try and impress. The best doodling, I feel, occurs when you are simultaneously talking on the telephone or watching television. Or in a classroom. (I remember my high school chemistry class. At the end of the year I gave my teacher 119 pages of doodles I had executed during his class. I think the gift raised my grade from a C to a B!) The distraction of listening to something while you doodle helps it to be an unselfconscious expression. 

Doodling is different than sketching. Most sketches are executed with forethought, or intention toward developing an idea or image to a more evolved stage either for yourself or for an art director. (eg: having an idea for a painting and conducting a series of sketches to fine tune your image toward the end result) But a doodle, in comparison, is like improvisational jazz...you just begin making a mark, without quite knowing or caring what it will become in the end, and the brain is so lightning fast that once the pen line starts moving you instantly form an evolving opinion of what you will “draw” and spontaneously direct the form accordingly. Suddenly you have made a face with an expression, or a character in a pose, etc... 

The doodles, shown above, were culled from pads and throw-away scraps of paper (on which I do the bulk of my daily doodling!). Numbers 2. and 5. above (the boy wrapped in green leaves and the other image of the weird looking fellow in pink) were probably done when I happened to be standing at my drawing table, had access to watercolors or colored inks, and this is why they look more “rendered”... but both started out as lines and marks that simply grew into an image without any pre-planning. (it's funny that the character at the top of number 4. kind of looks like a teenage George Bush!) I chose these images because they all depict “people,” just to give this posting a theme... but I should have also shown a pure classic doodle consisting of just odd shapes, objects, swirls, and abstract graphic marks!

Doodles help to clear your head, or expand your creative process... and actually, over time, help move an artist's style into new directions. One certainly cannot be bored while doodling. The doodles I have posted here are rather conservative images (edited for adult content!) ... because of the fact that I write and illustrate children's picture books (which have been translated into four languages). So, I have many young readers visiting my web site (to which my blog is linked), hence I must tone down anything appearing in my blog, too! 

Last word. Everyone should doodle. It's fun and therapeutic!

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