Do You Doodle?

IMG_20130501_120602(1)I love this topic.  If you had asked me 10 years ago if I was a ‘doodler’ I would have said no.

Note taker, yes.  List maker, yes.  Writer, yes.  But doodler, no not so much.

I have definitely changed over the past several years, moving in a much more creative direction.  I think it’s neat to look back over my general past.  At 43 I only divide my history in three stages so far.  First is birth to 18.  Next we have single life.  Now, marriage and children.

During the first phase, I am a very creative, sensitive, curious child.

Second phase, I am a hardworking, independent,  naive individual looking for new experiences.

My current phase has been a rather consistent creative process.  Observing, formulating, designing, creating and problem solving.  I put children into the creative section but I suspect their role will continue to evolve!

I have heard the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” many times over the years.  Something in my upbringing makes me think in opposites, formulating the possible outcomes and searching for examples to the contrary.

I believe you can teach an old dog new tricks.  The question should be ‘Does the dog WANT to learn new tricks?’  What would it take to motivate the dog to learn new tricks, and once this is successful how far could you go with it?  What are the possible benefits to the dog (or human) when one learns new things?

What’s the point with all this?  Because I am living proof that you can learn new things, even as you age!  Just keep your appetite for curiosity alive!  Keep asking questions.  Dream about your wonders.

I believe all the information you need is already inside you!

My doodling has progressed to the point that I surprise myself with it.  I look down and marvel at how a design or drawing has come together.  I find myself eager to draw some mornings, my fingers wanting to let it out!

I find myself looking at things in nature or a window frame or someone’s face, and I want to draw.  I will eventually find some time to quickly sketch what I have seen.

For me, I am calmed by the action of doodling.  It helps me concentrate when I need to concentrate.  It also unties the knots I may have in a difficult situation.

So, go ahead!  Pick up that pencil and any paper you can find and start doodling!  The only skills you need are the ones you already possess!  Your curiosity and the will to try.

Plus, it’s good for you!  Read on to find out how!



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Various doodles

A doodle is an unfocused or unconscious drawing made while a person’s attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes.

Stereotypical examples of doodling are found in school notebooks, often in the margins, drawn by students daydreaming or losing interest during class. Other common examples of doodling are produced during long telephone conversations if a pen and paper are available.

Popular kinds of doodles include cartoon versions of teachers or companions in a school, famous TV or comic characters, invented fictional beings, landscapes, geometric shapes and patterns, textures, banners with legends, and animations made by drawing a scene sequence in various pages of a book or notebook.



The word doodle first appeared in the early 17th century to mean a fool or simpleton.[1] It may derive from the German Dudeltopf or Dudeldop, meaning simpleton or noodle (literally “nightcap”).[1]

The meaning “fool, simpleton” is intended in the song title “Yankee Doodle“, originally sung by British colonial troops prior to the American Revolutionary War. This is also the origin of the early eighteenth century verb to doodle, meaning “to swindle or to make a fool of”. The modern meaning emerged in the 1930s either from this meaning or from the verb “to dawdle”, which since the seventeenth century has had the meaning of wasting time or being lazy.

In the movie Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Deeds mentions that “doodle” was a word made up to describe scribblings to help a person think. According to the DVD audio commentary track, the word as used in this sense was invented by screenwriter Robert Riskin.

Effects on memory

According to a study published in the scientific journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, doodling can aid a person’s memory by expending just enough energy to keep one from daydreaming, which demands a lot of the brain’s processing power, as well as from not paying attention. Thus, it acts as a mediator between the spectrum of thinking too much or thinking too little and helps focus on the current situation. The study was done by Professor Jackie Andrade, of the School of Psychology at the University of Plymouth, who reported that doodlers in her experiment recalled 7.5 pieces of information (out of 16 total) on average, 29% more than the average of 5.8 recalled by the control group made of non-doodlers.[2]

Notable doodlers

Many American Presidents (including Thomas Jefferson, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton) have been known to doodle during meetings.[3] Poet and physician John Keats doodled in the margins of his medical notes; other literary doodlers have included Samuel Beckett and Sylvia Plath.[4] Mathematician Stanislaw Ulam developed the Ulam spiral for visualization of prime numbers while doodling during a boring presentation at a mathematics conference.

Doodling is a recurring device in the comedy of Larry David. In the 8th episode of Season 5 of Curb Your Enthusiasm David states that he “can’t draw to save my life but yet I’m a very good doodler.”[5] The long-running comedy series Seinfeld, created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld includes a notable episode entitled “The Doodle“, in which a crude drawing of George Costanza provides the mise en scène for subsequent friction between characters.

*Wikipedia May 3, 2013


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