Monday, March 2, 2015

Doodling! I can get behind this idea!

Since I gave up my Creativity class, I found this book:

I like to doodle.  I don't really draw - most of my doodles aren't pictures of things they are usually geometric shapes that kind of grow outward.  I'm only on page 7, but Ms Brown makes some really good points in the first 6 pages.  Little kids don't draw well, but they enjoy doodling.  We're born knowing how to doodle.  We start to give up doodling as we get better at words and numbers.  Her thought is we gave up visual literacy when we acquired verbal and numerical literacy.  Her point is also with the data revolution and the sheer amount of data raw and analyzed, and needing to be analyzed, we can't afford to continue to be visually illiterate.  

I was drawn to this book, after taking the learning to learn course.  Doodling, abstractness and art help take your mental processes from focused thinking to diffuse thinking.  I have the perfect example from earlier today:  I saw a tweet which stated : There are 4 and only 4 countries on the planet whose name is only 1 syllable long.  It took about 5 seconds to come up with Spain. maybe another minute of mentally scanning the globe to come up with France.  both of these answers came through focused thinking.  I then had my attention drawn to the NASCAR race on tv, it took about one lap of the race for me to come up with Chad being a country in Africa. More laps went by, no idea of the 4th country.  I even tweeted that I was stuck on 3 countries.  I then made the bottom doodle, as the first exercise in the book.  As I started coloring Greece popped into my head.  Chad and Greece as answers ere both achieved through diffuse thinking.

Here is a TED talk - it's only about 5 minutes - that the author did a few years ago:

The bottom two figures are the doodles I did for the first exercise on page 7.  There were only 2 directives.  First, draw a continuous line without lifting your pen, that crosses itself occasionally for 10 seconds.  Second - shade sections that were enclosed shapes by these lines.   I chose to color them with highlighters, part of me is still 8, I like coloring.  The bottom doodle was done during the race, where Tony was running poorly (although before he got caught up in the big wreck) I was kind of stressed.  Drawing the weird shape did relax me - especially when Greece popped in my head.  Coloring it in really did lower my stress levels.  I did the top figure a couple hours after the race.  I had gone outside to clear the snow off my car for tomorrow morning (it is still snowing, but I figure this will be less snow tomorrow morning, I need to be at work at 530am)  So I was less stressed when I drew it. None the less, I could physically feel calmer, and less stressed  while I drew it.  By the time I got to color it, I was actually feeling happier.

There will be more updates on my doodling in the future. 


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