Anybody else out there a compulsive doodler? Me, I can't listen well without a pen in my hand. Here's a great video on learning through doodling, as well as some shots of my own random doodles!
“In the 17th century, a doodle was a simpleton or a fool.”
~ Sunni Brown
of The Doodle Revolution
Sunni Brown and The Doodle Revolution
I have no idea where I ran across this video; I only know it was a long time ago, because it’s been sitting in an unfinished draft on my WordPress dashboard for ages. So it’s about time I did something with it and shared it with y’all.
In a TEDTalk, speaker, author, and creative director Sunni Brown had the following cramazingness to say about doodling:
The main definition I’ve always heard of “doodle” is even less flattering than the one Ms. Brown considers most offensive.
The definition I’ve heard is: “doodle” = “piece of poop.”
Especially after you’ve watched / listened to Ms. Brown’s Talk, don’t you think this is majorly unfortunate?!?
Poop ENGAGE EVERY BRAINY LEARNING MODE
Dearest inklings, if you’ve been paying attention (and I know you have been, because that’s just the sort of studious darlings you are), you know that I grew up in Germany and attended German schools until I was 19 years old. At some point this month, I shall be blogging about said schooling in more depth; here are posts where I’ve at least mentioned it before.
For now, suffice it to say that I can best describe my 7th – 13th grade (yes, 13th grade) education as rigorous, strict, exhausting, intensive, demanding, terrifying, thorough, and comprehensive. It was seven years of high stress…and though it resulted in my breezing right through university and graduating summa cum laude, it didn’t exactly foster an artistic mindset.
(OH HOW I LOVED MY ART CLASSES.)
(That said, it’s worth noting that I am grateful for my German education, rigorous and heart-wrenching as it was, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything easier.)
I didn’t get to doodle. There wasn’t time. My attention had to be riveted on the day’s lessons to the exclusion of all else. Teachers expected us students to take copious notes; and indeed, if you didn’t write down every word, you missed something that was bound to be on the test later. Take a few seconds to doodle in the margins or on an extra sheet of paper? Risk that, and you risk a “letter grade.” (The German school system uses numbers: from 1st – 10th grade, 1 = highest score and 6 = lowest score; from 11th – 13th grade, 15 = highest score, 0 = lowest score.)
So. I didn’t get to doodle. I am convinced that this is a major part of why I struggled in many of my classes: I wasn’t allowed to engage every learning mode of my brain.
I doodled at home. I doodled in church. I doodled everywhere and anywhere I could. When I was 14, I convinced my parents to let me draw on my bedroom walls. I COVERED THEM IN DOODLES. Somewhere, there are photographs of this; alas, I have them not in my possession.
In school, I constantly resisted the urge to add my vandalistic artwork to that already besmirching the surfaces of our classroom tables.
(Okay, sometimes I didn’t resist at all.)
When I could doodle, I did. But I didn’t get to do it regularly until college, when academics finally slowed down. The margins of my class notes drowned in doodles. I acquired a ginormous sketchbook that I hauled with me all over the place.
Finally, my pen had permission to do something other than jot down someone else’s words. And suddenly, I was retaining all sorts of information in ways I’d never been able to do in high school.
Huh. Imagine that.
The Adult Doodlebug
What I learned to do in college, I’ve continued on in adulthood. Everything’s a canvas, especially when I’m sitting and listening to something that I know is important. I illustrate whatever notes I’m taking. My pen wanders over to blank notebook pages and before I know it, there’s an entire scene of weird somethings sketched out on the paper, and I have no clue how any of them got there.
But they make things stick in my brain.
When I don’t doodle, the stuff I listen to fades to hazy in my memory.
When I doodle, what I listen to acquires crystalline clarity…and it affects how I see the world.
For me, doodling is essential to positive paradigm-shifting. Doodling changes how I view the universe.
It’s that important.
To wrap things up, here are some of my doodles. Please click to embiggen and enjoy! : )