I have completed seventeen doodles today. Before I started this project, I thought that I would have to chain myself to a chair, in order to get the drawing done. Now I find myself looking forward to sitting down with my marker and my tiny sheet of paper. I look forward to doodling the same way that I look forward to a giant double dip sundae with hot fudge and whipped cream. I began contemplating possible reasons behind my rediscovered love of doodling.
First of all, the task is small and fairly easily accomplished. It feels good to finish something. That sense of gratification sometimes eludes me, when I am staring at my giant board of unfinished projects. Significant factors are that the paper is small (I could reasonably finish a doodle in two minutes, although I generally spend much more time on them) and the scope of the project is finite (forty pieces of paper, forty days). I can gauge my progress by simply looking at the diminishing stack of blanks and the growing stack of covereds.
Second, the value of the project lies in its completion. I have neither the hope, desire, nor expectation of any gain of prestige or money from making these doodles. The only things I will gain are the freedom to draw again and the satisfaction of having completed a task. That is all and that is enough.
Finally, letting go of all rules and self imposed pressure to make it "look good" certainly makes the exercise a source of pleasure. I suppose that the rules of good design are important (although I am having a bit of a crisis of faith regarding design orthodoxy; planning a post on that later this week) but the rules are words that ultimately interfere with a physical, non-verbal instinct to create. Not thinking, in words, but rather in the movements of the hand across the page, releases the logjam of creative impulses and allows me to tap into the well of the seeing brain rather than the thinking brain. I find myself seeing the world differently; the way I saw it when I first learned to draw.
Time to take these lessons from and find ways to apply them to other works.
“Am I not a man and a brother?”
10 months ago