Doodling, once an idle pastime and the succour of many boring lectures, has steadily gone mainstream. It is increasingly being recognised for its therapeutic properties and the simple scribbles have evolved into an art form that is helping today’s modern society deal with its modern problems.
For Ashima Kumar, a doodle artist, coach and designer, doodling has been a way of life. “As a graphics designer, doodling was second nature to me. But what really deepened my interest was the realisation that I was using doodles not just to generate and convey ideas to clients but also to deal with the stresses of my life. That set me thinking and as I researched more on the topic, I became increasingly convinced about the efficacy of doodling,” says Ashima. She has since honed doodling into a fine art and also conducts classes to help others learn and use doodling as a tool for mindfulness.
Hana is another person whose life changed significantly after she started doodling. As a dyslexic child with ADHD issues, Hana discovered doodling when her mom took her to a doodle art class. The class brought about an almost instant change in Hana who doodled with focus and attention, two skills that had always challenged her. Her mom was amazed at the change and ensured continued sessions for Hana.
Science too- backs up the many benefits of doodling.
In 2009, a study published in “Applied Cognitive Psychology” found that those who doodled during a brief but dull conversation recalled 29 percent more information than those who didn’t. Many other studies and experiments point towards multiple benefits viz. enhanced cognitive skills, improved observation, coordination and motor skills, creativity, unlocking of emotional issues, relieving mental and physical stress and general sense of well being.
Benefits apart, what makes doodling so popular and effective is the comparative lack of skill set and resources required. All you need is a pen and paper and you are ready to doodle. “Age is no bar for doodling,” shares Ashima. “Nor do you require any specific skills; not even drawing skills. In fact, the only skill you need is a willingness to explore and an open mind. The rest will come.”
Given its ease of adoption, not just individuals but corporates too, have taken to doodling.
The activity has found its way into wellness, brainstorming, strategy and problem solving sessions. Preeti, an IT professional finds herself “addicted to doodle art as a way of inner expression.” For Pooja, an IT professional, it is all about, “letting [her] inner thoughts flow through designs and patterns …[to create]…some stunning amalgamation of [her] thoughts.” On the other hand, Jake uses it to “find solutions to coding challenges.”
It would seem then that the possibilities and uses of doodling are endless. And as more people take to it, we discover new ways of using and creating them. But most importantly, doodling seems the path to a happy place where fulfilment, achievement and well being abound. That alone should be enough to make anyone pick up the pen and paper and get doodling.
Well known doodlers
Leonardo da Vinci
Sylvia Plath Samuel Beckett
Published at Let’s Flourish