I would hardly call myself an artist in that sense; I doodle, I draw, I’m not a trained artist, I couldn’t sit down and do an accurate portrait of anyone. ~ Rene Auberjonois
Katie and I have been working on a new, expanded edition of the Essex architecture doodling guide so that it will be ready in time for Christmas in Essex. We’re adding more buildings and more doodles, increasing the text size to make it more legible, loosening the layout to make the book more user-friendly (and so that there’s more room to doodle in the margins.)
Doodling in the margins… Sometimes I wonder if this is more than my avocation. I have a lifelong passion for marginalia, interstices, doodling, and other quotidian opportunities for adventure.
Sometimes when I’m deep down the doodling “rabbit hole” (or just because a perplexed acquaintance questions the merits of doodling) I find myself defending doodling. Or explaining its merits. And, yes, sometimes even proposing that a doodle can be art. Doodle art.
What is Doodle Art?
Isn’t doodling just a colossal waste of time? Isn’t doodling just mindless, distracted, boredom-fighting, energy-consuming, ink draining graffiti? Isn’t “doodle art” an oxymoron?
It can be.
But similar judgments can be leveled at most any creative endeavor. And, given the inherently subjective nature of art in particular and creative enterprise in general, I’m not certain that a defense of doodle art depends upon a refutation of whether or not doodling sometimes is not art. The more important question is whether or not doodling is sometimes art. Personally I’m comfortable recognizing and celebrating doodle art, and I understand that others will feel less comfortable with this. No problem. But before you make up your mind, check out Faye Moorhouse‘s whimsical images, “Just a Tiny Little Bit” for example. Or these quirky swim suited people and worms and branches and… Art? Doodles? Maybe Faye Moorhouse creates doodle art.
Puzzle over Sagaki Keita‘s intricate drawings like this doodle detail of the Statue of Liberty. Or James Jean’s “Puppet“, “Fungi V” and “Flora“. Take a look at Pat Perry‘s “Lamb“, “Trespassers” or “Waiting Series“. (And basically any of his sketchbook pages!)
There are sooo many creative people blurring the line. I’ve featured others over on my own site, virtualDavis.com but these examples above all come from a May 28, 2014 post at Creative Bloq called “48 great examples of doodle art“. I’m still shuffling my thoughts on doodle art. It’s tricky to articulate a working definition without overstepping. For now I’ll share some introductory thoughts from the Creative Bloq post:
If you don’t think of doodling as a serious art form, then think again… Doodling is a great, fun way of expressing yourself. But because everyone can do it, it’s often underrated as an art form.
Yet doodle art is a serious business for many – as these stunning examples prove. Combining child-like doodles with expressive illustrations, they show how doodling be used to create beautiful and arresting designs. (Creative Bloq)
Toward a Definition of Doodle Art
We’re left with the question of whether or not doodling is art at all. Sometimes yes? Sometimes no? What are the criteria? Who cares?!?! Perhaps it’s best to let posterity decide. Or perhaps you can shed some light on the matter. I’ll continue to muddle my way toward a definition of doodle art, but I encourage you to weigh in. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Be brave! And if you need some bravery building inspiration, consider the fact that the most popular, adrenaline pumper energy drink on the market dove into the doodle arena this past year with the international Red Bull Doodle Art contest. The winners have been chosen and the prizes have been won, so you can take confidence in the fact that doodle art is “a thing” at least in the eyes of adrenaline junkies. Base jump the Eiffel Tower? Surf Mavericks? Sure, if you need some warm up. But then take the real plunge… Create some doodle art!
- Save the Date for Christmas in Essex (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Kevin Raines Sketches Stuart Brody’s Cabin (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Doodle Essex Architecture: Beta Launch (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Doodle Essex, New York (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- A Desire to Doodle (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Do a Little Doodle (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Doodlebomb Essex, NY (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Doodle Ideas (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Permission to Doodle (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)