Write It Or Sketch It Down

Jotting, scribbling, doodling, mark-making and writing are creative pursuits that help me to grow as an artist. When an idea runs through me or a creative idea surfaces in me if I don’t catch it and write it down or sketch it, it’s gone. That fast, it is gone! A creative idea can take time to trickle into my head and filter out as a piece of art. If I don’t pay attention to it, acknowledge it, and record it in some way, it can vanish as fast as it came to life.

We all doodle. I used to think my doodles were nothing, nothing at all. That is because I didn’t connect to them. I thought I doodled on paper because I was bored. It is possible boredom may have initiated the marks from my pen on to paper some of the time but not exclusively. Possibly the marks were an extension of feelings. I can see now that is what sketching is - a connection between me, my thoughts and emotions, expressed by a continuous group of lines, forming pictures, of how I see my world.

Similarly with handwriting - straight lines and curvy lines on ruled paper, I once figured out, in childhood, could give me the freedom to express thoughts into words. Lines forming letters, making words and forming sentences into stories, narratives, poems and whatever I could dream up to write down.

In my creative practise I began to observe doodles in a whole new way when they surfaced as trendy in mixed-media art around 2010. I began to notice my doodles from an entirely new perspective. I could make marks. I could doodle. I could manage both of these very fearful acts that were, at the time, way outside my comfort zone. I began to observe my doodles more and when I was on the phone with a customer service rep problem solving the marks I made could be harsh and angular and repetitive. I saw anger in these marks and realized the anger I was feeling and adjusted my attitude as a result of what I saw in those marks.

I definitely see the connection between my emotions and mark making as it relates to any and all art I create. It is nice to observe my feelings while I am creating. I can connect to joy or frustration, anger or any of the other possible myriad of emotions I feel if I let myself doodle, commit to a mark, or possibly draw something, anything, something more than a doodle.

Right now I am trying to incorporate making marks in art. Experimenting with different tools and types of pens, paint markers and brushes to spontaneously work with the marks that land on paper and canvas; leaving behind my unique signature. If I wasn’t a person who enjoys using writing instruments, I have to wonder if I would even attempt to try at using a paintbrush.

I believe the process of writing, jotting, doodling, and mark-making will eventually lead me to drawing. It only makes sense that my doodles are primitive illustrations laying in wait for me to commit to drawing, as a practise. I draw in fits and starts on tiny surfaces, revealing my fear of committing to drawing. With each attempt at working at making marks more and more I am moving closer to allowing myself to draw more and on larger scales. I am trying to find pleasure in what I draw for the sole purpose of just drawing. I really hope I will draw as part of my daily practise. In the meantime, I am so happy I started to allow myself to make marks, any marks, just for the sake of my happiness, and nothing more.