So You’re a Doodler?

Do you doodle on napkins or paper?  Sketch images on notebook paper and legal pads?  Maybe you draw shapes and designs while speaking on the phone.  

Smashing Magagazine’s Alma Hoffmann discusses doodling in her article “I Draw Pictures All Day.” For designers and artists, doodling all day is part of the creative process.  It’s an outlet that helps you to express ideas, gain insights and communicate.  So why do some people look down upon the creative community of doodlers and picture drawers?

One big issue is how our society defines doodling.  The definition is negative, describing doodling as “scribbling absentmindedly”.  The origin of the word doodler is no better: “a noun denoting a fool, later as a verb in the sense ‘make a fool of, cheat.'”

So if 37% of the population are visual learners and graphic designers are respected artists, how did we arrive at the idea that sketchers and doodlers just “draw pictures all day”?

Visual learning is a tool we both craft and utilize to the highest extent.  Doodlers recall 29% more information, and their images help the brain to focus.  At art museums spectators want to reach out and touch the artwork.  So if you’re a doodler or a creative at heart be proud.  If you’re not, try using shapes and designs while taking notes in your next meeting.  Doodling forces you to really listen to the speaker and create an image that makes sense to you.  You may find the information easier to remember or easier to discuss on different levels.

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