Back to the Doodling Board
Please, doodle at work
Sunni Brown, The Miseducation of the Doodle
Do you take life too seriously? I often do.
I am a Serious Person in recovery. I am also a Sensitive Artist. These two personas have been in conflict recently. Imagine the following – it’s been going on inside my mind.
Serious Person straps Sensitive Artist to the chair and says “Produce creative stories to make the world a better place.” Sensitive Artist curls up in ball and hides, “I can’t take the pressure.” Serious Person then steps in and creates, but the result is pedantic and uncompelling. Sensitive Artist withers in shame that this is the product associated with her name and finds comfort in Shiraz and chocolate rather than in writing. So, Serious Person drags Sensitive Artist to laptop and the cycle begins again.
This is what happens when I let that Serious Person persona have too much control. Oh, I know, she’s useful when it comes to doing my taxes, but she’s not much help writing a story until the final stages of editing.
Painting with my daughter this week, I remembered the joy of being creative in a medium where I have no expectations for myself, where the process really is the product. And, this joy makes the Sensitive Artist happy.
While my daughter attempted symbolic painting, I just stroked the paint on the paper, feeling the way the cheap paintbrushes caught on the paper and noticing the way the paint came off the brush unevenly. I looked at the paint colours in front of me and the paint on my paper and decided to try a new colour just because it appealed to me in the moment.
And it was fun. I even liked some of what I created. But more importantly, I reconnected with the playful side of creativity and my Sensitive Artist persona came out of hiding. The next few things I wrote had a freshness that has been missing in my work recently.
What do you do that helps you tap into your playful creativity when the world looks too serious? Do you have tricks or games you play? Let me know in the comments.