Many of us have found ourselves doing it — Doodling on the side of our paper while we are bored in class, or a meeting, or, for me, while I’m on hold with the utility company. Doodling is for more than just artists. It’s a flow of design that just spills from your brain without any thinking ahead. Some of the best doodles come while just letting your creative side take over and letting your hand navigate the art before you.

Meet Mr. Doodle

Recently I introduced Mr. Doodle to my After Ours art and drawing class at Evergreen Elementary. The kids loved his whimsical designs and how they covered every inch of the page. I was amazed to see how much they enjoyed trying to mimic his style. Sam Cox, officially known as Mr. Doodle, is a drawing machine from England. He creates whimsical line art drawings using a bingo blotter style pen. While his designs are simple they have huge character and movement in every drawing. He began as a youngster inspired by video games and cartoons and would create maps and imaginary worlds for his own characters to explore. Now he doodles on everything from paper to chairs and clothing, even entire rooms and buildings, covering every inch with his fun loving designs. His art has been exhibited in such places as South Korea, Hong Kong, and London, oftentimes creating the exhibit live for audiences.

The benefits of doodling

While many teachers look upon doodling as a distraction for learning in class, studies have found that doodling can increase productivity. A study published in 2009 by Applied Cognitive Psychology found that doodling can help you concentrate. One theory the study suggests is that when you doodle, you don’t daydream. Daydreaming demands a lot of your brain to focus, while doodling uses less brain power and helps keep the focus on what is being taught.

Doodling can also spur unconscious creative thinking. It activates a different part of the brain than is normally used in everyday life. Studies also find that doodling can help express emotions. This is why doodling journals are often a suggestion as part of therapy. Going hand in hand with this is also the stress-busting benefits that can come from this relaxing motion of pen on paper.

Do it yourself doodles

Doodling doesn’t take much effort and is a great way to just get a creative flow going. But for many of us, doodling doesn’t come naturally. There are many resource that can be found online to get your started.