Digital Doodling for Creativity

Overcoming art-fear and self-censure through meditative doodling

Throughout 2019 I have been experiencing creative block off and on. To overcome this and loosen up a little, I decided to make an effort to draw more freely.

I decided to use the iPad app Procreate for this exercise, as the ability to change colours easily, portability and immediacy of the medium take down some of the barriers which develop for me when working in traditional methods. I focused on drawing intuitively, with there being no wrong way to make the doodles. This helped me to overcome perfectionism and fear of making “mistakes.”  

The point of this exercise is to avoid self-censure. By making abstract images I could focus on colour and mark-making, without needing to worry about style. Because I didn’t need reference images, I found myself getting absorbed in simply drawing – exploring shapes and tones. At the same time, I discovered threads running though my creative subconscious which I could pick up later.

Another reason that I wanted to begin this small project was to make a space for myself to purely draw. Even as an illustrator, just “drawing” happens less than I would like to admit. I spend much longer thinking about how to construct the images I want to make, planning my work, reading about illustration or attempting to manage my social media than I do actually putting pen to paper.

The doodles I created during these exercises are quite a departure from my regular style, but there are some similarities – fine lines and lots of scribbling to name a couple.

Art from intuition comes easier at some times than others. While I often find this frustrating, I suppose perhaps the struggle makes the result more meaningful. I mostly did these doodles while listening to music or podcasts, although some of them were done in silence, depending on my mood. Although I occasionally erased sections, I found I got more out of the exercise when I embraced the “mistakes” as part of the drawing and its natural development.

Thank you for joining me to take a peak into my creative subconscious! Enjoy your own creativity, whatever form it comes in!