Over the last 6 years or so, I’ve been doodling a lot. Back when I was a professional bartender, I began posting bar-related doodles on my Twitter account during closing around 3 a.m., usually on the front of an envelope or whatever scrap paper was nearby, inspired by events that had happened during my shift earlier that evening. Here are a few of my favorites from the #bardoodles vault:
As I geared myself away from working in bars, the doodle subjects began to vary more, focusing sometimes on food, sometimes on plants, people, etc. I eventually started another project called Food & Drink Equations, where I make doodles of food and beverages that I like that don’t require involved recipes, just a little basic math. Some examples of recent posts:
Then more recently, I heard about a daily art-sharing exercise called the 100 Day Project, which I decided to attempt this past spring. My plan was to doodle whatever occurred to me that was somehow (even marginally or fantastically) related to plants. I called them “floradoodles“, as in you know, flora and fauna. Here are some of the things I’ve noticed as a result of doing this:
- Since I started the 100 Day Project, I’ve been putting more stuff out there. It seems that regularly practiced creativity begets more creativity. I didn’t expect this. If you’re one of the few who read this blog, you might have noticed that I’ve been writing posts more often. I’ve of course also been drawing more, and been doing more cooking. And picking up my ukulele more to strum and sing songs.
- It’s harder than it originally sounds to develop a habit to do something every single day for 100 days. I have not succeeded at that. The excitement fades by about day 20, and I definitely got bored with my chosen subject at times. But apparently that is normal. I haven’t been keeping a consistent daily schedule, but even though the 100 days technically have finished according to the official schedule (it ended July 12), I’m gonna keep going until I have posted 100 drawings. Right now, they number solidly in the 70s, so it should be possible to complete all this before the end of August.
- If I come up with what I think is an awful doodle, it’s really embarrassing to post it – but I do it anyway. The embarrassment soon simply vanishes and then I go on and do another one. This was also unexpected, that an anxious feeling could and would simply go away. It’s helped me be less cautious about putting the aforementioned other stuff out there, hence the more frequent writing, etc.
Anyway, the reason I am even mentioning any of this is that I am kind of stunned at where this simple act of doodling has taken me, since I first bit the bullet and shared the first little cartoon back in my bartending days. I started doing this because it was merely a way of expressing stuff that I imagined in my head and also because it amused me, and I hoped it would possibly make someone else smile, too. Little did I know that it would help me relax, help me connect with people, and help me PUT EVEN MORE STUFF OUT THERE (all-caps emphasis because damn, that is a big deal to me) without it needing to be perfect, or even good. What a relief to have this outlet, and as a result, more writing, more music, more other types of creativity, more real joy. If you feel like following the rest of my 100 Day Project, or my Food & Drink Equations series, or are starting a project of your own, let me know in the comments. I would really appreciate the company.
I’ll still keep plodding along regardless, however ineptly or irregularly, and be okay with that.