Wednesday, October 24, 2018
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Rock a doodle do

The free-wheeling drawing has caught the fancy of urban hobbyist20 Oct 2018 | 1:59 AM

Thirtyeight-year-old Delhi-based media professional Judhajit Basu doesn’t remember exactly when was the first time he started doodling as a young boy.

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Swati Rai

Thirtyeight-year-old Delhi-based media professional Judhajit Basu doesn’t remember exactly when was the first time he started doodling as a young boy. There has, however, been no looking back since his ‘aha’ moment came two years back after he stumbled upon an artwork of celebrated artist Christoph Niemann. “His style of using live props to create wonderful artwork was very different and disruptive,” says Judhajit. He, too, started creatively employing props from bric-a-brac — ranging from rusks to hair clips. Now his collection boasts of ‘Rusky’, the man with a rusk beard, a ‘Kiwisaurus’a dinosaur with a kiwi face, a ring binder with the face of a giraffe, and many more.

For the uninitiated, doodling is a free-wheeling, unfocussed drawing done while one’s attention is occupied elsewhere. “In my profession, the only art we manage is transforming the text written in Times New Roman into palatable news copy. Doodling is my creative vent from the everyday grind of politics, sports, business, entertainment and the like,” he says. Besides finding time for it beyond his work hours, he keeps an hour aside for this creative art release every week. “I don’t doodle during my meetings and briefings at work. I need a job that pays my EMIs! Best to doodle when my four-year-old son has hit the sack,” shares Basu.

In an all-encompassing deadline-driven adult work world, there are many passionate hobbyists like him who manage to wriggle out time and motivation to doodle. Among them is avid doodler George Koshy, who works as a senior creative director in an advertising firm. The 42-year-old’s affair with doodling started after he came across works by Sergio Aragones, the cartoonist from MAD magazine. These spilled on to drawings and sketching in the margins of the college notebook. The habit stuck even after he’d joined the field of advertising. Says Koshy, “I doodle anywhere and everywhere I can. Flights, pubs, meetings, seminars, etc. Most meetings begin with elaborate briefs and strategies and market studies and other slides. So doodling comes in handy when the suits drone on.” He confesses to being partial to still-life and enjoys making small sketches and doodles of inanimate objects, with telephone poles and street lamps. His current obsession is making birds perched on lamps. The only downside to this hobby, he feels, is that he has started hoarding a lot of stationery.

Research has found that doodling benefits the human mind. It helps enhance concentration, makes mind maps and improves memory and active listening skills. Schools and parents, too, are mirroring this growing awareness. The parents of Noida-based Vaanika Dutta (11) see merit in her passion for doodling. “The art helps me understand what’s going on in my daughter’s mind. She looks at situations differently and tries to find humour in every situation, which is captured in her doodles,” shares her mother Vandana. She’s happy that her daughter likes to use her hands to draw, before she hits the keyboard.

In the pop culture, too, there is a growing interest in doodle art. Chandigarh-based Sehaj Kandhari (19) started doodling, as a young girl, when she created a daily diary. Instead of writing, she doodled to explain her day. Now, social media has helped her attain wider acknowledgment of her art. She mixes doodles with calligraphy and illustrations.

“Doodling relaxes my mind. It’s just a scribble of my daily routine”, shares Sehaj.

Clearly, be it a cathartic release, a break from the humdrum of life or just a much-needed mind wandering over a cuppa, doodling in all its innovative forms is the new refuge of the rising, urban hobbyist. So, next time you see someone idling with pen at the park or the parking lot, you know they are doodling away to zen!

Class art

  • Doodling, considered a form of fidgeting, is like any other creative expression. 
  • It helps release stress and improves the working of the mind. 
  • Drawing concepts via doodles also helps to retain facts and figures better-visual interpretation.
  • Time-lapse digital doodles are also being used in presentations to make them more pictorial and retentive.
  • Working on doodles can enhance observational skills as one sits down with a pen and paper — the required timeout for the mind. 
  • Active listening also gets affected, especially in visual presentations. These are facilitated graphically with the use of doodles — be it a pitch note or an expansion strategy of the company. 
  • More and more companies are using doodling to help the listener engage creatively, using the mind mapping techniques to arrest their attention.  
  • Short and limited spurts of spontaneous drawing and scribbling breaks while taking notes, listening to recorded messages and speaking over the telephone, also help to de-stress.
  • It can help one fill in the gaps in one’s thoughts and reflect over a problem from a new perspective. 
  • Attention span and alertness are also said to improve due to doodling.

Expertspeak

Doodling gives you a mode of communication, an emotional expression, especially if you are not good with words. It calms you down if you are agitated or negatively ruminating.  It helps one focus by creating just enough stimulation to prevent the brain from reverting to its default state, or “spacing out.”  It can enhance creativity, bring awareness, insight, besides reducing anxiety. Dr Madhu Suri, psychologist

Rock a doodle do
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