It’s a term that I’ve always, ALWAYS, hesitated to use to describe myself or what I do or even really as a hobby.
I’m a doodler.
Well usually I suppose I sketch if anything… and by that I mean just randomly start drawing something with a pencil and then once my mind and fingers have wandered enough to bring a coherent version of what was in my minds eye, I grab a black pen and start letting more mental meandering take place and as the image gets more defined, sharper. Once in a while there are colours.
Here’s the thing though: drawing, much like writing, was never about being creative to make it a job or a career or anything of that nature. It was an outlet for the many things in my mind, in my heart and soul that I either couldn’t always express or in some instances, didn’t know were there to begin with – eventually the writing has become a creative self-expression of my love of stories, but the artwork is still a great deal more… personal.
What I mean by this is that I don’t draw constantly. I don’t draw daily (not including the odd margin-doodle in a mind-numbing meeting at work or such) and often it happens in bursts. And the style and tone and everything varies each burst.
What I realised recently is that when I draw, I feel better – not fixed, not perfect, but better.
It’s almost like there are things inside that find an outlet and even though I find that the stuff I draw follows no theme or pattern or even art-style as such, but each one is indicative perhaps of where my mind was at, at that time. I can’t figure what it is and perhaps truthfully I don’t care to – what mattered most was that good, bad or otherwise, there was something on my mind and I was able to give it vent or express it. Be it a load off my shoulder, something to make me smile, just a mysterious randomness or anything, it’s now flowed from me to that page and I find it remarkably therapeutic. It makes me understand the value of art therapy in a field like Psychology.
It’s fascinating to me how people who have any kind of creative pursuit in life (career or hobby) can have such outlets and it makes me wonder what non-creative people do – now more than ever. Am I (and others like me) better at coping? Are we worse and so we need these? Do the non-creatively inclined know something I don’t? Are they living in denial/ignorance/oblivion or am I the flawed one?
It’s not about which is right or wrong, but my combination of curiosity and need to try and figure things out has me wondering about these questions fairly often recently.
Other times I may write something and in times of lesser turmoil when it’s just regular old stress, listening to something that makes me happy (like Jack Johnson songs) or even just strumming repetitively on my ukelele (which I’ve been teaching myself to play) just lifts the mind and soul. Brings a little smile and allows me to move on to other things.
I didn’t really have a point with this, in case you were wondering. Just self-reflection and wondering out loud as I am sometimes prone to doing.
More so since after being prompted for a few years now by a couple of my closest friends and much pondering every so often, I finally decided to take a shot and start taking my artwork in public – and by that I mean not just sharing it on Deviantart or Instagram now and again. This year I’ve elected to take some of the images I like and feel people would like the most, to this years Comic Conventions around the country, carrying prints of them on a handful of T-shirts and just… see what happens.
Like my comics, I don’t expect to make enough money off it to do much more than recover what I put in, but I’ve enjoyed sharing my writing and art in comics, I’ve loved meeting the people who connected and got something positive from it (be it laughs, shocks, horror or anything else they enjoyed) and I figure “nothing ventured, nothing gained” – if I can put out the imagery from my head as artwork that engages people, sparks something and helps us connect and helps grow this community of creative people and fans of comics and art, people who I’ve really loved connecting with… then it’s worth the risk of maybe next to no one buying it and me losing some money.
It’s only money, it comes and goes, but if I can connect with even a dozen people then it’s worth it. I mean most of the people I collaborate with on my comics I’ve met through this kind of path and the returning people who come year after year and connect with us over our comics and our common fandoms and such – for an introvert who finds little common ground with most people and tends to prefer NOT meeting a lot of them or being in parties or “networking” and the like, this shared love of things that inspire and engage is to me the kind of networking I want and no one WANTS anything from each other but to connect over these common loves and joys.
So I will continue to make what I loosely refer to as my “art” and plan to keep doodling and finding ways to let the mental randomness flow through to paper. What happens with it? Who knows and in the end it doesn’t matter I think, so long as it brings me peace and joy in the endless flow of often bad shit that is life in general and the world at large sometimes.
If anyone else feels like this and wants to share their art or other creative outlet, feel free to give me a shout or share, I’m around here and otherwise you can find me on INSTAGRAM or DEVIANTART (though less regularly) or even TWITTER as linked. If you have no creative outlet and my post has made you curious or you have a different view – PLEASE SHARE IT as I’d love to talk about it.
Thanks loads for reading if you’ve made it this far. Even the handful of people who read this blog and the fewer still who comment – it’s great to have you around and know you’re there.