EXERCISE 3.5: FREE ASSOCIATION

RESEARCH:

When responding to this exercise, I will be referring to the following articles as :

Article 1 and Article 2

ARTICLE 1:

I read the article, ” ‘Design’ The Cognitive Benefits of Doodling”, by Steven Heller via the link provided:

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/07/doodling-for-cognitive-benefits/398027/

ARTICLE 2:

I read the following article: “Doodling your secret to a more mindful life” by art therapist, visual artist and author, Cathy Malchiodi:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/arts-and-health/201401/doodling-your-way-more-mindful-life

When I was in High school, I used to doodle on my notepads in class all the time. While other children made neatly written summaries/ notes, my notebooks were covered in lots of random doodles. In a way it helped me to relax and instead of distracting me, it actually made me listen more attentively while the teacher was teaching. According to the second article by the author, Cathy Machiodi, “There is speculation as to why doodlers did better than non-doodlers on this memory task. For example, doodling may help people concentrate because it prevents their minds wandering (common occurrence when bored) while allowing the person to listen. Doodling might also keep the doodler sufficiently engaged with the moment and able to pay attention to information presented; in other words, doodlers are actually not ‘spacing out,’ but are at least somewhat ‘in the moment.” Which explains and matches my thoughts regarding my doodling experiences.

My doodle-covered notes/ summaries continued while I attended classes at University. Other students used to say to me that I was wasting my ink pens. For me, it was part of the way I concentrated. Therefore, I agree that ‘ “doodlers find it easier to recall dull information” according to the study published in the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology’ as mentioned in the first article, ” ‘Design’ The Cognitive Benefits of Doodling”. I also agree that, “doodling actually changes one’s state of mind”.

For me doodling is a calming activity, almost soothing. I find it very relaxing and enjoyable. According to the second article by author, Cathy Malchiodi, doodling is purposeful action that more than mindlessness. Having watched a couple of thousand doodlers in art therapy sessions over two decades, they often find self-soothing in their mark-making. And all doodlers have a few enjoyable and pleasing patterns and images they return to again and again, just because they like them“. I do find that my doodles can often be very repetitive and I guess I sometimes have to intentionally decided on trying something new, instead of just repeating the same patterns over and over again.

When I was younger, I used to notice my Dad doodling on a notepad whenever he was talking on the phone. He wasn’t an artist, never took art as a subject in school or anything, but whenever he was speaking on the phone, doodling just came naturally to him. According to the first article, the author of published ‘The Doodle Revolution’, Sunni Brown “isn’t keen on ‘highly skillful doodlers’ ” because she thinks visual language should be open to those who lack the talent or ability”. I agree that doodling is a process enjoyed by many, regardless of skill. For some people, it just happens naturally.

THE PROCESS:

After reading about this exercise, I used my sketchbook to doodle in while watching TV. I found the process relaxing but also slightly addictive. I love the quote from the first article, “finding enjoyment is an essential first step to find good ideas” by Jimi Hendrix. It is a good reminder that I need to remember to have fun, to play with ideas and not be so focused on the end result, but rather on the process.

I enjoyed making patterns using different shapes, twirls and borders, adding dots and using a variety of different colour combinations. It was fun to just enjoy the process instead of focusing on the outcome. I loved using my new Posca markers and trying them out.

I think my doodling has unintentionally provided me with some new ideas to use for other illustrations. I agree with the following from Article 1, that “the act is essential to expressing spontaneous concepts and emotions”, as well as,”for anyone who actively exercises the brain, doodling and drawing are ideal for making ideas tangible”.

According to the first article, “Drawing, even in a primitive way, often triggers insights and discoveries that aren’t possible through words alone”. I find that very interesting as I am a visual learner and I grasp concepts better once I draw it onto paper.

REFLECTION:

The process of doodling has naturally been a habit for me since I was younger. I find it very relaxing and fun. Once I start, I don’t really want to stop. Personally I experience the following benefits from the process of doodling:

– It is a spontaneous, fun and playful way to experiment and be ‘free’.

– It has a relaxing/ calming effect on me.

– It helps me concentrate/ listen more attentively.

– It helps me to express my feelings when necessary.

– It helps me generate new ideas.

MY SELECTION OF POSCA MARKERS FOR DOODLING IN FRONT OF THE TELLY:

MY DOODLES:

NAME: Juanita du Toit

STUDENT NUMBER: 522438

COURSE: Illustration 1: Illustration Sketchbooks

The Open College of the Arts (University for the Creative Arts)

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