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December 9, 2015

Sketchbook with Rules (Kinda)

My latest sketchbook has been getting really messy, and honestly I've never enjoyed sketch booking more... and I never liked the results this much either!

I've given myself two idea guidelines. 1.) To make things without judgement (harkening back to my recent post) and 2.) more is more - in the same way that its easier to look fashionable in winter by adding layers upon layers, I would just paint, cut and paste until it started to look good!

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December 7, 2015

Open & Closed Mode with John Cleese

Recently I started a new sketchbook with a new sketchbook philosophy. Here's the idea: time in the sketchbook should be pure unadulterated fun. Michael Jordan couldn't get in the zone if he had to the ref the game at the same time.

John Cleese of Monty Python speaks heavily on this topic in this talk.

When you go to be creative there are two distinct modes, the open mode and the closed mode.

In the open mode the only rule is that you have fun. You enjoy it. You're not trying to make judgements on whether what you are making is good or bad.

Then go into the closed mode, the execution mode. This is where you edit and make judgements.

I suggest you play more in the open mode in your sketchbook. This doodle (above) is an example of experiments in the open mode.

You might just have more success and surprise yourself!

Happy open doodling everyone!


August 7, 2015

How to Rediscover Your Sense of Play

They say as we grow into adulthood, we tend to lose our sense of play.

We’re supposed to be all serious, because we’re no longer kids. Grow up they said. Playtime is for kids they said. Perhaps they might be referring to the foam floors and colourful surrounds of a bouncing castle. But in doing so they took away the safe space within our minds and hearts.  And so we strip ourselves of the proverbial foam mats that allow us to bounce and tumble to our heart’s delight. We skin our knee and scrape our elbows. They laugh and jeer. We cower away. And so little by little we forget. We build walls to appear stronger, more serious, more adult; inadvertently locking out the things that makes us happy.

According to Scott G. Eberle, Ph.D, vice president for play studies at The Strong and editor of the American Journal of Play: "Defining play is difficult because it's a moving target. [It’s] a process, not a thing. In between you find surprise, pleasure, understanding — as skill and empathy — and strength of mind, body, and spirit."

Play, to me, is all about being clued in, and yet totally open to whatever happens. A surprise. A discovery. An eureka moment that leaves a shiver of excitement down my spine and a noticeable spring in my step. It differs from one person to another – perhaps you might have sweaty palms and then a quick burst of cold sweat that soon disappears, leaving a warm sensation that courses through your body. A hint of a smile that forms on your lips. A twinkle in your eye.

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July 31, 2015

Doodling with a purpose: How to create art that speaks

Those lines you just left on paper – are those really just doodles?

Could it be more than just meandering lines that you've mindlessly put together? Mindless not in the way it was created, but mindless in the way how easily our minds shifts from one thought to the next, perplexing, changing, evolving and never the same. Mindless in weight, in troubles and in spirit? A line that solidifies our constant state of flux, by being there – a constant. A reminder. A mark left in time that captures the essence of what makes drawing such a personal affair.

What happens beyond the meandering? At what point does a drawing become art? Or is every doodle a work of art in itself? I'd like to think it’s more the latter, but at the same time, sometimes not all doodles are made equal – sometimes it's nothing more than it is. And yet some are more than they truly show. An image, a still, captured in time. A thought. A fleeting emotion. Raw. Keep reading...

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July 21, 2015

Doodles to Business: 5 things to ask yourself before you sell your work

Doodles are magical.

They can take on a life of its own when you least expect it. What at first was merely an impulse to draw, to sketch – begins to take shape the more you add to it. Whether it’s in the form of a mindless scribble or an idea that sprouted wings on paper, a drawing is like a seed that one plants on paper. In sketchbooks around the world, there lies millions of little seeds that’s waiting to be brought out into the sun.

Not everyone wants their doodles to be something more than they are. And that’s perfectly fine. The act of sketching is very personal, and sometimes we forget that the sharing of one’s sketches to the rest of the world is merely an invitation – a peek if you will – into their sketchbooks. But what about the rest of the doodlers out there who wants to take their work and move forward with it? What about those who aren’t just content to share their work, but are open to the possibilities of allowing others to own a piece of their art? What if you’re thinking of selling your work?

Well, the great news is that there’s never been a better time than now to explore the many possibilities out there. Whether you’d like to take the route of handing off the production process to others, or something more handmade like putting your drawings together in a zine; here are 5 questions to ask yourself if you’re still on the fence:

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December 31, 2014

Our 2014 Doodle, Draw and Illustration Year in Review

Before we close out 2014 and set out to make 2015 another amazing year, I wanted to quickly thank our community of friends, fans, readers and artists that make Doodlers Anonymous such a thriving community of inspiration, creativity and art. We plan on making 2015 kick ass. Stay tuned...

Now on to the good stuff. This year we highlighted hundreds of artists, projects and artworks (you can revisit the complete archive here). As a short recap, I'm featuring a few of the more popular and memorable ones below (click their titles to read further about each).


The Art of Taking Off Clothes


Extraordinary Illustrations on Ordinary Objects


Intricate Drawings on Wood


Inside the Sketchbook of Gabriel Picolo


Craving a Hug Right Now


Deep Dark Fears


Rorschach Test for Doodlers


Sketchbook Pages to Get Lost In


Tumblr of the Week: Hello Stranger


Intricate Hand-Drawn Flowers Direct from Olka's Sketchbooks


POV: The Sketchbook as a Center Point


September 17, 2014

Open Call / Coloring Book Vol. 4

Once a year we open up the flood gates and collect submissions for our annual coloring book.

For those of you that are new to Doodlers Anonymous, this is one of our more popular times of the year, as our coloring books are unlike anything you've seen before. They feature 60 artists from around the world - some fresh novices, others seasoned veterans, all of whom share a love for the hand-drawn.

We want everyone to participate, so grab your pens and sharpies and get to it. If you're interested in participating, we've set an aggressive deadline that is fast approaching (October 7th, 2014), go here for the complete details

To celebrate the open call, we are discounting a combo-pack of our volume one and two coloring books by 15% (shop here).





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