Can doodling help design? Doodling, we must admit, doesn’t sound very creative. Before mobile phones dominated the scenes, doodling was the prime activity of high school kids sitting in a class, bored out of their minds.
But - and here comes the surprise element: doodling can also be a very powerful tool in a creative professional’s work life. To our fellow creatives, there’s nothing worse than a dry spell or a mental block. Let’s take a look into how the habit of doodling can nurture better designers.
The Whimsical Nature of Inspiration.
We’ve all been through dry spells. It’s one of those things about being a designer that you’d never learn in design school: there are days when you just can’t produce work that meets your usual expectations. How do we then keep ourselves at the top of the game by constantly being able to generate new ideas, creativity, and focus on our work?
Going back to pen and paper.
Several of the successful designers we know, mentioned one thing: Don’t be afraid to pick up a pen. We tend to dismiss doodling as ‘zoning out’ and ‘not paying attention’. If someone is caught doodling, they would likely feel embarrassed or guilty for idling away. However, according to Sunni Brown, the act of doodling is, in fact, the mind’s attempt to stay engaged. It actually helps you to think through and better process information.
Expressing the Subconscious
It has often been suggested that the unconscious mind plays an important role in achieving creative insights. While neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists investigate the realm of subconsciousness that still remains a mystery to our human knowledge, we can look at the world of the arts for a glimpse into the mechanisms of the subconscious mind.
From Doodling to Designing
By doodling, we use simple pictorial symbols to convey intuitive feelings and thoughts that are not yet processed by our rational, linear mind. What is design but communication and the practice of projecting ideas and experiences using visual and textual content? In that sense, doodling could very well be incorporated as an integral part of the design process. Doodling, which is what happens when you’re not actively thinking about that particular project, would help you visually express those ideas and to engage them.
Designers, turn to your pen and paper. It’s time to doodle away.
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Article information from THE MVP, full article can be read here.