09/07/20 BLOG 5: DOODLE DESIGN
Hello! I’m Shannon, the Resource and Information Officer at CLiCK. For the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing my attempts at Alice’s masterclasses and my reflections on how it feels to get creative for the first time in years. The first masterclass is all about finding your creative flow through doodling, so let’s see how I get on!
You can tell us what you think of this masterclass – and share your own doodles – by getting in touch with us HERE.
I was a really creative person in school and studied Art and Design all the way up to my final year. I especially loved portraiture – charcoal and pastels were my favourite mediums. I also designed jewellery, taking inspiration from editorial fashion photography and Moorish architecture. However, when I went to university, my love for creativity – at least in an artistic and expressive way – fell by the wayside as I followed my other interests in science and research. So, except for a handful of life drawing classes, I haven’t done anything artistic in about six years! Since lockdown, I’ve been looking for a new hobby to stop myself from mindlessly scrolling through anxiety-inducing news articles. So, when I first seen Alice’s masterclasses, I was really excited to have a go and see whether I could blow the cobwebs off my creativity.
Alice’s first masterclass is all about finding your creative flow through doodling. The FIRST STEP of this masterclass is to think of an outcome – something that you will paint or draw onto (e.g. lampshade, tote bag, t-shirt). I’ve decided to do a tote bag as we include a blank tote bag as part of our Together Alone workshop packs. Our workshop packs also include: 2 fabric paints, paint brushes, masking tape, a small sketch pad, and copies of Alice’s masterclasses. You can request a workshop pack HERE. I’ll be using the same tote bag to demonstrate all of the techniques in Alice’s three masterclasses, showing that you can express yourself in lots of different ways on one item!
Together Alone Workshop Pack: Our workshop packs contain: 1 blank tote bag, 2 fabric paints, paint brushes, masking tape, a black sharpie, a small sketch pad, and copies of Alice’s masterclasses
The SECOND STEP involves taking some time for “free form doodling” – doodling away without any specific goal or intention. I remember watching my mum chatting to her pal on the phone when I was wee, doodling on the back of an envelope. By the end of her phone call she had transformed the envelope into a story with scenes and characters – without necessarily setting out with a plan. So, over the weekend, I grabbed an old sketchbook and a biro pen, put on some lo-fi hip hop radio, and prepared to get creative. I chose to use a pen as I heard a teacher at a life drawing class say that, because you can’t rub out pen, it encourages you to accept any “mistakes” and incorporate them into your final piece. Without fear of mistakes, and no plan in mind, I started to doodle…or at least I tried. As someone who always needs a plan before I start anything – the idea of just doodling aimlessly made me feel uncomfortable. I started looking around my living room for inspiration. For something to copy. Should I draw one of the plants? The couch? The dog?
Eventually, I started making some marks on the page. A loose sketch of some plants and flowers, a few squiggly lines and swirls. Over time I started drawing shapes – prisms, pyramids, circles, squares. I felt more confident when doodling shapes. Do you notice the difference in the strong, dark lines used for the shapes compared to the much lighter strokes used for the flowers and plants that I drew at the start? It was really interesting to see my confidence grow right in front of my eyes.
Step two: Free form doodling
STEP THREE of the masterclass involves doodling in response to 8 key words, for 2 minutes each. I’ve been doing a lot of cooking during lockdown, so I decided to use food and shopping related words to inspire my final design: Fruit & Veg, Spice, Comfort, Packaging, Baking, Receipts, Fresh, and Warmth
I found keeping to a time limit and using key words to be helpful as it forced me out of the “what should I draw?!” stage. I still struggled to find a creative flow during this step, I felt like I was trying to put too much detail into each doodle – turning it into a sketch or a drawing - rather than just jotting down whatever came to mind. But, as Jo pointed out in her blog, there’s no right way to be creative and no one is an expert straight away.
Step three: Key word doodling
The FOURTH STEP is to pick 3-5 of your favourite doodles from your initial free form doodling and key words exercises that you will incorporate into your final design. I really love abstract shapes, so I chose the 5 doodles in the image below.
Step four: Choose your 3-5 favourite doodles
I then played about with these doodles as part of STEP FIVE – drawing a mirror image of each doodle, drawing mini versions, drawing giant versions, and practicing with overlapping shapes to form patterns. In the final step, STEP SIX, you are asked to choose the doodles (from the last two steps) that you feel would work best on your chosen object (e.g. lampshade, tote bag, t-shirt). I chose to keep all my doodles as I’m really keen to play about with overlapping shapes and textures. Here’s a quick sketch of how I might arrange the doodles on one side of the tote bag. At this point, I started getting into a bit more of a flow as I started thinking in more detail about a finished project – rather than an abstract idea.
Step six: My design for one side of my tote bag
I really enjoyed this first masterclass – I think it really helped me to tap into my creative side again, slowly but surely. It feels a bit daunting to be posting my doodles up on the blog for everyone to see as they’re definitely not works of art, but I’m reminding myself that I’m taking part in this creative process for my own enjoyment and my own wellbeing – not to make an award winning piece! I really encourage everyone to give this masterclass a wee go. It can be done anywhere and all you need is a pen and some paper. Don’t worry about being tapped into your creative doodling flow straight away, that will come gradually with time!
Keep your eyes on the blog as I’ll be back again next week designing the other side of my tote bag with the help of Alice’s second masterclass which is all about motif making!
See you then,