I have been doodling since I was a small child. While my life has changed immensely since my youth my escape in colors and shapes on paper has remained constant. My lines have matured but the visions in my head have not changed much over the years. I find comfort in these drawings, in the repetitive nature of my art and in the way the shapes wrap around each other.
Sophia is intensely interested in my doodles and has started doodling herself. She is self-conscious about her shapes and her color choice. She worries that her drawings do not look like mine. I tell her I have been practicing my doodles since I was a little girl, and I still have room to grow. I also reveal to hear that doodles are perfect because they are from you. They are your feelings laid on paper. They are colors and shapes and emotions. In short, they are what they are and they are a part of you. It is personal art and there is no right or wrong.
Today I was doodling as the kids and I practiced drawing the famous Mo Willem’s pigeon. I am simply faster at drawing the pigeon and my nature makes me immediately start to color while I wait. We try to draw or color every day. Usually we have some time where the coloring books are out and some time where we practice drawing something. This is not forced by me, they want to learn to draw. I am no great drawing master, but my prowess with basic shapes is advanced to them, so I will do as a teacher for the time being.
I doodled my usual mix of colors and shapes with Sophia’s new glitter gel pens. I loved the smooth ink and the sparkling result and continued to doodle after the kids had finished, wanting to complete my tiny picture thought.
When I looked up, Sophia had a new piece of paper and was beginning her own tiny doodle. My heart swelled as I realized she was imitating me. There will only be so many years she will do this, I know. Soon she will embrace her independence in every way and have her own inspiration for drawing and everything else. But today, she wanted to draw like her Mommy. She was disappointed, but I was so proud. A doodle is never a disappointment.
These shapes are tiny and something about my crazy type A personality loves fitting the colorful puzzle together. These entire drawings are about 3 inches wide. It is hard for Sophia. She has never made a puzzle of shapes before. She has never worked in such a tiny area of a blank page. She is fast becoming an expert at basic shapes, but this is something different. I think she rocked it. It may not look like much, but for a 5 year old with a tiny area and ultra fine point pens, this was no easy beginning.
After a few minutes, she asked me if we could trade pictures. She said my doodle made her happy. I told her I usually tape my doodles into my journal. She has recently started her own journal and said she thought my drawing would be beautiful in it. I asked her if I could per her drawing, her first real doodle, in mine.
A doodle for a doodle and we both have what we wanted, a beautiful piece of each others hearts.
We love keeping a journal and for kids a doodle journal can be a great thing! We write the date at the top of each page and then the kids are free to draw or write words or feelings throughout the day. There are pages that Sophia says are private and there are many she shares with me. I feel honored.
What do your children want to imitate? Are they nervous about their art or excited to try new things? Do you journal or doodle still? I can’t be the only one!