Doodle mania continues

One of the obvious and most exciting uses of creativity is in problem solving.  Artists are problem solvers and, if scrutinized even more finely, they are problem creators as well, but that’s another post.

When confronted with a problem – be it simple or profound – the human species uses native creativity to work through the barriers.  That is, when facing any issue, we call in our abilities to listen openly and synthesize spontaneously.

You can use your doodling to become intimate with this natural capability which you possess but seldom trust.  Keep a small bit of paper and pen next to you during work and let your hand dance with these instruments at moments throughout your day.   (Doodling in meetings can be a great way to keep proper perspective through the discussions.)   It’s best to use a pen rather than pencil, so you get past the concept of ‘making mistakes.’ 

As you look over your doodles, what problems do you see?  I do not mean problems with the ‘artistic quality;’ I mean, what parts of your doodles seem to want changing, modifying, extending, completing?  Go back and play just as instinctively with your ‘fixes’ as you did with the original mark-making.  Your pen just moves of its own accord.  If and when it stops moving, go on to a different doodle and return later to the first. 

It’s very important not to approach your doodles with anything remotely resembling a plan.  Both your fresh marks and your subsequent ‘problem-solving’ doodling must be entirely free form before they will reveal any new information to you.

And this information is not the only benefit of doodling, but it is key.  As you review your doodles, what insights do you have?  What does your very individual line say about who and where you are right now?  What new possibilities do your ‘problem solving’ marks suggest?  What kind of energy, courage, confidence, appreciation, etc. do your doodles manifest?  Save all these drawings as records of your life, your challenges, and the naturally brilliant ways you have of problem-solving.

2 comments so far

  1. Linda on

    Hi Mary,

    I never thought of doodling in this way until I read your blog posts about it. Always love finding new perspectives on things we take for granted in our day-to-day lives. Thanks.

    I just read a book I want to recommend to you on creative problem solving. It’s called Jack’s Notebook by Gregg Fraley. It’s an unusual format, and I found it fascinating. It’s a business fable, a combo of fiction and nonfiction. I learned so much about one of the most fundamental business (and life) skills we need today, creative problem solving, while being totally engrossed in Jack’s story.

    I love how the author took an innovative approach to the topic of . . . well, innovation!


  2. maryhruth on

    Thanks for the recommendation, Linda! This is one I’ve not heard about, so I’ll definitely look into it.

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