Taking the Challenge

    Freehand Doodle. Wound up being of one pregnant & kickin

    Freehand Doodle. Wound up being of one pregnant & kickin’ back.

    Doodles can capture the essence of what you want to convey. However, not all doodles are equal. They come in three flavors: Freehand, Directed, and Formal.

    Freehand doodles are the easiest (and truest to doodling’s definition). You allow the doodle to come to you as your pen to float freely on paper* while you watch it unfold.

    *(Pen/paper mentioned for ease. Obviously it can be stylus on Wacom tablet, paint on shoes, charcoal on brick, or any other combo you can imagine since doodles can be done almost anywhere on most anything.)

    Directed doodles require a bit more effort and focus. You begin with a general idea or concept. Within your parameters and boundaries you nudge your doodles in the general direction you want them to go. There’s still a lot of you in the doodle (though less than with freehand).

    Directed Doodle. Wanted to see how a Mr. Potatohead-like witch would turn out.

    Directed Doodle. Wanted to see how a Mr. Potatohead-like witch would turn out.

    Formal doodling is the most challenging. Your intent is to tame and control your doodles while allowing the spirit of your doodles and your doodling style to come through. Formal’s lack of freedom is counterintuitive to doodle’s definition which is to “scribble aimlessly, esp. when preoccupied.”

    The pundits say it’s important (imperative even) you “get outside your comfort zone,” push yourself to see what you’re capable of, and continually try new things as that’s the only way you grow.

    So in the spirit of growing, pushing the boundaries, and getting outside of my comfort zone, beginning tomorrow, the first day of 2014, I am embarking on a 30-day Doodle Challenge. For 30 consecutive days I will Formally doodle the Avatars of some of the Twitter/bloggers I’ve “met.” (Even tossed in a few “celebs” for an extra challenge.)

    For the record, this is way beyond getting outside my comfort zone. It’s more a “Yikes, what am I doing? Have I totally gone off the deep end?” thing. *She squares her shoulders, takes a deep breath, and faces 2014*

    Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful last day of 2013 and a particularly great 2014!

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    Rob Gott - December 31, 2013 - 12:29 am

    I love the idea of “freehand, directed and formal” doodles. Like a little doodle family.
    When I’m doodling for someone else, like Shelley’s Peak Perspective, then I definitely go formal. I start up with some little thumbnail scribbles, which are directed, then I put on my tux and shiny shoes and posh-up the initial scribbles. This is where my formal art training steps in tries to bring out the essence. The important is to bring out the essence and not to become a slave to any notion of a “nice drawing”.
    But I’m always aiming for the freehand. That’s the purest and nearly always the best.
    Saul Steinberg summed it up well by suggesting that he didn’t like homework. By homework he meant all the planning and preparation.
    I’m with him on that.
    Good luck with your 30 day challenge and above all else – HAVE FUN :)

    Dana Bailey - December 31, 2013 - 9:10 am

    What a great Idea! Have fun

    Tana Bevan - December 31, 2013 - 2:23 pm

    Rob, One of the larger mental hurdles I’ve dealt with since putting my doodles “out there,” is accepting that doodles are not meant to be “perfect.” By that I mean the inherent nature of a doodle lies (lays?) in its free form. Yet, as we both know from experience, the free form needs a bit of direction when you are using it specifically to enhance a story, make a point, or convey a certain meaning. Of import is keeping the “spirit” of the doodle alive which is where it can get dicey. (Particularly with so many software programs making it easy to “touch up” here or “tweak and modify” there.) It takes a conscious and concerted effort to embrace the inherent imperfection of the doodle. It’ll be interesting watching the 30-day challenge unfold.

    Tana Bevan - December 31, 2013 - 2:27 pm

    Hey Dana. The idea for the challenge belonged to another. As for whether it was/is great or not … still uncertain. It’s WELL outside my comfort zone. I am appreciating the challenge, so that’s a good. *smiles* “Formal” doodling. Who’da thunk?

    […] the spirit of growing, pushing the boundaries, and getting outside of my comfort zone I am on a 30-day Doodle Challenge. Today is Day One of the 30 consecutive days in which I will Formally doodle selected […]

    Lois Alter Mark - January 1, 2014 - 7:44 am

    This is awesome, and I’m looking forward to following your challenge! If you feel like trying the Avatar-ish photo of me with elephant trunks on my head in Africa on my home page, I would LOVE to feature it on my blog! Your doodles are fantastic!

    A Pleasant House - January 1, 2014 - 8:45 am

    I WANT ONE!!!!!

    Tana Bevan - January 1, 2014 - 10:32 am

    Lois — Thank you. Believe me, I appreciate the encouragement. This challenge has me so far outside my comfort zone, I can’t even see it. Rumor has it this is a good thing. Not sure how much stock to put into Rumor, since Rumor also has it Elvis is still being sighted. *Sigh. Straightens spine. Takes a deep breath. Prepares to Doodle.*

    The Doodles and I appreciate your compliment. Wishing you and yours a wonderful year!

    Tana Bevan - January 1, 2014 - 10:33 am

    Cheryl–I take that as a compliment. Thank you. *smiles* Wishing you and yours a stupendous year.

    Holly @ The Inspired Home - January 1, 2014 - 10:57 am

    Great goal! Can’t wait to see the doodles you come up with.

    Tana Bevan - January 1, 2014 - 11:43 am

    Hi Holly. It will be fun watching the doodles unfold. The pundits tell us it’s good to stretch ourselves. I tell myself to breathe as I stretch. *smiles*

    jhanis - January 1, 2014 - 12:42 pm

    Great challenge! I almost always draw images for my blog post (not really doodle though) and would love to see your doodles.
    Found you through Julie btw.

    Tana Bevan - January 1, 2014 - 1:38 pm

    Welcome Jhanis. So glad you stopped by. If you’re in the mood for doodles, there are lots of doodles on my site, for your perusal. One of the fun things about the internet and social media is you wind up connecting with people from all over the world. In which part of the world do your adventures occur? My doodles are created in California.

    Jennifer Steck - January 1, 2014 - 8:21 pm

    I love your challenge!! I think you doodles look amazing already. I can’t wait to watch your play over the next month!!

    Tana Bevan - January 1, 2014 - 11:18 pm

    Hi Jennifer. Welcome. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I really appreciate it!!!
    *Breathes a little easier as first day nears its end*

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