29 Jul 2014

When Does A Doodle Become Art?

Heart Doodle by Karen Creftor
I belong to a wonderful group on Facebook called DoodleArt, it's a great place for inspiration and has some very talented and friendly people in it. They're from all over the world and skills vary from those who have just doodled for the very first time to professional artists.

Seeing such wonderful works in there got me thinking though...how do you define what is a doodle? And when does a doodle become a work of art?

Google defines a doodle as:
a rough drawing made absent-mindedly.
"the text was interspersed with doodles"
Indeed doodles are (as they should be) a hobby that anyone can do, which many, including myself, consider an active form of meditation and should not have a purpose or goal. They can bring people together as the Facebook group does, they can help people communicate, help you understand yourself more and they can make the time in a boring lecture pass much more quickly!

But the fact that anyone can do a doodle can also mean that some pieces aren't given the credit and value they deserve. I often think the term 'doodle' can actually do some works an injustice, as there is clearly a vast amount of talent, time and skill gone into the piece.

So When Does A Doodle Become Art?

There is a growing trend to actually use the two terms together, where 'Doodle Art' is a form of art in it's own right...especially with the increasing popularity of companies such as Zentangle.

Personally, looking back over my past pieces I would say that doodles are created when you are possibly meant to be doing something else (listening on the phone, paying attention in class etc.). They're random patterns and shapes and don't create a 'picture' and created without thinking ahead...possibly even not even intended, you just happen to have a pen and paper at hand.
Mandala...doodle or art?

Art, is of course in the eye of the beholder and please don't get me wrong, there are some stunning 'doodles' in the world! But again, personally for me pictures of definite things or patterns that have a clear structure are art and deserve the title.

Of course none of this really matters, either/or/both whichever way you define them they bring joy to people around the globe and as long the process makes you happy...do it! I have seen many doodles turned into very profitable art, designs and products and I'm sure every artist will tell you that doodling is a wonderful brainstorming tool. Thankfully the Facebook group mentioned above welcomes all art/doodles which adds to the fun of the group, though they do have a great guide to getting started in doodling!

But if you are hoping to make a living from your creations, be aware that labelling them as doodles may be devaluing them to your customers. People like to buy value and just the use of one word or another could alter the value of your work dramatically.

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