We picked up a selection of "doodles" over the net. You will see that for certain artists, "doodling" is a real obsession!
A doodle is something anyone can do almost mechanically, in the margins of school notebooks or while talking over the phone…Born of our unconscious mind somehow trying to kill time, doodling is an art form and companies like Google have given doodles a respectability through their Google Doodle pictures.
This definition could revert to a very simple type of drawings, like this one by Kanos :
For the present review, we wanted to display some works which are more complex than what the basic term suggests.
We can find in doodles more or less abstract combinations of words, symbols, letters, figures, geometrical shapes, vegetal or animal...some artists spread entire notebooks, leaving no place! Obsessive neurosis ? Game ? Who knows ?… The word may be a mix of «do + idle», literally «being idle»... Etymology does not precise it.
Sherrie Thai (Shaire Productions) - Faces & patterns
This form of crude art, close to graffiti wildstyle, is quite intriguing as « authentic doodlers» sometimes keep away from simple scribbling to make fascinating pieces, where the leitmotivs proper to their personal universe are displayed. We identified a dozen of them on Internet, alongside graffiti-artists that we already know on FatCap.
" In September 2010 and January 2011, I worked in a medical center as a kitchen porter. I spent 2 hours ½ in the Parisian subway everyday and I then transformed this time into intensive drawing sessions. I used bright white sheets, a black quick-drying pen and a flexible folder to handle reflection and protect my sketches. Little by little, I learned how to choose the best place according to light and motion. "
" I even enjoyed promiscuity, as it made me create little «accidents» leading to unexpected lines. I have now more than 150 drawings in this series and each time I use the tube I am almost eager to have long journeys. Time after time, I also find that I can escape from reality in a better way in these moments than when I’m at home, cosily set up in a comfort that is too comfortable. The universe I take during those trips is full of suspended dreams, asleep characters, long eyebrows, starry nights, horses and birds, houses with windows reminding me of the South of France, patterns inspired by Russian ballet costumes…I draw directly with a pen. This is a kind of writing where elements taken from my personal lexicon mingle and respond to each other to give life to a small pacific world. "
" I started my "obsessive" drawings during a particularly difficult time in my personal life as I found that they were a great way to switch off and relax. The other advantage was that I could do them wherever I was. The labyrinth was inspired by the one drawn by Margaret Storer-Roche. Now that my life has settled down I find my doodles are much freer and I prefer to create much more abstract works. I am currently blogging at where there are links to all my previous blogs. "
SWING (Sticky Cube)
One can find Swing's 'build-up' drawings under the form of paste-ups in the streets of Paris (France). This very discreet young artist is bustling with creativity and still remains too rare in the street!
ARLEN DEAN (Alkaline Samurai)
Arlen is American and lives in California. He spent much of his school years focusing on font based art and graffiti styles. Over the years he gradually moved away from the fonts and started using lines and angles similar to those used in his graffiti art to create abstract art.
Recently he has become focused on small details and patterns in his artwork. The clarity quality and consistency of line is of great importance to him. He is essentially obsessed with line quality and control of the ink. He uses very fine tip pens (mostly 0.2 mm) and enjoys creating very dense patterns that will often be created in a spontaneous manner, as far as lay out and contents.
His designs often incorporate Japanese or Asian themes and a mixture of organic shapes and lines. The execution of the line work is done with great care and can be quite intense at times. He’s almost finished with a piece done under a microscope with a 0.05 mm tip and so is looking forward to finishing!
STING CHEN (I AIN’T AN ARTIST)
Sting Chen currently works for the Memes Creative Partnership as a graphic designer. During the 365 days of the year, he is constantly dreaming; therefore, he has realistically recorded the details of his dreamscapes to form a creative interest and a way to learn more about the self.
While dreaming, many clips are presented in the deeper layer of the brain, and they are surreal yet full of indirect icons. “Mind Sketch” is a series of creative works that have transformed the ideas and states of minds in dreamy images.
Kanos is a Parisian writer whose "circonvolutions" overrun walls and paper... One only has to dive into these hypnotic twist and turns and let one's mind wander!
Those various sketches are based upon lines and circumvolutions inspired by the city and its signs, where codes are upside down, covered and finally disappear.
« A line is a length without breadth. »
Euclid, 300 av. JC.
REDPAPAYA (李栩宏) - Lee Hsu-Hong
" I was born in 1985, Ilan County, Taiwan. I am currently enrolled in Taiwan National Hsinchu University of Education Department of Arts and Design MA program. These shapes are like beasts, their original look may be more hideous and unsightly. "
" Through internalization and precipitation, I will make the black lines more beautiful, simplified with more musical fluency. It’s also like writing calligraphy, let the blundering thoughts return to the original beauty and peace. For me, creating work is a balance of mind, and an exploration of the unknown self. "
Lee also has a Facebook page.
Born in 1951, David was brought in the US, in France and New Mexico. It is difficult to sum up a rich and hectic life, so we invite you to read his blog to know more. He explains his addiction to drugs (especially LSD) and writes, concerning the 700 doodles he published on his Flickr page:
“I have always seen patterns, both superimposed on things when my eyes are open, and in the dark. The patterns changed after I started taking LSD, becoming more sharply geometric, and the colors have changed as the years have passed.
" Except when I am on high doses of LSD, I usually have quite a bit of control over the patterns and I can make them disappear if necessary. Although the patterns I draw are based on what I see, I find it impossible to accurately draw the multi-dimensional patterns and shapes that I perceive! ”
As you will see on his Flickr page, his drawings are literally heady!
MOKOSO (Mokoso's flog)
Drawings and details (collage)
" The Mokoso" is a graphic matter having an organic, vegetal and mechanical look, growing up for years now. Certain scientists think that this matter was born from a crossbreeding with comics, graffiti and contemporary art. One indeed notices that certain stylistic properties have been observed on European species such as Jean Dubuffet, and North Americans Charles Burns or Keith Haring.
Nosbe's freestyles and other exquisite corpses, whenever they are on paper or on wall, also flirt with doodling, throughout improvised details and intricate shapes.
No space seems to withstand emptiness, reminding the principle of "horror vacui" reflected in these systematic and almost obsessive paddings.
"I enjoy drawing and always have a sketchbook with me. I draw people, places, and things. I am intrigued by letters and often sketch letters I see or imagine. I collect these in tidy rows in my Moleskine for the pure fun of it. A collection of the alphadoodles is available as a Blurb book. I post a subset of my Flickr images on a blog."
" I love drawing. My sketchbooks are mostly a hectic mix of characters, objects and patterns. I don't sleep much, I doodle all the time, and I like to experiment with humour, shock and abstractness throughout my pieces. "
" I draw on anything I can get my hands on, from a chest of drawers to my bedroom walls. I like to work with thin, black fine liners, but I also experiment with spray paint, watercolours, pencils, acrylics and I often work with Photoshop to colour in some of my work. "
" Many of my free drawings are most probably an output of events and people I have met in my life, I'm sure they have some form of subliminal signifacance, but when I doodle I simply draw whatever I feel like. I like to make people happy with my art. "
MAPE (Ze Dodler)
Mape sometimes publishes his drawings in fanzines. His doodles are like a cure for his insomnia...
For certain artists, doodling is a drug!
Or maybe a virtuous circle...
One of the most famous Belgian cartoonist, Franquin, has left a short anthology of gorgeous doodles in a book (see some pics on this
This article is also available in French version on FatCap.org.
Background photo-title : Detail by Sam Cox.