At Be Brave. Lose the Beige we are always trying to make creativity more accessible. I almost consider myself to be a creativity evangelist I’m so persuaded of its impact on brain health. Studies have demonstrated participation in the arts promotes physical and mental health, particularly among aging adults. But, I also realize creativity can be an intimidating concept. I’ve seen grown women dart from a room saying, “No, no I’m not creative at all” when I’ve proposed a creative project. That reaction literally hurts my heart because I believe there is a creative match for everyone and it does not just have to involve picking up a paint brush.
That’s why I’m delighted to discover two completely non-threatening creative endeavors guaranteed to be fun and relaxing.
The first is Doodling. Whether you are an accomplished artist or an artistic novice, doodling is playful and represents creative freedom. Perhaps you have doodled for years. Boring meetings and telephone conversations are prime doodling opportunities or even idly scribbling on napkins at Starbucks. Suni Brown, a long time doodler, in an interview on CBS Sunday morning, is convinced doodling isn’t a mindless activity at all but literally engages the mind. She says the doodle is the artistic equivalent of Rodney Dangerfield — it just gets no respect. She has written “The Doodle Revolution” contending doodling can help in problem solving and aid in memory retention. (See- another example of how creativity is good for the brain. I know I could use a dose of memory retention at 61!) When you find yourself in one of those boring lectures or on a call with someone you would really rather not be talking to, doodling may actually help you focus and pay attention.
O.K., so if you have heretofore not been an avid doodler, let’s take a first step. Apparently there is a whole world of doodling out there. Googling the subject you’ll find a doodle genre called Zen Doodling. According to Carolyn Scrace, an author of a book by the same name, artistic expression is a great way to relieve stress. Drawing these Zen doodles is a soothing new take on relaxation. So let’s get started. Sometimes staring at a blank page can be intimidating. So, try dividing your page into 4 or more sections. Your lines can be wavy, straight, form an X, or even a zig zag line. You can work within each of the four spaces (the lines actually become part of the drawing). Draw any kind of geometric patterns you feel drawn to. If at some point you want to create something a little more elaborate, here is a step by step pop art landscape doodling project from Art Projects for Kids. Happy doodling…
Next time….Coloring Books for grown ups.