I work full time, it’s what pays the bills. I’m lucky enough to have a graphic design job I really love, even though it eats up a lot of the time I’d rather spend just drawing all day or even doing something a little more interesting with this blog. But the one thing it’s good for is random doodles. Meetings are a necessary part of working life, but they’re not always, shall we say, riveting. Sometimes I’m sitting through an hour-long meeting for the 10 minutes of discussion which is actually relevant to me. Sometimes the discussion gets hijacked by a meaningless tangent for a while until the meeting leader restores order. Hence, the meeting doodle.
It’s a habit I picked up in school. Since I had a pen and a notebook out anyway, and especially if I found myself nodding off, I’d stake out a blank area in my notes and just let the pen do what it will. For me, it has always helped me focus because my brain is always active and my ears are always listening, instead of just zoning out. I’m also a compulsive note-taker, so my college notebooks are quite crowded.
Since these days my sketchbooks at home are mostly full of sketches and warm-up drawings directly related to a specific project, meeting doodles are my “playtime.” Although occasionally the doodles are working out a particular problem I’m having, most often they are pure free-association from one stroke to the next. Working directly in ink means just living with every stray line I make so there’s no pressure for perfection. And I’ve always loved the wonderful depth and line quality you can achieve with a simple ball-point pen.