05/16/14 By Heather Linder
Did you ever play with color forms as a kid? They looked like sticker books but instead had vinyl-like pieces you could stick and re-stick to your heart's desire. My favorite ones were the Little Mermaid color forms, where you could position Ariel and her friends all over the seascape. Setting up those scenes brought joy to my little heart. (I'm not sure if anyone makes true color forms anymore, so I'm tempted to snatch these up.)
Anyway, the moral of this story is that "150 Fun Things to Doodle" looks like a color forms book and immediately sent me into a '90s toy nostalgia tailspin. You won't find any stickers in this book, but instead your doodles serve to fill in the backdrops with animals, objects and creatures of all kinds.
The book is essentially a personal doodle journal, giving some instruction or inspiration for textures and shapes, and then letting you go crazy filling in construction landscapes, beach scenes, jungles and more. Though aimed toward kids, artists and dreamers of all ages will love the inspiring artwork from Fiona Gowen.
I love books like this that provide more than just blank pages for doodling. I doodle often throughout the day on notebooks, meeting agendas, etc., but my doodles from scratch tend to be the same shapes over and over. Now I can add some safari animals to the mix! This is a big day for me.
Here's one of my favorite exercises, reminiscent of my Little Mermaid art days. First you can learn about different types of fish, and then the next pages give you a chance to apply your new knowledge or add whatever else you envision in your underwater world. Seaweed? Go for it. A giant octopus villain? Whatever floats your boat.
What are your favorite things to doodle? Where does your doodling inspiration come from?
Heather is a journalist and writer living in Chicago with her composer husband and art-loving puppy, Lancelot. She's on an endless quest for the city's best coffee and is endlessly inspired by Chicago's magnificent skyline. Heather is a bookworm, aspiring chef, and NPR fanatic. She's in the process of teaching her beagle to use a French press and overcoming her fear of DIY.
I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.
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