How do you doodle…

I’m a screwed up designer in that I don’t doodle.

Well I do doodle…just not like the doodlers do.

They sketch things like superheroes and robots, cartoon characters and skulls. They know every Marvel comic ever written, can name dozens of horror flicks and spend their evenings watching Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead.


I mean…I doodle. I can’t stop from drawing circles and letters and patterns but nothing whatsoever resembles anything that even makes sense.

On top of that, I don’t have a favorite superhero unless you count Spiderman but not because I know anything about the comic hero Spiderman but just because that’s what I call my son.

I remember a commercial many years back of a person doodling on an envelope…a duck or a pirate. The advertisement went on to ask “do you do this?” and if so, then “maybe you should take the test and enroll for distance courses in Graphic Design.”

I badly wanted to take the test but I could never draw that pirate-duck thing and besides…the thought that I’d take some test and be rejected from applying for a distance course onaccounta my “no-good doodling” was too much to bare.

I’m still sometimes baffled how I ended up in the Graphic and Web Design program at NSCC except that for years, people liked the crap I did and while I worked in Information Technology, I found myself designing training manuals, spicing up annual reports and creating presentations for “fun” while repeatedly hearing “you’d make a great designer.”

So, here I am. A former IT professional in amongst a ton of people who can sketch pretty much anything when I haven’t taken an Art course since Jr. High which was…yeah… nineteen eighty-two.

I remember the first time someone told me I was an “artist” and oddly enough, it was an artist who said it! I’d done an album of my brother’s wedding photos with scraps of papers and odd bits and things and this woman, Val, called me an amazing “mixed media” artist. I said “no…I’m a scrapbooker” and we’d had a little argument over the difference between “craft” and “art.”

I’ve done creative things my entire life but thought of them as hobbies…not refined art and yet…maybe I looked at things wrong as I still can’t draw but I’m making things. I’m creating. I’m designing and every now and then something half-decent appears before me.

I can generate ideas like nobodies business and while executing them is at times a challenge…I’m loving the process. Sketching an idea from conception and watching it unfold until I’m holding something tangible in my hands that was once just a glimmer in my brain…it’s amazing!

I sat in a room today with a group of future designers as James White, THE James White talked about his work and, once again, it all came back to “do what you love.”

I’m definitely doing what I love.

Between writing and creating…seeing my words and ideas falling into shape before me…it’s what I want to do. What I’ve always wanted to do.

I’m creating.

At forty four…with a second career ahead of me it finally hit me today like a loud bell ringing through my head that I’M GOING TO BE OKAY! Every bit of fear I had is gone.

I sat in that room, listening to this amazing talent, knowing I still can’t draw…but I can get my ideas across from inception to a final product. I can turn an idea into something tangible.

From a doodle.

A not so very good doodle.

But a doodle all the same.