I find it kind of hard to write an introduction for myself, so I'll do it from the perspective of my dog (Patton, the little one): "I don't like this article very much because I - hey, your breath smells like pizza. Do you have any left? Can I have some? Seriously, you don't have any left? I can smell it still. OK. Fine. Anyway, I don't have opposable thumbs so I can't doodle, but - hey, is that a crumb on your sleeve? It doesn't look like food, but it might be food, so I'd better try. Hmm. That definitely wasn't food but I wouldn't say no if you had some more. What was I saying? I'm suddenly so tired. I think I'm just going to - zzzzzzzz...." -Patton Conradt
That Kid From Superbad Ain't Got Nothing On Me
by Stacy Conradt
If you didn't know me very well, you might think that I'm on meth. Or uppers. Or some sort of behavior-altering drug. See, the problem is this: I cannot sit still. I mean, if I'm sitting at a computer writing or something, sure. But I can't just sit and watch TV or watch a movie (except in a theater when I am pretty much forced to). I have to be surfing the Internet, writing an article, knitting, crafting, something. It drives my husband insane.
So, in meetings and/or classes I tend to make lists, take notes, doodle, fill the spaces in words and numbers in. I just can't sit still. I've been told that doodling and the like makes it look like I'm not paying attention, but in reality, keeping my hands busy allows my brain to concentrate on what I'm hearing. If my hands aren't busy, my mind wanders. I make mental lists, think about groceries we need, things that need to be mailed, bills that need to be paid, what needs to get done"¦ it's endless. So the doodling is actually a good thing.
Turns out, though, my scribbles put me in good company. It's been documented that Keats liked to doodle flowers in his medical notebooks and Ralph Waldo Emerson doodled scrolls and decorations all over his composition books.
Some people even make a good living from their doodles.
The name Dennis Hwang might not ring a bell, but I bet you know his work: he's the guy who does Google logos for special occasions. Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, Fourth of July "“ you already know he does those. But did you know that he doodles for lesser-known "holidays" too? You can see a whole archive of them at the Google Holiday Logos page.
Sergio Aragones has been professionally doodling in the margins of MAD magazine since 1963.
Shel Silverstein's books just wouldn't be Shel Silverstein's books without his drawings.
Check out a few more famous doodlers below:
(that's his checkerboard work)
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
John F. Kennedy
You can usually tell my mood by what I'm doodling: loops and scrolls mean I'm happy or in an OK mood; squares and sharp angles mean I'm agitated or stressed. I don't typically doodle people or things"¦ just random shapes and squiggles. Are you a doodler? What do you doodle?
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