On instagram I follow a bunch of cool artists, and I get to see what they are up to and what art they are making. I got to know Rhianna Wurman through the Positive Inking project I’m a part of, and when I saw that she was doing a “Doodle-a-Day” for August, I was tempted to do it too. When my friend Emily Balsley said she was going to join in, well, I knew I couldn’t resist.
So I dove right in.
For the first couple of days, I ended up doodling flowers and leaves, purely by coincidence. When on day 4 I was able to create a flower doodle for the prompt, “Somewhere You Sat” I figured it would be a fun added challenge to see if I could stick with plant life all month. Much to my surprise, I was able to do it, even on a couple of hard days with themes like “8 O’Clock” and “Arrow“. True, there were a couple of days that were more than a bit of a stretch, such as the doodles for “Card” and “Cool,” but in the end I figured it was more about the inspiration and wherever that may lead than a strict interpretation of the day’s word.
All in all it was a super fun challenge. Not only was it exciting to see what in the world I would come up with everyday, but I also looked forward to what the other artists would do with they day’s theme.
I won’t share all 31 doodles with you here, but I would like to show you a few of my favorites.
I love the idea I came up with for Day 3’s theme, “Coin”. At first I didn’t think I could do anything botanical with it, but then I thought, “Silver Dollars!” I love pealing off their rough, flat shells to reveal the shimmery, paper-thin “coin”. I found a small branch we had in the basement, leftover from last year’s “harvest” and drew it.
I think this was actually the drawing that got me thinking about doing botanicals for the month. I figured if I could make “coin” work, I could figure something out for the rest of them!
Day 9, “Messy” was also a fun one. Since I was often drawing from life for my daily doodles, in my mind I made the distinction that they were still doodles because I wasn’t really after accuracy or precision. It was about looking and drawing what I saw without over-thinking it. Having said that, my tendency is toward being precise and over-thinking it, so some of the doodles were definitely more drawing-like than I intended. Not so for “Messy”.
Yes, I drew it really fast and messy! I placed my pen where I wanted to draw a certain group of flowers/textures, and then moved my pen quickly as I captured the essence of their texture. Definitely a satisfying practice and result!
Although I drew from life or photos for many of the days, I also drew quite a few true doodles. The theme for day 19 was “Hole” and while my initial idea was to draw holes in dirt, I instead opted to draw lots of holes in flower shaped buttons.
These were all pure imagination, which, one could argue, is what doodling is all about.
Day 5’s word, “Logo,” was another great opportunity for pure doodling. I decided to draw some ideas for a logo for this month long doodle project! I first drew one logo with the words, “Always Drawing Flowers” but that logo didn’t see the light of day (until now) because I thought of another fun name: Flower Art Rebel. A college art professor of mine once told me that I could explore any subject matter I wanted–except flowers! Since then I always feel like a bit of a rebel when I draw anything botanical, and it seemed to be a fitting title for August’s doodles.
My favorite is probably the skull and “cross-flowers”.
There were some days where I definitely wasn’t done doodling after just one page.
One day I doodled a bunch of random shapes on a page, and it was kind of a jumbled mess, so I cut it up, rearranged it, and collaged it into a new composition I call Petri Dish.
I’m not sure where the inspiration came from for Petri Dish. It just evolved organically. For other drawings, I created variations of the doodles I did for the Doodle-a-Day project.
One of my favorite “extra” drawings was inspired by one of my least favorite doodle-a-day drawings: Day 15, “Ready”.
I wasn’t at all ready to doodle when I started, which was the point of the drawing and how I tied in the theme. I drew the words first, and then filled in the center part of the image with a random doodle. I don’t mind the doodle per se. I can appreciate the humor of the bug shaped blossoms, but I wish the words weren’t there. What I really liked about it were the leaves. They inspired me to create a simpler drawing.
The simpler version of just the leaves then inspired me to create a pattern.
Notice some shapes similar to those in Petri Dish?
It was a great month full of drawings, and I wanted to continue. September is a busy month for me, so I decided to simplify things a bit. Instead of following along with the Doodle-a-Day themes for September, I decided to do a themeless Pattern-a-Day.
I’m using a little sketchbook that my friend Beverly sent over to me in a recent mail art package which luckily has EXACTLY 30 pages! I also decided to only use the IKEA gel pens I recently bought.
This has worked out well for me so far. I have been able to draw a new pattern every day, and I so far haven’t had to “catch up” which I had to do several times in August.
Here’s a little sneak peek of what I’ve been working on so far in September:
Next week I’ll be at the beach, and I hope it’ll be just as easy to draw patterns there with sand underfoot and a sea breeze all around.
If you want to see more of the doodles from my August collection, you can see everything (plus all the extra drawings from the month) on flickr.
You can also check out the other patterns I’ve uploaded so far for September, also on flickr.
Also, if you are on instagram, you can follow along and see the patterns posted daily: @aisforanika #patternadaysep. Although I’m not doing Doodle-a-Day this month, you can see what all the other artists are doodling every day on instagram: #doodleadaysep.