The art of doodling has been around as early as the prehistoric era when cavemen would draw using stones. We’re exposed to doodling as soon as we can grasp any writing material. Even Google is involved with doodles. As early as 2009, some artists have already questioned the death of illustration in online forums due to the sudden influx of vectors. Most people prefer using easy-to-scale vectors in their projects, making it hard for ink-to-paper illustrators to penetrate the current design market.
When a guy doodles at work, he is immediately perceived as a no-brainer. But little do we know that there a lot of visual learners out there who learn easier when faced with graphs, pictures, or other forms of visual aids. Which brings me to my theory of the day: Doodles will never die.
Everything starts from a doodle.
You don’t need to be a Picasso when attempting to doodle. In fact, we weren’t really taught how to doodle, we just did. And as soon as certain forms were recognizable, BAM! Mom tacks them on the fridge. Anyone who can hold a pen can doodle. During our younger years, we were taught how to draw basic shapes—circles, squares, rectangles—heck, we were even taught how to draw different kinds of triangles. These basic shapes are all we need to get us started. Picasso too, had to start somewhere.
In 2013, these cavemen-themed drawings were vandalized with graffiti
There is no need for a clear direction.
In making doodles, overthinking is a big no-no. I don’t think cavemen had enough brain matter (no offense) to combine different design elements during their time, yet they were able to express their thoughts through rough sketches. The reason why most people are afraid of drawing is either because they try too much or don’t try at all. There is no expected form when it comes to doodling. You can just let your pen flow and be amazed with the shapes you create. But doodling is not as carefree as some people might think. You can still apply doodling in relaying important information making cavemen drawing a perfect example.
German telecom O2 applied doodles in an ad campaign
Doodling is for everybody.
Doodles are easily understandable at any age and should not be intimidating. Have you ever encountered icons so shiny you don’t want to click on them? Or flat design that’s so flat and simple you don’t know which ones are clickable? These are trends that the young population grew up with. More people appreciate doodles because everyone went through doodling at some point in their life. It’s casual, it can be trendy and it’s always relatable. Sometimes, we don’t even know we’re already doodling on our notebooks. Have you ever drawn a cloud or a box around a word to put emphasis on it? That’s already doodling!
Technology makes everything easier.
Before the birth of drawing tablets and illustration software, artists would manually draw on paper using pens or the trusted Sharpie. When committing mistakes, an artist would either redo his work or cover the mistake up with another illustration which stretches one’s caution, patience, and creativity. Now that we have technology to rely on, everything is so much easier to do. Artists can now click CTRL + Z to undo as many mistakes they commit. They can select, copy, paste, warp, skew—pretty much alter everything digitally. They can even combine doodles with graphic elements such a textures and shapes.
Doodled social media icons set from YTD
Illustration by Sagaki Keita
History repeats itself.
Doodles are timeless. There will come a time when people will get tired of shiny things and go back to where it all started: basic illustration. We can see it starting with Photoshop brushes, social media icons, and random vectors that are all based on doodles. Doodling is starting to become a style of graphic artists who want to go against the norms and try a free-spirited style.
So grab a pen and draw. Just keep on drawing and let not the breed of illustrators die. To end this, I’d like to share Dying Breed, a website that hosts tattoo-comic illustrations of an artist.