Doodling and depression
What I want to talk about is how doodling and drawing helped me recover from my worst episode of depression in 2012.
The year before (2011) I had lost my job, house and car. I was renting my mums house and was on benefits. I had no idea where my life was going and how I was going to get well again. I was in a cycle of working too hard and allowing my depression to take hold. I once again let it take everything I had worked hard for. I was completely lost.
As part of the promotional work, for the company I was trying to create in 2012, I started to draw strange and intricate doodle illustrations as a way of connecting with potential customers. One is pictured below:
At the time I didn’t know important these mad illustrations would be in my recovery with manic depression. Or as I now call it – “The Monkeys in My Head!” You see, I was at rock-bottom. And when you are at rock-bottom, the only way is upwards. Well, so “they” say!
I had been coding and creating complex websites for over seven years and had been creating design solutions for clients for over twenty years and it had taken it’s toll. I still wanted to be a creative, but I couldn’t take on too much because I was ill. So, towards the beginning of 2013, I picked up a black Berol felt-tip and a plain piece of paper and started doodling. It isn’t my finest work, but it allowed me to stay creative and under no pressure. Here is an example of one of the first pieces:
I was inspired by Jon Burgerman, a UK born artist who doodles for a living and is blumming marvellous. He was quoted as as saying “Take you pen for a walk!”, so I did and I have loved every minute. Since the first doodle days I have written, and I am illustrating, a children’s picture book which I am hoping to self-publish. I have also completed a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration and Concept Art and I proud to say, I gained a First Class with Honours. The hard work and perseverance have definitely paid off. And I also have my own range of colouring books on Amazon to help people living with mental health issues.
Getting to where I am now has been a lot of hard work and I’ve had to suffer a lot of mental illness, but I am getting somewhere. I am on the first rung of a ladder which will, hopefully, give me some peace of mind and comfort through the continual creation of crazy doodle art.
Try it yourself, get a biro and a piece of paper and “Take your pen for a walk”.
Move the pen over the paper without lifting it for 10 seconds. Then look at the line and see where you can draw some eyes, a nose and a mouth to make some faces.
See where you can add some funny legs, a few arms, a hat, some glasses, a scarf or a musical instrument.
Add you own touchs: Patterns, flowers, animals . . etc.
Happy doodling, doodle-peeps!!!