Daily doodle

It’s all the rage on creative blogs – a post a day, a collage a day, a journal page a day, a photo a day, a heart a day, 365 days challenges.

A Dpoodle a today.

And it makes sense, if you want to keep the flow, get in the groove. You need to show up every day and do your thing. For a long long time I didn’t, I let life run me over, I was exhausted and kept saving my ideas for tomorrow. “It’ll soon get better, and then…” turned into years… But I’ve learned recently, if I want to get it done, I need to get started. No matter what life looks like today.

Being me, I do know however that a fixed project commitment every day doesn’t work for me. Making it a duty, heck, that’s why I became self-employed so I wouldn’t have to show up on time for somebody else’s gig, you know, the sun is shining, perfect time to go riding at 11 am! (or paint – don’t get many hours in winter).

Besides, once I begin thinking about it, I can suddenly imagine doing a doodle a day, a written something a day, a painting excercise a day, a yarn a day, a photo a day, a knit-one-row-a-day project, a cartoon character a day, an index card sketch a day, a horse a day….. (see, I’m making lists again!)


I also have a list of things I’d like to study, artsy as well as “bookish”. Schedule a day where that’s what I’m doing for xx hours a week. But I need to take it slow because I know what happens if I don’t. Multitasking is poison to the soul!

So I’m not going to commit to any one particular thing a day, because suddenly life happens and I’m off in another direction for a while. But, starting with my converted book I’ll try to show up every day and do “something”, not just gab or think about it (which I’m really good at as you’ve gathered). I have plenty of little things I want to do that are not art in themselves but preparations to make art, such as stencils for use on book pages and elsewhere. Font research. Great for days when art scares you, but you still want to feel some accomplishment.

In fact I think I may have so much fun with it that I started on its partner. I even looked for the part 5+6 that I knew I’d seen, but I’ve thrown out quite a few books over the last years, both my own, to make more room on my shelves, since I’ve reached the limit for more shelves, as well as my MIL stash that lived in the loft for a while. The stash, not the MIL. So they were gone, and recently too as I recall, when deciding I couldn’t be bothered reading them. A whole stack, same size, different designs, would have been cool though! Maybe.


The covers are a work in progress. The pages I either slather with gesso, making the old paper more sturdy as well as preventing markers from bleeding through to the other side. It contains chalk, so it dries quickly and also makes a porous surface suitable for inks and watercolors. Or I sometimes use leftover paint from something else to make a little background that I can later use for collage or paint something else on top. If you add a lot of medium you allow the text to be seen through the colour, you can even use matt acrylic medium to get the same effect as gesso but keep the text. I pull out every 4-5 pages so it doesn’t get monster thick when I add all those things, the spine being the width it is.

The thing about this project is no pressure. I don’t need to get an idea to work on it, I just mindlessly add a bit of paint and maybe something likeable comes out of it. I haven’t wasted expensive paper if it doesn’t, but maybe it’ll keep me in or get me into that flow. It feels like it’s now or else – having wasted all that precious time already. So this is my way of reminding myself over and over that a new software is being installed. I’m going to drag my resistant twin kicking and screaming into the century of the fruitbat.


Maybe eventually I’ll come up with something that I’d actually like to document and collect every day, for now I’m publishing my intentions so feel free to check up on me and keep me to it. 😉

In return I promise not to actually pester you with my antics daily. Maybe just a special doodle once in a blue moon?

But just to make it harder on myself, I’d like to hear your ideas for “something a day”. Do you think it’s a good idea/routine/challenge and why?

27 thoughts on “Daily doodle

  1. I’m with you on this one, something specific a day sounds a bit too much like a duty or a chore, unless it was something so vague, that it had plenty of flexibility to suit your current mood, like “play with colour every day” which I could probably cope with.

    I love your repurposed books by the way, it looks like a lot of fun making them, an ideal warm up exercise for painting or drawing (going back to our earlier discussion about the fear of white canvas). I think I must try this one!

    1. Get one with sewn spine instead of glued, they hold up better I think. In fact I thought about visiting flea/antique markets for suitable books, perhaps old wallpaper and other knick knacks that can be used as stencils, stamps, cutouts, whatever. Buttons? Although I have to say, I’ve never seen really COOL stuff in those places like all the art teachers out there are showing off.

  2. I do something similar with giving each day an area of attention – Monday is project report, Tuesday – fiber, Wednesday – dyeing or home, Thursday – my Husband’s work and Friday is food. Weekends are not scheduled. I use it to keep me focused on those areas where I would like to see something happen during the week. There are no “have to”s as blogging has to be fun or else it becomes work and I have enough of that!! If I did not get something done with my fiber, I don’t post on Tuesday (like today), but it puts it in my mind to give it attention during the week.

    I love your use of colors – how you blend and create with color. The books are just beautiful.

    1. 😀

      I’ve thought about the daily labels as well, not so much for blogging, but for structuring my activities. A study day, a dye day, a chores day etc. I haven’t gotten as far as implementing it though, maybe I just don’t roll that way. Maybe it’s a question of habit….

  3. A thing a day – or for just some of the days, like the Yarn Along hosted by Little Things (http://www.gsheller.com/category/yarn-along) is a great idea. It’s not necessarily done that day, but it’s a day to show your progress in the week since last Xday.
    If I may, I’d like to link to my own post on dallying and thinking insttead of doing. http://krydderuglen.blogspot.dk/2012/12/draberne-pa-arbejde-droplets-at-work.html and for that very reason I think your “Doodle a day” is a very good project.

      1. Nope 😉 A d(p)oodle a day is just that: at least one a day. I’m doing my daily doodle now, after having brushed my teeth (brr it’s cold out there) and on my way to bed. Last minute doodling, but my love of the Droplets and their antics never make this a boring duty.

        1. Thought so, drat… well, since I’m challenged for time it may have to be just colouring in yesterday’s dog – or maybe I’ll bring the camera on dogwalk.

  4. These ideas always seem so lovely, but the second I tell myself that I’m going to do something everyday, I rebel. Miserable failure at every 365 project I’ve tried. I’ve had to accept my love for chaos and flying by the seat of my pants—no matter how much I think I want order and a schedule. Damn Gemini nature. Then I spend all my time chiding myself for my lack of discipline. Uglemor’s idea for “dallying and thinking”… that might just be roundabout enough to trick myself into being more consistent. Lol.

    I love the blue! A book of colour. Such a lovely idea.

    1. Får du lavet dine daglige kollager? Jeg er lidt udfordret i dag mht det kreative, hunden skal i skoven nu jeg har bil igen, jeg skal lige have luftet skiene, så jeg kan sige jeg er i gang, og jeg skal helt ind til den store stad til akupunktur. Når jeg kommer hjem er det mørkt.

  5. Hi thanks for liking my post , I have just been reading your daily doodle post , and find so many similarieties it made me smile.. I regularly write lists and timetables with
    such things as practice portuguese for 1 hour , do a 15 min sketch evey day, play my guitar, learn 3 chords on the piano, try and get to grips with adobe photoshop . Print day , leather work day etc… and of course hardly ever get to do any of the things … and go for a long walk !
    in fact taking a long walk seems to get me more fired up and focused , and I then come back and do something I feel i want to do. The list thing seems to be an activity in itself, and has no relavance to what i end up doing ! it seems a fight between my brain saying what I should be doing and my emotions doing what they feel . Emothions tend to win at the moment.
    I am trying to do some sort of quick sketch evey day at the moment , but have managed it 3 days in 6 up to now I agree that you need to just do it , but I am learning not to beat my self up aboput it when i don’t managhe it .
    I will be looking at some more of your posts soon , as it looks very inviting 😉

    1. OMG I can relate completely to everything you just wrote, yes, that’s what my head looks like too most days. 🙂 But as long as I get something done, anything, I don’t worry too much.

  6. Hi. Great use of old books. Perhaps old encyclopaedias would be good for this. You can’t give them away. Pages might be too thin. Thanks for the idea! Jane

    1. If you can’t paint the pages maybe you can tear some out and collage them onto other pages, you can also use crayons. The good thing about encyclopedias is they have pictues that you can incorporate in the new page designs.

  7. I also have times when I think I should do a ” thing ” a day , but the idea changes when it becomes reality ,something inside refuses to conform, I am not what happens, all I know is it does not happen . I love the colours of paint , on your pages, they look so inviting . I bet you will revisit them when you have no intention to …. it will happen when you are avoiding doing something on your to do list maybe …?

    1. Yes, it does almost feel like you are coerced to do something rather than having fun. Which is silly when it’s your own idea, the brain is a strange creature sometimes. Your notion of having these activities as a side thing to do when other things don’t work out is probably much better!

  8. Your list sounds a great deal like mine! Recently I decided I really had to focus, and have been putting aside some of my interests in order to devote more time to fewer pursuits. I decided that a 30 day drawing-a-day challenge seemed like a good idea — no way was I going to try for a whole year, but I figured I could manage a month. I did, and started a couple of new series because of it, and am feeling very inspired (just finished a few days ago). There was some feeling of relief, but only because I have a big deadline that requires all my drawing capacity right now. I think I’ll go back to it after my project is done, at least until another major deadline is looming. I found that I looked forward to having a reason to draw every single day that wasn’t related to work!

    1. I’m currently trying to limit myself too or at least do things serial, not parallel.

      When doing art as a job it’s even more important to keep the playful spirit so it doesn’t become a chore! I fell into that hole a few years ago, complete burnout, so now I have to start from scratch. It’s still picturemaking that makes my heart sing, though.

      1. For me at this point it’s not even so much burnout as just a finite amount of time to do everything I’d like to do! You’re so right about the burnout! Though I have done the burnout thing several times in my career, big time. So I think this may be experience warning me off of another round. I love making pictures too, and telling stories with them. In this I’m sort of returning to my first love — after a bunch of years attempting to make “fine art” (whatever that is), the return to illustration, and my new interest in making comics, is very invigorating.

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