Drawing Doodles, What Are They?

You have no doubt seen people drawing doodles or have done so yourself. Doodles are are drawings created while a person is listening to someone speak or otherwise is mentally occupied. They are simple line drawings that may be abstract or they may have meaning. You may have doodled in your school days, drawn in the margins of your school papers as you were sitting in class.

Some people doodle during other activities such as when on long telephone calls.

All that is required, pen, paper and a bit of imagination.

According to Wikipedia, the eighteenth century verb to doodle, meant to "swindle or to make a fool of." It is in this spirit, thus we take a satirical view of drawing doodles and what they mean or represent.

The Science of Drawing Doodles

Applied Cognitive Psychology on Doodling

The study found that drawing doodles can help with memory by helping our brains to not daydream. While listening to a dull or boring lecture, instead of our mind thinking on other things, doodling allows us to listen, take in and not think about a myriad of other things. It helps us focus.

It was found that doodles allowed those in the experiment to recall 7.5 pieces of information (out of 16 total) or an average of 29% more than the 5.8 average recall of the control group made of non-doodle group.

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Famous Doodlers

Russian poet and doodle artist Alexander Pushkin, a novelist and a playwright is known for the doodles in his notebooks. There are sketches of profiles of friends, hands, and feet. His works are considered art and have been both in print and animated in a 1987 film My Favorite Time.

Mathematician Stanislaw Ulam created the Ulam spiral in order to visualize prime numbers while he attended a boring math presentation.

American artist Cindy Hinant is known for doodles of hearts.

Among the American Presidents who were doodlers were Thomas Jefferson, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. They were known to doodle during meetings.

The Truth About the Smiley Face Doodle

One of the most iconic doodles is the smiley face. Originally thought to have been created in 1953 on the advertisement for the movie Lili was the smiley face.

Now also one of the most ubiquitous doodles, the smiley face can be seen all around us everywhere or if there is not a Walmart near by, you only have to look as far as your phone and emails.


Some use them in everyday conversations to express emotion without words or to avoid having to use words to be cliche. They're displayed on T-shirts, posters and even candy. You have probably have never wondered where the happy symbol originated and how it became such a common image in popular culture. In going to tell you anyway.

Some think that the smiley face first appeared in an advertisement for Lili in the New York Herald Tribune in 1953.

Others think that in 1963, a decade later, for a mere $45, a commercial artist Harvey Ball created a smiley face for the State Mutual Life Assurance Company. The company created posters and buttons to motivate their staff.

Then in 1970, Bernard and Murray Spain drew the smiley face and used the words, "Have a Happy Day." They legalized the use of the words and the doodle became iconic.

But the real creator, as everyone knows, was Forest Gump. The smiley face appeared in the 1994 documentary on the life of "Forest Gump."


I have wondered what what effects conditions like obsessive compulsive disorders have on various people. For instance, how would this affect a chef?

Having been a waiter in my long list of jobs, there was so much good food that I served through the years. What would happen if the waiter was hungry?


Most people have seen in life or in pictures, geese or ducks flying in formation. What about seagulls. If you have ever read Jonathan Livingston Seagull, then you will appreciate this doodle. It is seagulls flying in Colbert.

Seagulls Flying In Colbert


In science class in Junior High, we learned that you could cut a worm in half and it would regrow into two worms. The thought occurred, how can a worm commit suicide?


I have heard stories of people seeing lights when they were near death. This got me wondering, what kind of lights would a beer can see near death. This ended up being something young people would not appreciate. Turns out the pop top has not always been around. Before the pop top people used a can opener called a church key. There are various origins theories but in talking to my older friends, the consensus is that when mom and dad went to church, they went off to drink, thus they needed a key to their church, the can of beer.


The Rorschach test allows people to share their perceptions of inkblots. Once recorded, they are analyzed using psychological interpretation, a complex algorithms, or even both. Psychologists may use this test to see the personality characteristics and emotional functioning of a test subject. From ink blots, the idea came to create characters which I called Ink Splots.

This is a look at ink blots that have become personified into Ink Splots that are part of my drawing doodles.


Rather than traveling coach, inside the ink pen, this Ink Splot is traveling first class, adorning the pocket of some unsuspecting soul.

Thanks for checking out the art.

Beyond Drawing Doodles: Go to the Steel Yard

Oslo Flowers

New June 2018