Stuck somewhere, waiting or listening with pen in your hand? Chances are you’ll start doodling. Many of us are guilty of doodling in meetings...me especially!
At first glance, it does seem that doodling has a negative association to being distracted. In reality it is like a safety valve that allows pressure to be dispelled in a playful and creative way. When we doodle, we do it semi-consciously. This subconsciousness is how we actually access the most creative part of our brain and actually come up with brilliant ideas for even our most challenging problems.
Recently I met the brilliant "Doodle Mum" - Illustrator Angie Stevens at the launch of the "Born to Read" campaign at the House of Lords. Artists, authors, politicians, charity leaders, parents, volunteers and children congregated to celebrate the start of a significant campaign to eradicate illiteracy in the UK led by the partnership of "Save the Children" and the children's literacy charity "Beanstalk".
Angie told me how she put down her pencil when she became a mum - the urge to draw got buried under a mountain of things to do and then smothered by postnatal depression. But one day she found sketching family life around her made her feel better. She launched a blog called Doodlemum and has fans all over the world, who love her humour and warmth. Most parents film or photograph their children growing up. But Angie, mother-of-three from Swansea has gone one step further. She has drawn hundreds of cartoons, each one detailing the highs and lows of family life - from potty training to tantrums.
It's quite amazing we agreed that from just picking up the pen to doodling she is now a published author and inspiring children to read too - I felt very lucky to meet Angie that day.