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Why I doodle (and how you can, too)
Posted by Darren Leishman

Some call it active meditation, but Spitfire Inbound MD and well-known doodler Darren calls it his only way to unwind.

I’m not really one for sitting still.

I’ve tried to meditate or be mindful but I find it hard; in fact, my mind starts to race. I start to think of all the things I need to do which leads to a very unsatisfactory feeling of anxiety and ultimately, panic.

However, I have the complete opposite reaction when I draw. Drawing is my act of meditation: it allows me to relax and find a flow. Like many people experience with colouring in, doodling calms my mind while keeping my hands busy. This isn’t some super zen like state, it's just a moment where time can stand still and the act of making a mark on some paper is all that matters.

The mark is unplanned and the result is not important. The drawing takes on its own shape, one mark leading into another - nothing is forced. You can have a look at some of my doodles here on my blog and know that each sketch was spontaneous.

Tip - To start don’t give yourself too many decisions to make.

Step 1: Pick a template and print it.

Step 2:  Select 3 colours that you enjoy or that compliment each other, if you want some help have a look at https://coolors.co/b9e3c6-59c9a5-d81e5b-23395b-fffd98 for some inspiration.

This is not for money or approval, it's just for me. A purely selfish act that allows my mind to relax. No rules, no expectations and no instructions to follow.

I work mainly in monochrome black on white or white on black although on occasion I will use blue pens or even multiple colours if I feel like it. I choose media that feels good to me and will allow me to work freely; I prefer small books, A5 or A4, rarely bigger than that. Anything bigger feels daunting and like too much like work.

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Drawing makes me happy and as a result I think it makes people around me happy. Over the past while I have had people ask for some of my drawings, I happily share them with whoever wants them.

This got me thinking - how could we use my mindfulness habit to do some good?

I know not everybody likes to draw but colouring has become a big trend with dozens of books catering to adult colouring. So I decided to do some doodling for good, and provide my doodles free of charge so you can use them to find your own moment of peace.

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Download this doodle on our website. Darren coloured it in so you can see the world of possibility with each image!

If you enjoy them and find them helpful, please share them with your friends and we would really appreciate it if instead of remunerating me, you contributed something to a charity instead.

Remember:

  • Park your expectations
  • Choose your medium
  • Select your colours
  • Find a start point and let it flow
  • Don’t over plan, remember the act is important not the result

Our charity of choice is called Bona Lesedi. This disability centre was started in 1999 by Alison Leishman, and part of our ongoing efforts to aid and assist them, we’ve pooled our creative talents to help raise funds for this cause.

Visit our page to see how you can help.

Find out more about Bona Lesedi



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