Jo Bradshaw

Free stuff

Question. When was the last time you picked up a pencil or pen and drew?

Last month? Last year? About eleventy billion years ago before you realised you couldn’t?

But if you really think about it, if you look at your diary or shopping list or bits of scrap paper on your desk, I bet you a packet of ginger nuts that you doodled. Just a little bit. Just a swirly swirl during a phone conversation or a bit of zig zagging on your napkin at the coffee shop.

What if I told you to pick up whatever drawing implement is nearest right now – eyeliner, biro, fancy bottle of squid ink for that tagliatelle you’ll never get round to making – and draw me a picture. Would you panic? A little bit? I bet the five-year-old you wouldn’t have given it a thought. You would have just drawn me a picture.

You are wonderful and you rock and you can do this.

You are wonderful and you rock and you can do this.

But somewhere in that mysterious jungle between preschool and being a grown-up (well ok, slightly bigger version of your tiny self) we, unless we ‘decide’ to ‘do’ art, forget that we can draw pictures. We forbid ourselves. We put away our pencils and try our hardest to behave like an adult.

And that’s sad, because doodling is an innate part of us. It’s a conduit to our imagination, to our creativity, to our sense of humour and joy and beauty. When we doodle we express our innermost thoughts and desires and sometimes make really nice patterns and sometimes make really odd things that Freud would love to get his hands on but thank heavens he can’t because of being dead, phew.

Doodling helps us to see. I mean, really see. It helps our mental health. It’s the best thing since crunchy toast with lashings of apricot jam. So why are we not all leaping from our beds every morning to draw pictures, filling sketchbooks full of joy and happiness and wonder and doodling ourselves to sleep every night with a happy sigh?

Because we think that’s a reckless thing to do. It’s not adulting. (I hate that word. Just saying.)

And boo hiss to that. I want you to be a happy little ginger nut. So I invented an easy, quick way to get you bitten by the doodle bug (see what I did there?)

It will take you approximately ten minutes per day. You don’t need any fancy stuff. No excuses. Quick smart.

JOIN IN. You. YES YOU. NOW. PLEASE. WE ARE STARTING RIGHT NOW! YES I’M SHOUTING EVEN THOUGH I’M NOT VERY SHOUTY.

Thank you. You will be giddy with joy.  When you put your name and email in that thingy below, you’ll get seven glorious and free days of doodle challenges from me. I can’t wait to see what you come up with, so don’t hang around, do it!

Yes please, get me on that doodle dare!



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