Drawing to Music

Doodle Therapy - Drawing to Music - Lola - Patricia Kay
 Having trouble getting in a creative mood?

If you're stressed, or find that you just can't get into a creative state of mind, Try this exercise.  The mind-body connection will change your mood and put you into a more receptive brain state.

For this, all you will need is a pencil and large sheets of paper - a pad of newsprint is best for these warm-up exercises.  However, if you don't have large sheets of paper at the moment, use what you have.

Now, get out your favorite music to uplift you.  If upbeat music gets you going, go with that.  Or,if you prefer, go with soothing music to calm you.   Go with whatever you need at the moment.  Instrumentals will work best.  Music with lyrics can be distracting and get the brain into a thinking mode.  The idea is to turn off that process and let the music activate the feeling process.  For myself, I prefer light jazz, easy listening or new age music to relax and escape from the stress.

This exercise will work best is you are standing.  You will want to be able to draw working with your whole arm - from your hand to your shoulder - not just the hand and wrist.

Then, with sweeping movements, draw, scribble or doodle to the beat or melody of the music.  I guarantee that you will draw in a totally different way using this method.

Use your arm in dramatic or lyrical-type movements, as if you are a conductor.  Feel the music.  Mimic what you feel in the drawing.  Do you feel bold slash marks or long, curving squiggly lines?  Maybe you're feeling punctuated dots or never-ending sprials. 

It may take a few minutes or it may take a few sheets of paper before you start to channel the music into you hand.  But once you feel it, and then see it on paper, you will experience a great sense of freedom.

Just don't judge it!  Keep one important thing in mind:  this is not meant to be a finished product.  This is meant to be a warm-up exercise to get the creative energies flowing.  On the other hand, have positive expectations - this may be the best environment to cultivate your creativity and bring out your best work.

Take some time after you are finished to sit and look at your drawings.  Take time to appreciate what you did.  Do you see surprising shapes and forms that you find appealing?  Are you finding some that you really dislike.  Allow some contemplation time.

When I first tried this, I was amazed at the different quality of my drawing.  I was so intriqued with the new forms that appeared, I kept doing page after page late into the night, just to see more results.  It was an extremely freeing moment and a huge confidence booster because I now realized the look I was searching for in my work was naturally within me.   I just needed to allow it to flow.

Happy Doodling!

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