I am a doodler. I like the word doodle when I say it over and over again in my head (because if I did it out loud I would appear crazy). I mostly doodle for free-motion quilting ideas, but I doodle for other reasons as well. I doodle to focus when I need to, I doodle to play with lines and color when my brain needs to refresh, I doodle to see if some day I can doodle my way into being artistic. I have books on doodling and watch You Tube videos about it. My doodle books are written by real artists. I see that doodling is art, but I still call myself a doodler rather than an artist. But then I remember…
doodler : artist :: jogger : runner
Just like running books say to motivate yourself by calling yourself a runner rather than a jogger, and professional publications say to dress for the job you want, I suppose I should try on the word artist. I think I use the word doodler because I’m not willing to call myself an artist. I see what art looks like and I don’t feel like my pen doodles or thread doodles are art. BUT, if I were one of my students and they said something like that, I would instantly say to them “You are an artist!” They would protest, blush and shake their heads at me and I would insist. “You are! You are an ARTIST. Own it!” And I would provide the opportunities to explore that new idea and the skills involved and mentor to help them develop a vision. In my own head though, when I call myself a doodler rather than an artist or when
I say “I like to write” rather than “I am a writer”, the voice that protests is very quiet. Quiet enough to ignore.
In the last few days this theme, this lesson, has come to me in a variety of forms.
First, I separated out the two sides of my life–education and artsy stuff–into two Twitter accounts, and re-separated my blog into two blogs By Pen or By Thread and Wear the Cape. It set me to thinking about how I don’t declare my creative side to my education life very often, and I don’t declare my education side to my creative life much at all. Why is that? They feed into each other constantly. Some posts, like this one perhaps, belong on both.
Then, “Make Cycle #4” started with the National Writing Project Making Learning Connected #clmooc. And yes, that sounded like a new language to me at first, too. The focus of this Make Cycle is the develop a credo. I was especially drawn to the idea of using Bull Durham’s iconic speech (linked here, but please be warned it is not G-rated. Bull Durham was, indeed, human) as a mentor text, I probably still will, but this idea of declaring your own beauty, your own intentions just keeps tip-tip-tippity-tiptoeing around me and poking me. What would be my focus for my credo? Education or Creativity? Would I dare combine them?
And yesterday a co-worker told me about the You Are Beautiful Campaign which is based on the idea of sharing one simple thought with your world–the thought that you are beautiful in every moment–by placing “You are beautiful” stickers all around the world. Here is a wonderfully concise video explaining it.
Now those sentiments from the last couple of days are banging around in my head. What would happen if I embraced those phrases that I hide from? I am an artist. I am a writer. I am beautiful. What does it feel like to say those things? To declare them boldly? How are we helping our communities–professional, personal, classroom–to embrace their own creativity, their own beauty? Isn’t there more power in the message if we do it ourselves as well?
For today, I’m still turning it all over in my mind. Doodling… jogging… creativity… beauty… education.