The Artful Spirit

| November 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

Cheap stress relief? Think pen and ink!

Wikipedia: “Doodle”
A doodle is an unfocused or unconscious drawing made while a person’s attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning, or may just be abstract shapes.

The power to produce what you need (be it organization, information or relaxation), is as close as your next list, letter, landscape or scribble. Remember the old mindless doodle? Remember being in college, or even in high school (or elementary school for that matter), escaping probable lecture boredom through your pen and paper?

Artful random illustration is another way to let your mind stop spinning, to unwind from the tightness of your thoughts. It allows them to be expressed in fun and illustrative ways. Doodling is intrinsically therapeutic. Art therapists know that. You possess the opportunity to jot, jiggle swirl and twirl with your pen at spontaneous random times and all at no charge. Just write your thoughts, meditations, journaling, dot, dash, illustration, graphic or sketch at whim. There are lots of ways to doodle to undo the doo-doo in your head.

While we are on the subject of pen meets paper, let’s consider the fact that this is a great artful solution to the problems you are harboring, to write them down. Exposing the problems on paper that are hiding inside your head immediately diffuses them. Compiling lists of the things that are bothering you is another artful way to eradicate them.

Hurt feelings? Here’s an inky idea. Jot unkind comments, or incidents briefly on bits of paper, Post-it size. Attach them creatively around your home, including the dog bowl, washing machine, or the toilet tank. Maybe it was someone at work, or a relative who hurt your feelings with unkindness. Disarm them by minimizing them. Exposed in this context makes them as small as they truly are. We then realize that the people who are problems in our lives and the issues that we face are perhaps as easy to be rid of. Simply toss a crumpled paper into a trash can for that winning “score.”

Lists are also a great way of compartmentalizing what seem to be massive problems and tasks into smaller manageable ones. Similarly, delegate artfully with lists, be it memos, reminders or honey-dos. Get creative about the ways that you can take some of the stress off your plate and onto someone else’s. Be artfully smart. Seasonal lists can make (as Mary Poppins remarked) a job that must be done as an element of fun. Snap (or sketch), the job’s a game!

Being organized means preparing for what is ahead and avoiding the stress which comes with last minute madness. Take the holidays for example, the many extra items that double down on your already busy days. Plan with pen and paper what should be done and when and stick to your project plan. Crossing off lists can be as euphoric as any special treat. Artful plotting and planning with pen and paper can also relieve you of the grind, monotony and overburdened nature of the business of living. Creative planning has its place in peace.

Dare to draw. Love to illustrate. Desire to doodle. I knew a wonderful man who has since departed this great earth. His name was Peter Terpatsi and he was a teacher of graphic design at City College. Professor-like in his appearance and ways, I noted that he was never without his mini spiral bound sketch pad and pen in his shirt pocket. At any random time one might look over and see him so happily sketching something: a still life, landscape, a love note, or birthday greeting…to share. He was joyful as he turned his life into a written witness.

Be your own witness, leave your legacy in the written word or picture. Document your open thoughts and your subconscious secrets. Spin a tale on tablet. Dream a book. Design a dream. The power is at your fingertips and may spring forth at any given moment. Be sure, like Peter, to be prepared with pen and paper in your pocket to create everything in the world in whimsy and in words.

Concetta Antico is mother, wife, Tetrachromat, fine artist, instructor, writer and creative muse. Her stunning Tetrachromatic oil on canvas masterpieces reveal her brilliance and super vision and may be viewed at “Live Artfully” is a trademark of Concetta Antico and Zenava Inc. Her Salon & Gallery are located at 1920 Fort Stockton Drive, Suite A, Mission Hills, San Diego and are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and by appointment. Concetta welcomes your creative thoughts, comments and ideas at


Category: Life Style

About the Author ()