Doodling: There’s more to it than you might think

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 1:00pm

Do you doodle, or did you when you were younger? Did people tell you that it meant that you were not paying attention? It turns out the exact opposite is true. Research shows that individuals who doodled while listening to a monotonous telephone recording retained up to 29 percent more information than those who did not.

Two local women, Lindy Gifford and Brady Nickerson, are collaborating to share with others the many benefits of doodling and how it can enhance and enrich one’s life. They are currently offering workshops together, based on Gifford’s new Doodle-ography Journal. Gifford has published the journal with Maine Authors Publishing in Rockland, where she also works as a book designer.

What is Doodle-ography? It is focused doodling and a fun way to open to the creativity and inner wisdom that is in each of us. There is no right or wrong way to do it and it is for all ages and abilities. It’s a relaxing and often surprising, visual meditation, even for those who have not had success with other forms of meditation. 

On Gifford's journal’s pages are simple graphics and symbols paired with inspiring quotes, and plenty of open space for doodles. The new journal will be available for $15.95 in most bookstores by April. Maine Coast Book Shop in Damariscotta is the first area bookstore to carry it and has it available for sale now.

Nickerson is well known for leading process art painting workshops or free expression painting for people of all ages. She knows firsthand the power of art and its process to release people’s intuitive creativity. When she discovered the research on the benefits of doodling, she began collaborating with teachers at Great Salt Bay Community School to offer students there process art in the form of doodling, using pens and markers. The results were phenomenal, prompting her to expand the program to other schools within Maine.

Nickerson and Gifford’s next Doodle-ography workshop is open to the public and intended for adults, as well as middle school and high school youth. It will be held at Mobius Community Center on March 22 from 10 a.m. to noon. The cost of the workshop is $24 for participants who have already purchased a journal or $40, journal included. For more information or to schedule a workshop for a business, school, church or other group, contact Lindy Gifford at 207-563-1736 or Brady Nickerson at 207-633-2588.

For more about Doodle-ography and the journal, visit