The Doodle Inn idea came about quite simply from my own wish to find somewhere locally where I could spend time drawing in the company of other people, without a focus on the results, or any pressure to improve or make great art. Somewhere to just enjoy the feeling of wellbeing and community that the process brings.
Being part of a similar group online has changed my life. I’ve benefited in so many ways, finding friendship, support, encouragement, sharing ideas and information, counteracting the isolation that can occur when living alone and working from home, and in drawing, learning to really look and really SEE the world around me.
Our online group is made up of people from all around the globe – literally. It includes people from Australia, the US, Europe and the UK. Even though most of us have never met ‘in real life’, over the last couple of years or so we’ve become close friends. We share life’s highs and lows as well as our creative endeavours, and offer each other support and encouragement by the bucket load! We all say what a hugely beneficial effect the group has had on our lives, and how we wish we were all nearer…
So it occurred to me how lovely it would be if I could replicate our online group, and all the benefits it brings, at a local level (and if it works, maybe I could then encourage others around the country to do the same).
The broad aim is to introduce as many people as possible to drawing the world around them, in the company of other people.
It all centres around encouraging the setting up, at a local level, of free, publicly accessible drop-in and draw spaces – ‘Doodle Inns’ – to invite everyone to appreciate the benefits that drawing can bring to their wellbeing, while also helping to foster a sense of community.
Importantly when dropping in to a Doodle Inn it’s clear immediately that there’s no pressure of having to excel or of your efforts being judged by anyone. Doodle Inns are simply a space to enjoy the process of drawing, whatever and however you want. Play. Experiment. Share (if you want to). It’s all about making art with a very small ‘a’.
If I can facilitate the setting up of a Doodle Inn locally to me, where I can welcome others to join me and share some of what I’ve learned, I will be very happy. If I can encourage others to do the same elsewhere – well, that would be simply wonderful.