Inspired Words No. 1: First Marks

Doodle Quotes No. 1

"The journey of every finished piece begins with the first mark."

Over the last week, I've picked up my pen to start practicing doodling again.

I've been sketching every day and painting regularly nowadays - but haven't done much doodling. Since most of my sketching is done from life (only occasionally from photos) and my paintings are based on photos or from life - I don't create much from the imagination lately.

So, a few days ago, I got inspired to start doodling. Anything goes. Just pick up a pen and start mark-making.

I enjoyed Lisa Congdon's Basic Line Drawing Course for this reason. I was reading her new Art, Inc book on Kindle last Friday night when I decided to check out her blog and found a link to that course. And, I ended up with this doodle page the next day:

Saturday Projects: Doodling practice + Handbound Sketchbook = So much creative fun.

Be Brilliant. + Do more of what makes you happy.

I've been doodling something everyday since. Even if it's just a bunch of circles or scallops (semi-circles). Or triangles and squares.

The beauty of doodling is that there's no real pressure to create something amazing. You just do it and have fun.

Sometimes, of course, there's that paralysing fear of making the first mark. I get like that when I sketch or paint sometimes. Especially when I'm about to start  something that I find overwhelming or daunting - like a cityscape, building, or portrait. But, I know that once I get started, I just have to convince myself to keep going - and before I know it, I'd have something completed. Even if I don't always like what I finish, it still often feels good to do something.

That's why that doodle above with the quote:"The journey of every finished piece begins with the first mark." came about last night.

I started a couple of sketches in the city earlier that day that completely overwhelmed me. One sketch, I didn't really get to finish for a few reasons. The other one, I just kept going even though I didn't think it was all that great. But, it still felt good to finish.

When I was doodling that evening, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to happen. So, I just started with a circle and grew the doodle. Then, those words came out, reminding me that sometimes, all I need is to put down the first mark.

Anyway, with these doodles and words, I decided to start a new series of some kind here on this blog. The Inspired Words series is where I hope to post a doodle/sketch/drawing/painting that would go with some words that inspire me that time. I'm planning on using the words for hand lettering practice too. Not sure how often I'd post these, but if you like them, I might try to do more. 🙂

In any case, I wish you all a happy weekend!


About the Author Shai Coggins

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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