It started a few weeks ago when a colleague asked me to help him become better at drawing. He is a solid thinker, but often uses words instead of images when developing and communicating ideas. So, Doodle Club was born. Designed to help my colleagues and I develop our sketching skills it’s useful in 3 ways:
1. Creating ideas. Sketching engages the right side of the brain and helps people get into a creative ‘flow’.
2. Clarifying ideas. Drawing focuses the mind, helping people to include only what’s critical.
3. Communicating ideas to others. A picture paints a thousand words.
Here’s 7 things you need to know to run your own Doodle Club:
1. Know your audience.
When did they last draw/sketch? How comfortable are they with creative exercises? If you can co-create the sessions you’re more likely to get buy-in.
Each session is a mini-workshop. Good time-keeping can make a session flow seamlessly. Activities can range from 30 second sprints, to more lengthy stints.
3. Attention to detail matters.
Play music when people arrive and during activities. Dress the room with inspirational eye candy – relevant quotes, sketches and artwork add ambiance and help people to relax.
4. Start with a fun warm up.
We run our Doodle Club at lunchtime. It’s critical to get people out of work-mode and into a creative mindset. Drawing can be pretty scary if you haven’t picked up a pencil in years.
5. Be flexible.
Develop a framework, but if you have another idea during the session to change activities, do it!
6. Be experimental.
Activities should be designed around themes, but kept fun. For example – one activity will involve painting to music – designed to help people relax and get into a creative flow. Other activities include drawing whilst blindfolded (to disrupt learnt methods of drawing) and sketching conversations we’ve heard in Soho (to communicate scenarios better). Encourage feedback and ideas.
7. Remember, it’s serious play.
Activities need to tie back into the learning objectives. Include regular learning shares. What’s surprised them and what will they do differently in the future? Encourage them to try out what they’ve learnt in-between sessions. Doodle Club is a great team-building exercise. It’s bringing us together in new ways, inspiring conversation and encouraging a more creative culture in the studio.