” In Junior High I started drawing again once I found out I could copy other people’s art. And I was actually decent at it. And I’m thankful for this because I was by then completely unable to draw anything on my own that I could stand. I especially liked to copy comics. The word ‘art’ started to mean something new, something we had to learn about and feel dumb because of… or smart because of….
I was turning in assignments and getting more assignments: What is impressionism? What is the color wheel? Design a pattern for a cube: make each side different . Make a logo from your initials. Cover a jar with paper mache and paint it like a vase from ancient Greece. Make a self -portrait cut from old magazines. Draw your hand .
At the end of the trimester, that was it. No more art. On to home-ec for girls and shop class for boys. Unless you really wanted to , you never had to take an art class again. Most people didn’t. Most people felt ‘bad at art’ and never drew again except for on the margins of pages or on the covers of telephone books. That thing we call ‘doodling’. Alot of people still do that when they are taking notes or listening to someone or waiting for someone to come back to the phone. Have you ever wondered why this is? What is the reason for it? I believe it’s because it helps us maintain a certain patient state of mind and there is a part of us which has never forgotten this. In the beginning it’s one of the reasons we draw though we may never notice this effect with the thinking part of our minds.
Doodles can be called mindless drawing. It’s one of the last places drawing still exists in a person who gave up on art long ago. A place where one line can still follow another without plan.”
What It Is – The Formless Thing Which Gives Things Form , by Lynda Barry