A sketch book filled with separate images from the doodle game

The Doodle Game: Making Use of Creative Constraints

A sketch book filled with separate images from the doodle game

A few nights back a friend and I played what we simply call The Doodle Game.  Here’s how the game works: each player makes a quick and abstract squiggle, then passes it to another player who has to turn that squiggle into something – an object, a person, a scene, whatever.  To get a feel for what this game could look like, here are some before and after pics of our game:

Here are a few before and after pictures from one round of the doodle game

At the end of the game you end up with a few pages filled with disparate sketches, as seen in the images at the top of this post and below this paragraph.  The compilation of individual sketches makes for an interesting piece of art.

A sketch book filled with separate images from the doodle game

What I like about this game is the challenge.  The abstract squiggle that you are handed gives you both a starting point and a constraint – you have to use what is already there.  This reminds me of something I read in Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life.  In that book Tharp talks about placing restrictions on our work environment so that we are forced to come up with creative solutions.  That’s what this game is all about – the initial squiggle you are given, along with the amount of space left on the page, are your creative constraints.  Those constraints force you to tap into you own creativity to take that starting point and go somewhere interesting with it.  If you have never played this game before, give it a shot.  You might be surprised at what you end up creating.

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