Author/Illustrator, Alison Hertz @AlisonHertz, launched Doodle Day a little over a year ago and it attracted people from all over the world. Now, this online community enjoys sharing their doodles with each other every day. I asked Alison a little bit about her doodling phenomenon.
In a nutshell, what is Doodle Day?
Doodle Day is a daily doodling challenge for artists, writers, teachers, parents, children of all ages, friends, and friends of friends. I post a drawing prompt each day but doodlers don’t have to use it. The prompts are there for challenge and inspiration. There are many people who stare at a blank page and have a panic attack so a prompt gives that spark. I tell people to just put their pencil to the paper and see where their arm goes. It’s a stress free doodle zone.
When was the official launch of Doodle Day on Facebook?
Doodle Day launched on May 1st in 2013.
What are the current stats for the group?
As of today, Doodle Day has been creating daily doodles for 16 months. We have 375 members in the Doodle Day Facebook Group and participants have posted more than 5,000 doodles. We also have many doodlers who follow my blog, doodle along with us, and email me to let me know how they are doing.
What sparked the idea for Doodle Day?
When I created the illustrations for FLAP, my debut picture book, I was given only 10 weeks by the publisher and my drawing arm was in rehabilitation from an injury. The painful experience of illustrating for many hours a day left me unable to doodle. After final submission of the illustrations, I worked to condition my arm by drawing for short periods of time several days a week. In November of 2012, FLAP, released and my arm had become strong enough to doodle every day with little pain. I participated in Linda Silvestri’s SkADaMo (Sketch a Day) Challenge and loved it, so I continued to create daily doodles through 2012 and into 2013. On April 30th of 2013, while taking my daughter to preschool, she told me that she wanted to doodle with me every day in May and that we should doodle the same things. It is important to tell you that my daughter was already carrying her little pink sketchbook to preschool and drawing in it when the other children were napping. Erin suggested that we call it “Doodle Day May” and before walking into her class, she told me to “blog about it and invite our friends to doodle with us.” I went home and did just that. I posted a blog about Erin’s idea and went on with my day. You can see that post here: http://www.alisonhertz.blogspot.com/2013/04/new-challenge-doodle-day-may.htm
The next morning, we had 60 people from around the world signed up to doodle with us. Doodle Day was meant to last one month, but the doodlers didn’t want to stop so it never did.
How do you come up with doodle ideas?
For the first couple months, Erin and I created lists of objects, characters, animals, plants, and foods and in August, we changed it to monthly themes. Erin and I come up with theme ideas and share them with the participants. We go with each theme based on feedback from the group.
Have you considered expanding to different platforms?
I tweet most of my doodles with the hashtag #doodleday and have had many other doodlers posting there, too.
How does an aspiring doodler join the group?
You can look us up on Facebook at “Doodle Day” or just click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DoodleDay/