When I was a kid I did not doodle just to doodle. I always needed a project. I later tried to study fine art but my lecturers politely suggested I might be more suited for illustration. Art as a project. Art with a purpose. Which probably explains my later career as a graphic designer. Give me a blank page to doodle and I will just freeze. But give me a problem to solve, a project, and I will dive right in.
Doodle Town is a book of projects and I loved it. Each spread is a design challenge and brief with obstacles and limitations drawn in by the illustrator Dominika Lipniewska. Challenges like ‘design a house that a family can climb all day’, ‘Invent new items for a playground’, or ‘What would a stair-climbing scooter look like?’. Each one is creative and challenging. While other doodle books give you free reign and often leave you with blank-page syndrome and while meditative colouring books can be too restrictive, Doodle Town gets the balance just right.
The artwork from the illustrator is a flat monotone stencil style that gives just enough structure to the page but is not too prescriptive.