Doodlers Anonymous’ Coloring Book Vol. 4 Open Call

Doodlers Anonymous Coloring Book Vol. 4


If you haven’t heard of Doodlers Anonymous’ annual coloring books, then you’re missing out. This year in particular, in fact – because there’s an open call for entries and it ends today, the 7th of October. If you think you have got what it takes to be one of the 60 artists featured in the 64-page coloring book, then it’s time to whip out your Sharpies and doodling gear; because it’s going to get intense real quick. Oh by the way, the deadline is less than 24 hours away.

One, two, three – draw!

Life as an experiment: What to do when you have lots of ideas

Adrian Woods & Gidi van Maarseveen

In the Work/Art/Play class that I’m teaching right now, an interesting discussion began on the topic of having too many ideas, too many experiments that might (worryingly) lead nowhere in an artist’s journey.

It’s a very well known affliction that plagues creatives – and the term creatives is a very loose one. These could very well mean entrepreneurs, who may have a pool of ideas to tap from for their next venture; or a designer who has a big sketchbook ready to go for their next collection or season. For an artist, it could come to mean experimenting with the use of various medias to come up with a series or even to redefine their personal style as they find ways to mix things up.

I have lots of ideas. Some of them didn’t quite turn out, and some of them did. A few years ago I began to keep a sketchbook that listed out my ideas; I filled them with pages of pages of thoughts, comments, figures, sketches and with it, possibilities (although these days, instead of just using a sketchbook, I found that Trello is a great app in helping me sort out my ideas.) And it wasn’t just a continuation of one idea either – every other week I would come up with a new idea; or I would stew on a new idea and blend it with a previous one.

But no matter how many entries there were in my book, I was resigned to the fact that I only had two hands. I know myself enough to know that if I were to dabble in a few ideas, they would never turn out well enough for me to know if it was worth pursuing. So what I did was to just focus on one idea at a time – I owed the idea that much at least. To bring an idea to fruition takes time, dedication and effort; things that I knew would be scattered if I tried to juggle too many at a go.

It was still an experimentation none the less. But I choose to focus on one at a time so that I can properly document and figure things out as I move along. Is it working? Is it not? Can I do better? Do I want to keep doing this? Will I make a difference? I question the idea (and myself) constantly at every step of the way – much like a scientist who keeps a record of an experiment to see its progress.

And once you’re committed to the idea, you need to give it space and room to grow, to breathe, and a chance for it to live out its life. You’ll have to nurture it, see if it can stand on its own two feet, or if you’re lucky – to see if it could fly. But first, you’ll need to make a decision: which idea goes first? Pick one. Just one. And start from there.

A good friend reminded me once when I told her that I had trouble picking one idea, and she said this little gem of an advice that I carry to this day: “It’s good to have lots of ideas – this way we can execute them one by one until we’re 60. We’re all set!”

So here’s a couple of tips and reminders:

  • Don’t let fear stop you from experimenting. And fear takes on many forms: fear of failure, fear of missed opportunities, or even plain old irrational fear.
  • Experiments always leads you somewhere, and often times it leads you down a path you might have considered before. Enjoy it and soak up the process!
  • Ideas on paper are just worth the paper they’re scribbled on – especially if you don’t start.
  • If you can juggle a few experiments at a go, by all means feel free to do so! Just be aware that if you drop the ball on one, the rest might follow – and you might not know what the outcome would be if you had focused on just one.


What about you? What works for you when you have lots of ideas? Do share your thoughts and experience in the comments below!

[Photography by Adrian Woods & Gidi van Maarseveen]

Lorena Alvarez

Lorena Alvarez

Lorena Alvarez

Lorena Alvarez

Lorena Alvarez

Lorena Alvarez

Lorena Alvarez

Lorena Alvarez

Lorena Alvarez


I found the amazing work of Lorena Alvarez, a freelance illustrator from Bogotá, Colombia, over at Behance not too long ago. And her work is just gorgeous. They’re full of beautiful textures, colors and characters. Oh and her characters! They just seem to want to jump off the page in all their illustrated glory. Fairy tales, magic and adventure seem to be the subject matters that are close to her heart; as evidenced by her bio:

Each one of my pieces is an attempt to create a small, colorful and whimsical world. Nature as a protective and nurturing element is always present, embracing playful and elusive characters in a theatrical composition. Im deeply interested in color language, its formal qualities and symbolic meaning. An important part of my work process is putting together a strong color palette, always looking for surprising and unusual, yet pleasant matches.

Although most of my work is digital, it also includes photography, toy making and traditional media. I enjoy trying different techniques and understand their particular qualities in order to take my work to the next level. As I’ve developed my own way to work with materials like paper and fabric, my conceptual work has gained complexity. Drawing, sewing and cutting are ways to elaborate my thoughts about the projects I’m working on. I usually begin with a simple concept that evolves into a narrative piece with multiple associations and approaches that I find through sketching. This process helps me to create elaborated pieces with a strong presence that invites the viewer to sift through their details and discover their inner tales.

See more of her work at her website and follow along her journey on her blog.