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OPINION - Life is not a doddle right now, so why not doodle?

food, opinion - life is not a doddle right now, so why not doodle?

Sam Cook reveals Doodle House – Kent

You can’t afford a pint, can’t remember the last time you contemplated anything so financially ruinous as a night out, your energy bills will soon consume all of your remaining disposable income and every day it feels more certain that we’re all going to hell in a handcart. So why not make light of matters by doodling all over your house?

You might think the answer to that is obvious. But that’s where you and Sam Cox, aka Mr Doodle, differ.

Cox’s 12-room mansion in Tenterden in Kent, is totally covered with his drawings inside and out. It is certainly quite the look, with the cartoonish designs on every inch of the house, even including the bedding, bathtub and stove.

It took him three years, and the look is… busy — perhaps not the soft pastel shades that many would like to come back to after a hard day’s work. Cox’s wife Alena, however, says she finds it calming.

The great thing about doodling is that anyone can do it without fear of being judged on artistic merit. Maybe not across their living room walls, but who hasn’t created universes on a notepad while on hold to the bank?

Mr Doodle calls it “indulging yourself in this free-flowing state of creation,” and adds “it’s just the best thing that anyone can do”. Just how sure are we that his wife agrees? At least the world of science is on his side. A study a decade ago found that doodling can aid people’s memory and comprehension, though it was notably silent on the benefits or otherwise of doodling your entire house.

During the dark days of the pandemic, many turned to art to unlock their creativity at a time when their horizons had shrunk to the walls around them. So maybe as we head back into worrying times it really is the moment to follow Mr Doodle, put the Dulux away and get out a spray can.

Don’t think this is just for peace of mind, either. For the humble doodle itself can be lucrative. Grayson Perry once talked about the “Picasso-napkin syndrome” in which artist doodles are worth money.

It certainly works for Mr Doodle. In 2020, he was the world’s fifth most successful artist aged under 40. One of his pieces sold for close to £800,000.

What price your sanity, then? A big fat cheque.

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