Doodle Gooder – An awesome community with a happy goal!

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It was just a regular day. I was browsing through Instagram when I came across this account which had this in it’s description –

Donate a 5-minute doodle. Brighten a kid’s day.

What struck me the most was how a simple idea as this can bring happiness into someone’s life

I write about happiness and I write about art. And, I love everything associated with the two. So, I emailed Thomas Drennen, the founder  of this awesome community and asked if he would be willing to share his thoughts and a little more about his project with our readers. And, he happily agreed to do so 🙂

So, go ahead and read my interaction with Tom to know more about Doodle Gooder and the work it does!


What is Doodle Gooder?

Doodle Gooder is a content company for kids facing scary stuff. We’re powered by a community of volunteer doodlers from all over the world. They’re some of the kindest, most generous folks you’ll ever meet. Every month, we get together to chase away childhood scaries with our mighty doodles. At it’s most basic level we work with care organizations to find kids who are facing scary health, environmental and/or social situations. We find out the kinds of things they like. And then we launch a doodle campaign that asks people to donate a 5-minute doodle. The campaign kicks off with an email to our community and a post to our Facebook and Instagram accounts. We give the doodlers the names of the kids and their doodle wishes. We ask that doodlers keep the doodles as uplifting and personal as possible—even including their name within the design. The only rule is that the doodle can’t feature a trademark character.

The donation process is super simple. Doodlers just take a quick picture of their doodle and email it to doodles@doodlegooder.org. That’s it.

At the end of a campaign, we collect all the doodles and deliver them to the care organization. How the kids receive their doodles is at the discretion of the care organization. We supply the organization with digital files. They take care of the rest. Some print the doodles for the kids. Others pass along the files. We learned early on that timing is everything. In some situations the kids are only with the care organization for a matter of days. So we had to design a simple and speedy way to get them their doodles. Gotta heart technology.


How did you come up with this awesome and unique idea?

Doodle Gooder really started in a NICU a little over 3 years ago. Our oldest son spent the first week of his life in the NICU. It was the strangest, happiest, scariest time for our young family. Here you are one minute holding this incredible thing that you’ve made together, and then, in a matter of hours he’s whisked away to one of the saddest (and bravest) places on Earth. My wife and I were lucky. Our son was one of the healthiest kids in there that week. But the more time you spend in a place like that—surrounded by truly inspiring people—the families, the nurses, the little ones—the more it changes your outlook on this big scary world. The nurses gave our son something the local 4-H troop had made. It was a patterned cloth that was tied together at one end to give it a doll-like shape. It was the simplest thing. My wife was instructed to sleep with it the first night. Then to put it in our son’s crib the next day. It was supposed to absorb her scent and comfort him whenever she had to leave his side. But it also somehow comforted us. I think that was the exact moment. We were just sitting there, sleep-deprived, admiring the simplicity and power of this thing. We wanted to harness that simplicity and use it to help inspire comfort and bravery in other kids facing scary situations. A few days later, I started thinking about doodles—simple expressions of creativity that almost everyone makes—and then throws away. Could we give this expression a purpose bigger than boredom? Could we make an artist’s warm-up doodles more meaningful?


Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a dad. A husband. A marketer by day. A Doodle Gooder by night.


How do you identify the kids? 

We work very closely with kid-focused care organizations (children’s hospitals, Ronald McDonald Houses, etc) to find kids who could use a little doodled joy. We’re always on the lookout for new partners.


Do doodlers have to be professional artists? (Or, I am not a professional, can I share a doodle?)

Anyone can join Doodle Gooder. You don’t have to be a professional artist. We have doodlers of all ages, skill levels and professions. For the kids, it’s the thought that really counts—that all of these “strangers” were thinking of me and doodling for me. That’s the real power. One of my biggest fears is that people will become intimidated by some of the “doodles” we get from our clearly professional doodlers. Every doodle is special. Every doodle matters.


Any stories of reactions or joys after the kids received the doodle?

Our partner care organizations report back after most of the doodle campaigns. They tell us the kids are amazed. Every time. Many hang the doodles on their walls and/or have them framed. I think the care organizations get just as excited about seeing the doodles as the kids do. It’s this surprise that you know is coming…but you just don’t know what you’re going to get. I know I get a little jolt of excitement every time my phone buzzes to let me know a doodle has been donated. I can’t wait to open the email and see it!


Can doodlers meet the kids? If yes, how?

Sadly, the doodlers never meet the kids. At this stage, we’re too small and there’s a whole big world of legal and health restrictions around information, privacy and safety. As we get bigger, we’d love to figure out a way to host doodle events at local care organizations. Honestly, this is one of the things we struggle with the most. How do we help our doodlers see/feel the impact of their donation? It’s something we’re constantly thinking about.


Where are you located and how big is the team?

Doodle Gooder HQ is located just outside of Detroit, Michigan. The Doodle Gooder community is 250+ volunteer doodlers from around the world. Most are here in the United States. But there’s this amazing thing called the internet which helps us recruit worldwide. And in true little engine that could fashion, we have. I still remember the day we got the first few doodles from @doodleyboo in the UK. I was like, “Holy cow! Someone in the UK knows we exist! Wait a minute how’d she find us?!” Oh, right, it’s Instagram.


What are your future plans for Doodle Gooder?

Growing. That’s our plan right now. We suffer from this chicken and the egg thing. We need doodlers. And we need kids. But more importantly, we need the right balance of doodlers and kids. We’re very sensitive to committing to doodle for kids. We don’t want to put ourselves in a situation where we won’t be able to come through. We just won’t do it if we don’t think we can pull it off. So it’s a slow grow. Gaining a few doodlers here. Taking on a doodle requests from kids there. It’s slow, but it’s totally worth it.


Any message that you would like to give the readers?

The best way to see what we’re about is to head over to our Instagram—@doodlegooder. To see the doodles our community donates. How simple they can be. Then, of course, it’d be awesome if folks were inspired enough to join our merry little band of doodlers at doodlegooder.org.


What do you think? Isn’t it wonderful! There is nothing is this world as beautiful as seeing a child smile!

Internet has made connecting with people all over the world so easy. And, Doodle Gooder has just made spreading smiles and happiness so easy! So, what are you waiting for? Grab a pen and a paper and doodle something up for the kids! To contribute your doodles join them here.

You can read more about them on their website www.doodlegooder.org and also follow them on their Facebook or Instagram pages for any latest updates.

Or, if you have any other thoughts or questions, drop them in the comments section below.

Have a great day!

Garshita

Coming up…

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Watch out this space tomorrow to meet the founder of Doodle Gooder and learn more about it.

I promise, you will love it!

Impressionist Poppies

Every artist was first an amateur

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love art! I simply love it! I love the fact that it catches your eye and leaves an impression. I sometimes love the bold colors in a piece, and sometimes, the warmth of pastels. Realism or Photorealism make me wonder how people can actually reproduce such intricate details and create things so close to reality. Realism in the arts is the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, implausible, exotic and supernatural elements. It needs a lot of observation, patience and not to forget tons of practice to achieve that kind of skill. On the other hand, Impressionist or abstract art leaves me spell bound! Impressionist painting characteristics include relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. There is an interesting history associated with it.

As you all know I am in a stage to learn and improve my artistic skills. I am taking classes locally and also learn online from these two amazing artists – Lisa from Lachri Fine Art and Painting With Jane. Check out their videos on YouTube! It’s a world full of information, tutorials and amazing art, of course!

This impressionist painting of poppies I created is completely done by using just a palette knife. I learnt the technique from one of the videos on  Painting With Jane and reproduced what she taught. I love how it turned out considering it was my first attempt. Art is never right or wrong! But, yes it can be improved! And, I am just trying to do that!

Check the video below to take a closer look at the texture, color and other details.

PS: I am super active on Instagram (NO, I don’t post every minute or hour. Maybe once or twice a day!)  where you can follow me to get updates about my recent projects, little pieces of art that I make, works in progress and other crazy things that I do.

Find me here  –

Instagram – @garshitagupta

Twitter – @garshitag

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/thegleeinme/

And…We are back! After a Wedding :)

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Hey everyone!

How have you all been?

First of all, let me start by apologizing for vanishing away all of a sudden from the blogging world. It all just happened so fast!

To begin with, I got married in November last year. And, like every other girl, I was super excited about this event. It all started towards the beginning of August – ‘The Proposal’, ‘Meet the Parents’, ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Wedding Date’! We finalized the date for November. So, with just three months in hand and a full-time job, here I was juggling between my work and the wedding preps. The infinite shopping sprees, venue and food selection, invitation cards, and my job left me with no time. None at all! Trust me!

By God’s grace, all went as planned. It was a beautiful ceremony and enjoyed by everyone. I had lots of fun!! 🙂 After the wedding, my husband and I got busy traveling as we moved to a new place. We got busy setting up the house. All this while, I have just been enjoying cooking, traveling and exploring my new world! Now, that I am settled, I don’t want to neglect ‘The Glee In Me’ anymore. So here I am, back with a bang! 🙂

I have loads of new stuff planned and some of it is already in progress. This new season of ‘The Glee In Me‘ will begin with a complete makeover of the blog, a different theme, lots of creative art and some happy musings!

Happiness is just around the corner!

Keep watching this space for more!

Lots of love,

Garshita!

Those little things in life…

“There is a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labor of devotion and love! The colors are like no other, they swim and leap, they trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing?” 
– C. JoyBell C. 

This small fly has managed to take away all the thunder from the poor artist. Isn’t it?

It is very natural that we sometimes forget to look at the big picture. Even though everything else is going, we tend to focus and crib on those little things in life that may not have happened as expected.

Life is short and there is lots to be done! Wouldn’t it be awesome that we just live happily with the big picture infront of us? Time to think!

‘Waiting for the miracle to happen!’ – Mixed Media Art

Another page from the Art Journal! Have a great Sunday guys!! 🙂
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All tiny things!

“All beautiful things come in small packages!”

Isn’t it? I made a miniature version of one of my favorite books.

A perfect gift for all the book lovers; along with the real book, ofcourse! 🙂

Have a great Sunday! 

 

Mini book
  
Mini book
 

Turning book into an art!

Recently, I saw some amazing displays of book art (book sculptures) on Pinterest. And, I fell in love with this art form almost instantly. It’s so innovative! It was hard to believe that such beautiful displays can be made out from a book. I was so inspired by it that I felt that I should give it a shot too.

So, here is my (serious) attempt at it.    

  

As they say, one should not stop learning. So, what did I learn from this. I learnt – 

1. To be patient. This art form takes time and lots of detailing.

2. That it should not be completed in one go. Do it over a few days (depending on how big the task is). That way you can enjoy it more.

3. That it’s very important to choose proper space for the installation or the display.

4. That the end result of your hard work really gives you happiness, especially, when you learn something new.

So, how did you find my first attempt guys? I plan to give it another shot in future with a hope to do even better 🙂

On my way home…

  

7:00 pm: I am all set for the long weekend and I have a big smile on my face. I leave for home from work. Just when I pull the car (slowly) outside the office gate, a speeding bus crosses my path. The driver makes some weird action with his hands asking me to get out of his way.

7:05 pm: I wait to get across the road. Dodging a few vehicles I manage to get on the other side. Phew! It looked as if I was never going to make it. 

7:15 pm: I am at the signal which is bang opposite my office. I remember that I left something at my desk. The traffic is moving so slow that I can just get down, go and get it from my desk. But, I’m too lazy, so I wait.

7:30 pm: I’m at the signal. I think I moved a few inches ahead. Or, maybe not! I’m hungry! I remember I have an apple in my bag which I forgot to eat in the morning. I’m so proud of my bad memory at times. I notice that the people around me stare as I eat the apple. Well, I don’t care but it’s creepy! I ignore and tell myself that probably they are hungry too.

7:35 pm: Woohoo! The signal turns green and I manage to move ahead only to get stuck again in a few metres. The impatient guy in the car honks non-stop. The dude thinks that the honking is miraculously going to give wings to my car. I secretly wish that too!

7:50: We all are moving slowly. Everyone wants to go first. Indicators are ignored shamelessly. Buses move from one lane to another as if there’s no one else on the road. Rear view mirrors are sparingly used for the real reason. I believe people look into them only when they have to “set” their hair. Girls ride the two-wheelers so carelessly wearing their only head gear; the oh-so-famous scarf tied all around the face to protect the face from pollution and heat. I see a “cool dude” enjoying the wind that touches his face when he rides his sporty bike while his helmet is used to protect his arm. Well, who cares about the head and the brain! Helmets serve no purpose, right?
There’s no way a person who is walking and wants to get across the road, can comfortably do it without running for his life. While waiting at the signal, the car standing behind me honks. I think he misunderstood the concept of law of attraction.

We blame the roads, the pot holes, the traffic management. But, we never blame ourselves. We have all the rules, but either we are not aware of it or we ignore it. We have taken “Rules are meant to be broken” too seriously. Having said that, the person who follows the rules can never manage to drive safely in this chaos. It’s shocking, but true!

8:30 pm: I reach home after enjoying my one and an half hour drive which is only a 20 minutes drive minus the traffic 🙂

Inspirational Art #1

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull is one of the books that has inspired people for decades. I’m one of them too.

Every single page and every single line in this book gives you the flight that one needs to take to follow their dreams.

So, here I bring to you few of my favorite lines from this book with a little twist of art. 

Read, believe, get inspired and follow your dream! Your dreams have the power to make you happy! 

Keep watching this space for more! 

   

Source: These lines are from the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.

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