Austin Kleon

After we wrote about John Franzen’s “one line, one breath” art works, we heard from quite a few artists that use breath as a sort of meditation when they make their art. And others who use it to quiet their anxieties, as Austin Kleon does when everything is NOT fine:

When one is distressed, one either has to take a walk, or do like Paul Klee and “take a line for a walk”.

He takes a line for a walk in his sketchbook, doodling to find ways through anxiety. Of course, there are MANY ways to take a line for a walk.

Doodling can have a powerful impact on our brains. We learned a lot about how it actually works from the Wall Street Journal article, The Power of the Doodle: Improve Your Focus and Memory: Research Shows That Doodling Helps People Stay Focused, Grasp New Concepts and Retain Information.

Recent research in neuroscience, psychology and design shows that doodling can help people stay focused, grasp new concepts and retain information. A blank page also can serve as an extended playing field for the brain, allowing people to revise and improve on creative thoughts and ideas.

Doodles are spontaneous marks that can take many forms, from abstract patterns or designs to images of objects, landscapes, people or faces. Some people doodle by retracing words or letters, but doodling doesn’t include note-taking.

“It’s a thinking tool,” says Sunni Brown, an Austin, Texas, author of a new book, The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently. It can affect how we process information and solve problems, she says…

…doodling provides an alternate route to learning…


Paul Klee


And of course, you can always go for a walk, something we do daily to cool our heads out and revive body and spirit. (Here’s what it does.)

Sally Schneider


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6 replies on “DIY Anti-Anxiety Medications (Paul Klee, Austin Kleon)

  1. Thank you for this! As happens so often, you are right there when I need you most…

  2. Love improvised life starts my day everyday. Thank u Cassandra greene

  3. What an affirmation to what I always taught as an art teacher. The science teacher, on the the other hand negated this theory and told students it was expiring worthless energy.

  4. I’m very very glad to hear that. It’s curious how that happens. And readers appear when I need them most…

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