In the last couple of days I read this story from The Atlantic on the benefits of doodling. Now there's been at least one painter, Francis Bacon, whose whole artistic method was based on doodling, as Bacon didn't draw or do preparatory sketches for his paintings. The article isn't so much about artists, however, so much as people trying to brainstorm. Heller says that:
While drawing is definitely the artist’s stock and trade, everyone can make doodles, bypassing the kind of refinement demanded of the artist. Drawing, even in a primitive way, often triggers insights and discoveries that aren’t possible through words alone. Just think of all those napkins (or Post-Its) on which million-dollar ideas were sketched out.Certainly there's something to be said getting the hands involved in whatever kind of creative or ideas-related enterprise your up to. I've tried doodling myself a little today and found that it can help clear out the cobwebs. No million dollar ideas yet, except for stealing a million dollars. Which seems impracticable at the moment.