Meet Mr Doodle, the artist from another planet who wants us all to take things a little less seriously

in Inspiration / Illustration

Sam Cox is a 23-year-old artist better known as Mr Doodle, who describes his practice as "OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Drawing". What started out as usual childhood scribbles over everything from school books to his parents’ furniture has since evolved into not only a career but an entirely new universe dubbed – you guessed it – DoodleLand. In interviews with the artist, it’s charmingly hard to tell just how much he believes this place of pure white space and infinite doodling possibilities to be a reality.

Over the years Cox has chalked up clients including MTV, Adidas and Cass Art, working for people who are clearly enamoured with what he calls his "growing drawing virus". For such a seemingly simple idea – essentially his style is thick black line work on white backgrounds – Cox has built up an impressively distinct style. His work is characterised by its sheer busyness: it’s packed with strange symbols, odd little characters and complex scenes. He compares it to walking into a shop and standing agape at the barrage of images, shapes and letters on the shelves; and his ultimate aim is that viewers spend time poring over his doodles to decipher them.

Above all though, his work is about having fun, and not taking things too seriously. "A lot of art is lacking a sense of humour," says Cox. "It’s a fun thing to be able to draw and create your own world, and sometimes it is funny. I’m not afraid of people laughing at me or if they don’t get it."

His dream project would be something on the scale of a "huge white mansion" or a "DoodleLand theme park, where everything is doodled and there are characters running around," but in the meantime he’s working on what must surely be a dream project too – live drawing at the Henley Festival He’ll be there every day from 5-9 July, creating huge 10m x 2m doodles for visitors to colour in.

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