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Sketch a Doodle Doodle Do!

Written by in Holiday, Inspire

From the Department of Stocking Stuffers

These Quirky Doodle Books  Inspire
Designers, Artists, and Storytellers

Artist Gemma Correll‘s quirky worldview is captured in the pages of the thousands of sketchbooks she has always kept close at hand. A lifelong doodler, her sketches and musings have led to a successful career as an illustrator and cartoonist.

In grammar school, her teachers couldn’t stop her. “In school, teachers would give me old notebooks books to draw in to prevent me from doodling all over my classwork. At home, I filled old notebooks with stories and comics and illustrated diaries,” she says. The childhood habit became her life’s work, bringing smiles and inspiration to thousands.

Her work is narrative based, using humor and clever wordplay. An astute observer of the world around her, her doodle books for art book publisher Walter Foster include techniques and prompts to guide users. Ostensibly, the subject matter of her doodle books are about cats, dogs, book worms, foodies, fashionistas, and tree huggers—things dear to her.  Her pugs, Bella and Mr. Pickles, both are featured prominently in her doodle books and Daily Diaries.

Growing up in Ipswich, England, originally a Roman settlement, northeast of London close to the North Sea, Correll says she avidly followed the The Far Side by Gary Larson and the cartoons of Carl Giles, known as “Giles” for his work for the British newspaper the Daily Express. Both humorists shaped her comic worldview.

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Besides doodling, Correll is a successful commercial illustrator and draws a weekly comic strip for She also produces paper goods and gifts for Other books include A Cat’s Life (Te Neues, 2012), A Pug’s Guide to Etiquette (Dog N Bone, 2013), and The Worrier’s Guide to Life (Andrews McMeel, 2015). She’s currently working on a graphic novel in addition to her Daily Diaries, and commissions from clients like Hallmark, The New York Times, Oxford University Press, and more.

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Correll says she rarely stops drawing. When she can steal a moment, she opens up her sketchbook and put ideas to paper.  She draws when traveling, riding a bus, sitting, waiting, or observing.

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She says she recently relocated to California “to slow down and enjoy the ease and beauty” of West Coast living. Human fail: she hasn’t slowed down. “If anything, there’s more to draw now that I’m in such beautiful new surroundings!” As her rich imagination spills into the pages of her sketchbooks then overfills into pages of published books, her fans rejoice.

Gemma Correll’s works can inspire the inner artist and storyteller in anyone—no matter how good their drawing skills. Give someone a sketchbook and a Correll doodle book and tell them to get started.