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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Also see my  Instagram gallery - Broken Crayon Page (incl. info about new picture book by Linda Sue Park and me!) - Look Again Facebook Page 

(Last updated September 5, 2018)

There is potential art and stories EVERYWHERE. You just need to look. I'm hoping that my doodles encourage everyone to look at the world a little differently, to not take so much for granted. I also encourage young writers to do freeform found object doodling to help generate story and character ideas! It's what I do for my own book projects. Also see my Broken Crayon gallery and young artist tips.

To young artists: have fun with your art, experiment, don't obsess about being perfect. When you're creating for fun, there is no such thing as making a mistake. If your pencil or pen or crayon doesn't go where you expected, then just make that part of your art. 

To create a found object doodle, you just need:

(1) A piece of paper.

(2) Something to draw with.

(3) An object.

(4) Some imagination.

To see more ideas for broken crayon art and young artist samples, please visit my Broken Crayon Page. EXCITING NEWS: Linda Sue Park and I are working on a broken crayon picture book together!



Every summer, I have a "Look Again" found object art challenge for young artists and writers. You can see the gallery of entries from 20142015, 20162017 and 2018.

Thanks to all those who entered my 2018 "Look Again" Summer Challenge! You can see a selection of entries above, plus also see Marci Johnstone's 1st grade gallery.

Guidelines for the 2019 Summer Challenge will be posted early next summer.

You can browse my found object doodles on Instagram, FlickrTumblr, Pinterest (plus Pinterest Shadow doodles) and

"I want to live behind your eyes, just for a day. You are amazing. These are brightening my world in really important ways and giving me really important reminders about finding wonder in the world by looking for it."

- Irina Greenman, public school teacher

Also see my blog posts: How I began creating my found object doodles and my answer to the frequently asked question, "Are you going to do a found object book?"

Congrats to Stephan D., winner of my 2014 "Look Again" Summer Challenge!



Above: Thanks to middle grade writer Rina Heisel for sharing this wonderful photo on Twitter! 



You just need a scrap piece of paper (back of a flyer or other printed material you're about to throw out works wonderfully) to do found object art but if you need help getting started, here are some print-ready templates for young artists. I'll be gradually adding more over time.

If you're using something messy as a found object, be sure to put plastic beneath your drawing paper first. Click on any of the following images for a print-ready PDF:




I strongly recommend Barney Saltzberg's BEAUTIFUL OOPS! (Workman Publishing) You can read an interview I did with Barney about one of his newest books on Inkygirl. Also check out his Beautiful Oops! campaign.