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 - Look Again Facebook Page - 2016 Gallery Of Young Artists/Writers

There is potential art 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 hope to encourage young artists to have fun with their art, to experiment, to not be obsessed with 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.

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.

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.



**** See the gallery of entries from 2016 young artists and writers ****

**** See the gallery of entries from 2015 young artists *****


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!

If you're looking for some fun book-related activities for young writers and artists, also check out my WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? Bonus PageI'M BORED Bonus Page and NAKED! Bonus page.

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.