ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Some people remember drawing on assignments in school, while others draw when they are bored or as a form of self-expression. For Abilene local Chris ‘Ceej’ Allen, doodling helped him get through a hard time in his life.

Ceej said he has always been a creative person, from drawing comic strips to performing improv. When he was recovering from double organ transplant surgery, he turned to a notepad for a creative outlet. Doodling helped him pass time while he was recovering and made him feel therapeutic and calm.

“When I get engrossed in a doodle, I get really detailed and I find my breathing slows down and my mind wanders and the piece I’m working on is often something I don’t even know what I’m doing initially and then the piece starts to happen on its own,” Ceej explained.

He fell in love with doodling and wanted to share it with the world. So, he created the ‘Doodle Art Project,’ where he placed sticky notes in local businesses like coffee shops to encourage people to express themselves by doodling.

“What do you need to doodle. You need a utensil of some kind and something to write on. Anybody can do it anywhere in the world. With that, you can doodle on napkins. I doodled on a salt packet, you know, you can doodle anywhere,” Ceej added.

For his recent project, he collected over 900 doodles from Abilenians and people across the country, even some currently overseas. Ceej put them all together in an interactive art exhibit to teach others even simple art forms like doodles can be in galleries.

“It helped me improve my drawing and what not. And as I got better, I realized ‘You know, I can bring this to other people and you know somebody maybe doodles every now and then’ and then realize ‘Oh well, I can be up on a gallery okay then I’ll doodle even more,” shared Ceej.

Ceej plans to continue the doodle project and focus on art education by researching why people doodle, what they doodle and if it’s actually meditating. He believes that sharing art helps us express ourselves and it is collaborative.

Keep up with Ceej and his piece that features over 100 contributors. His artwork is on display at 1117 Studios & Gallery.