The Simpsons creator Matt Groening used to get told off in school for doodling.
But his story shows that sometimes doodling can pay off and Oxfordshire celebrities including illustrator Korky Paul, Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes, newspaper columnist and TV presenter Jane Moore and poet Pam Ayres are among a host of famous faces who have put pen to paper to celebrate today’s National Doodle Day.
Miriam Margolyes' doodle
Their creations will be auctioned on eBay from today to raise money for Epilepsy Action.
Mr Paul's doodle
Korky Paul, famed for illustrating the Winnie the Witch books, said doodling is where all good ideas start.
Mr Paul, who lives in Summertown, said: “That is how you start with any new idea or even a book. It is always doodling, sketching, free wheeling. You improvise, then you see ideas come up.
“You do plan some things, but when you are working out characters you use your imagination.”
Yesterday, Mr Paul was helping pupils at the Harriers School, Banbury, to bring out their inner artist as part of World Book Day celebrations.
He said: “When I visit schools, I often get the children to shout out a character name, and we will work out what they look like from that.” For the National Doodle Day auction, Mr Paul has donated a sketch of Winnie the Witch.
Pam Ayres, who was born and grew up in Stanford in the Vale, near Wantage, has contributed a picture of her “good looking” dog, above, while Miriam Margolyes has sketched a self portrait.
Jane Moore donates a picture of herself alongside fellow panelists on the ITV lunchtime panel show Loose Women, above.
The Oxfordshire illustrators join a list of household names including Joanna Lumley, Michael Parkinson and Bill Nighy in doodling for the annual event, which started 11 years ago.
Members of the public can also enter their own masterpieces into an online competition by donating a pound to Epilepsy Action.
Fundraising events manager Philippa Cartwright said: “The celebrity doodle auction is always a terrific success, raising thousands of pounds in much-needed funds for Epilepsy Action.
“The highest-grossing doodle ever raised £1,600 alone, so this event really does make a huge difference to people with epilepsy and their families.”
Information on the celebrity auction can be found at nationaldoodleday.org.uk The auction will run from today until next Sunday.
The closing date for entries into the National Doodle Day competition is Friday, April 4.