Seeing with your imagination:

Activity Two: IGYFT

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IGYFT – The Transforming Doodle Game

If you’ve become good at DaVinci's Doodles, then you’re ready for a real challenge. Grab hold of your pencils because you’re about to try the ultimate doodling adventure – IGYFT.

I know, it’s a strange name, IGYFT -- pronounced “iggyfit”. But when my son Todd and I invented this when he was young, every time I’d turn one of his doodles into something strange, he’d reply with a growl, “I’ll get you for that!” The name stuck. Since then, we have filled many dull moments with this gentle, funny competition. I think you’ll find it great fun, too.

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main article
historical examples

Cloud shapes
Seeing double

DaVinci's Doodles
What can it be?

Here’s how you play. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen or pencil for each player. The game works great with two players. If you play with more, just add more pieces of paper. My son Will and I will demonstrate the two-player game.

Step One: the first player draws a simple something. It can be an object, face, person, animal, anything. But keep it simple. Drawing ability is not needed. I started our game off with a face.

“Not another face!” cried Will. I do tend to draw a lot of faces.

And I should say, this was drawn in the middle of the page, to give Will lots of room to work.

Step Two: the second player then adds something to transform a part of the drawing into something else. He should turn it all around, looking at the shapes with his imagination wide open. Will turned my drawing sideways and drew…

… a bird on eggs. Fantastic idea! But there was a problem. It’s too complicated. IGYFT is much easier if the drawings are simple.

So he redid it.

Much better.

We also decided to use two different color pens so we could see each other’s drawings easier.

Step Three: now it comes back to player #1. I looked it over and added…

“Ah! “ Will said. “A helmet! Good.”

Step Four: The paper goes back to player #2 again. Will added…

A simple sunrise in a window.

Nicely done.

It just keeps going back and forth. Then I drew…

A pirate. I left the hat open, in case Will wanted to do something with it.

Will: long frown… mumbled: “Iggyfit.”

He countered with...

… a house on a hill. Or is that a house on a pair of underpants? Just kidding, Will.

I threw in another bird.

“You can’t do a bird!” said Will (probably still upset at me over the underpants remark). “I already did a bird!”

Well, but my birdie is saying, "My bird house!" I like adding little word balloons at times. It can heighten the smart-aleck factor.

Will threw in some flying fish. An excellent choice!

Notice the pirate’s hat!

Seeing my addition, Will remarked, “A cat? How did you fit a cat in there?”

Often IGYFT makes the drawer look at negative space, an excellent way to train yourself to look at things a different way.

So that’s the game! When is it over? Either when you run out of paper, or someone runs out of steam. There's never a winner or a loser since the fun in is the ideas. And in the end, you'll have a drawing that is so crazy, no one else will ever make sense out of it!

all material ©2003 Bruce Van Patter