A doodle, according to the dictionary, is mindless scribbling done when the doodler’s attention is diverted elsewhere. A graphologist defines a doodle as an expressive movement produced purposefully or unconsciously that can provide information about the originator’s personality and mood.
Doodles that are done deliberately are those in which our brains are focused on our doodles and we are conscious of what we are doing. They give us information on our attitudes, interests, moods, creativity, imagination, and problem areas. These doodles reveal a lot about the doodler’s psychological state, as he or she may be unable to put his or her genuine thoughts or sentiments into words but is free to express them through drawings. Doodles that are purposefully drawn often provide vital information that would otherwise go undetected. Many cases of the “model prisoner,” who professes to be entirely cured (and frequently claims to have found Jesus as well), yet whose doodles portray violent and antisocial things like firearms, knives, people bleeding, and people being robbed, for example. Many mental patients convey their true ideas and feelings not in what they write, but in what they draw and doodle, according to psychologists and social workers. Analyzing purposefully produced doodles can also provide information into a young child who is unable to speak or write. For example, youngsters who cut at the paper repeatedly, creating only stiff, angular movements with no attempt at roundness, are statistically more likely to develop into aggressive and angry personalities that grow irritated easily and for extended periods of time.
Doodles created while our conscious minds are focused on something else and our hands are scribbling, drawing, or doodling at the same time are known as unconsciously drawn doodles. They provide us insight into our subconscious minds, which can be quite useful when we are unsure, confused, furious, or anxious yet don’t know what we’re experiencing. Consider a man who has been engaged to the same woman for several years but refuses to set a date for their wedding. He himself is baffled as to why he keeps stalling. Then one day he realizes that he frequently sketches a spiderweb when on the phone with his fiancée. When he’s chatting to her, he’ll draw a race vehicle. When he’s chatting to his fiance, he seems to just draw spiderwebs and race cars. What does this imply? Well, that indicates he feels stuck, like he’s caught in a web, and he wants to get out of there as soon as possible. With this information, he and his fiancée may begin to approach the situation in a more realistic manner. Unconscious doodling frequently highlights areas of tension between our conscious and unconscious thoughts and sentiments. Let’s imagine a man is asked how he is feeling and responds, “Just good, thanks,” but while doing so, he is scribbling a haphazard and horrible face with a large frown on it. What do you think this person’s true feelings are?
Homo sapiens is the only species on the planet capable of doodles, just as it is with handwriting. People may connect with all other humans on the planet through their drawings and doodles, unlike with handwriting, regardless of the language they speak. The universal language is pictures. Long before writing, people doodled and drew, and doodles are still practiced by people all over the world. Artists and non-artists doodle, as do the young and the old. Drawings or doodles are a way for a person to express himself visually. Doodles are enjoyable to create and provide complete flexibility of expression with no predetermined rules or limitations. Anything is OK. When people’s minds stray away from whatever activity they’re doing, they frequently start doodling. When conversing on the phone, listening to a teacher or speaker, attending a tedious meeting, or waiting for something, the majority of doodlers report that they doodle the most.
There is no conclusive reason why some people doodle all the time while others do not. However, there are several stats worth noting:
- People who believe they have artistic aptitude doodle considerably more than those who claim they can’t draw a straight line.
- Students who doodle on their homework or class notes frequently perform poorly in school, are bored and apathetic about studying, and are more likely to be delinquents than those who do not doodle on their coursework or class notes. If a kid is always doodling in one class, he probably does not enjoy it and is unlikely to do well in it.
- There is a high incidence of learning difficulties and difficulty with spelling and reading among young children who frequently doodle or add small drawings to their schoolwork. When a child is doodling, he is free to express himself as he sees fit, he may have dyslexia or other learning challenges or weaknesses that he does not have to worry about.
- Adults involved in creative pursuits such as poetry, painting, sculpting, photography, design, engineering, construction, mechanics, and fashion are more frequent doodlers than those in highly structured careers such as accounting, bookkeeping, computer operating, and so on.
Because both are types of graphic movement, doodles are evaluated in the same manner that handwriting is. Doodles, like handwriting, can be interpreted in five different ways:
- Physiological inferences. Are the doodle’s strokes smooth, or do they appear to have breaks, uneven pressure, shakiness, or other symptoms that are consistent with physical sickness and/or the use of alcohol or drugs?
- Deductions based on common sense. If someone is always sketching the same thing, common sense tells us that the person has a fixation on the subject. We know that someone who doodles joyful, active, smiling, and “normal” looking individuals or items is healthier than someone who doodles horrific figures, terrible deeds, trapped animals or humans, and the like.
- Deductions based on universal concepts. We look to see if the doodles are large or small, symmetrical or asymmetrical, light or heavy in pressure, neat or sloppy, left or right, organized or disorganized, traditional or nontraditional, round or angular, narrow or wide, fast or slow, complex or simple, detailed or lacking in detail, pleasing to the eye or hideous, and so on. The universal handwriting analysis interpretation is then applied to these qualities.
- Simple psychological interpretations. Once again, we’ll need some psychological knowledge to come up with a lot of different interpretations. For instance, if one person is drawing snails while the other is drawing racehorses, who is more likely to be in a hurry? Who is the more competitive of the two? Which among you has the most patience? The doodler of racehorses is more competitive and in a hurry. The snail doodler would be in a better mood.
- Many doodle interpretations are based on scientific interpretations acquired from researching thousands of samples and case histories gathered from all around the world. A scientific doodle interpretation might be one in which a child is instructed to doodle a house and instead of the customary square windows, draws one with round windows. According to scientific evidence, this is how children who have been sexually raped frequently draw windows.
Doodles can be classified into two categories:
- Abstract doodles – Doodles that are abstract have no obvious significance. For example, a person may repeatedly doodle triangles inside spiraling downward boxes. This doodle is likely to elicit different interpretations from different people. Abstract doodles might be done purposefully or unconsciously, but they all have the same meaning. As an example, suppose someone doodles a bloodstained knife. The interpretation is the same whether the doodle was made purposefully or unconsciously: At the moment the doodle was done, the person was emotionally distressed and felt angry and antisocial.
- Recognizable doodles – People can draw an infinite number of recognized doodles. Everything in our universe is visible and doodleable, and there are an infinite number of ways to express these things in doodles. As a result, listing the meanings of all forms of identifiable drawings is impossible. However, a big number of commonly created doodles that have been studied for meaning all across the world. Recognizable doodles, like abstract doodles, can be done consciously or unconsciously, but their meaning is the same.