Simply put, doodling refers to sketches or random scribbles on miscellaneous paper, be it on napkins, post-it notes or even newspapers; listening to lectures, while compiling lists, when jotting down notes or while on a telephonic conversation. It could begin at school; continue in college and go on to last a lifetime.
The sketches are expressions of a wandering mind but can also be indicative of a mind that is seeking to be focussed. A doodler at the time of doodling has no preconceptions of what to sketch. The doodler lets the hand work. The result can be something the doodler is looking at that point of time or an image in the subconscious mind like cartoon characters, landscapes, geometric shapes, flowers, animations etc.
Scientists say doodling is good for one's memory. Study on doodlers versus non-doodlers has consistently favored the doodlers. As compared to non-doodlers, doodlers enjoy better recall. Doodlers, while doodling concentrate and focus on the main task better. Doodling is a calming activity that helps the harried mind retain attention and focus on the present moment. Doodling offers other benefits such as:
Doodle is considered the output of a subconscious mind - kind of censoring and photographing a person's state of mind. Yet, even psychologists do not use doodles as a sole tool to provide insight into the psychological state of the doodler. Most shapes in doodling have a meaning. Flowers, dots, dashes, spirals, circles, squares, stars or any scribble can be interpreted the doodle way.
Doodles are believed to reveal the doodler's temperament, mood, at that point of time. Doodlers are categorized into five types - the ambitious doodler, romantic doodler, impatient doodler, insecure doodler and the free spirited doodler. Here is what they doodle.
Ambitious doodler: Triangles, sun, shadings and planets dominate an ambitious doodler's doodles.
Free spirited doodler: The doodler is comfortable with abstract shapes, repeats doodles and fills circles.
Impatient doodler: Hearts, flowers, stars, question marks and 3D boxes are the most preferred doodles of an impatient doodler.
Romantic doodler: The doodler is content with flowers, lips, star and heart doodles.
Insecure doodler: Spiders, bricks walls and webs dominate doodles of an insecure doodler.
Besides the shapes and figures there are many other factors that are significant. These include selection of colors, the intricacy of doodles and page portion selected for doodling.
Page portion: Extroverts tend to doodle in the middle page that suggests need for attention or trying to gain some personal space. Top portion of a page is a favorite of doodlers with abundant confidence level. Those who doodle on the right side next to the title or heading have an urge to convey an important message. Some like to doodle on the left hand side. Usually doodlers with nostalgic feelings choose to doodle on the left hand side of the page.
Colors: Doodlers doodle with the pen or pencil in hand. A gel pen, a lead pencil, colored pens or pencils, sketch pens, market pens or anything the doodler has at the time of doodling. It could be dark colors, light or pale colors and here is what they mean.
Dark colors: Dark colored doodles or heavily shaded doodles reveal the somber mood of the doodler.
Pale or light colors: Timid, indecisive and highly emotionally sensitive doodlers choose pale or light colors.
Spirals: An expression of an imprisoned mind with a high sense of hopelessness. The tighter and intricate the spirals, the more complicate and difficult the situation.
Arrows: An expression that indicates aiming a target with tremendous personal drive and a sense of determination to realize the target.
Squares:An expression that indicates the need to maintain order and gain control. Squares within squares show an inherent need to hide secrets.
Slashed lines: Criss cross line, slashed lines indicate a disturbed mind filled with anger and or frustration.
Hearts:Clearly an expression that reveals the feelings in heart. Joyous heart is usually expressed by way of string of hearts soaring high up into the air. An arrow piercing the heart with drops of blood expresses the sorrowful feelings of the doodler.
Stars:The doodler's ambitious character is reveled, a strong desire to achieve success. It could be professional success or the personal front.
Webs: Thicker the web, greater the desire to have more friends increase money power and status.
Chains: An expression that indicates yearning for freedom or a sense of being restricted. The doodler is likely to be in a state of stress.
Circles: The doodler is expecting or experiencing a sense of completion or coming together of various things.
Clouds: A fluffy cloud is an expression of happiness with a great sense of freedom and an angry or story dark a cloud is an expression of anger, depression or hopeless mind.
Flowers: Gentle as flowers, the doodler is keen on fostering social relationships and strike amicable friendship.
Houses: Indicates that the doodler is missing home or yearning to settle in a home or is deeply thinking about matters relating to home.
Dimensional objects: Probers, intellectuals and those with a logical mind usually doodle with 3 D objects.
Dots: A doodler whose mind is restless and is often submerged in deep thoughts and enjoys high concentration levels doodles with dots.
Jagged lines: A doodler who doodles jagged lines is said to be in a state of resentment or hostility.
Ovals: A mind of a perfectionist who expects zero error from others too doodles with ovals.
Stairs and steps: The doodler is full of aspiration, is keen in climbing up the stairs of life.
Eyes: Doodlers who doodle big eyes are revealing their outgoing personality and those who doodle small eyes like to keep to oneself. Closed eyes convey a strict 'no' to look within and laughing eyes reveal the joy and happiness within.
Doodling artistic hobby
February 3rd, 2017 is National Doodle Day in USA. Here is a great opportunity for doodlers. The motto - have fun and contribute to a social cause. Doodlers just need to put pen or pencil to paper and simply doodle. Post it to raise funds in a charity online auction. Funds raised will go to support education, create awareness, undertake research, and provide treatments and cure related to epilepsy and Neurofibromatosis.
It would be best to summarize doodling as follows: Unintentional, purposeless scribbles looked through the eyes of an artist are termed as work of art. As most hobbies bring out inherent creative talents, every scribble, scratches, drawings and scrawls pursued when the brain becomes bored becomes a hobby.