Doodling is a common activity people do, whether they’re kids aspiring to be artists one day or adults sitting on lunch break, indulging in a quick escape before getting back to work. Ruth Rostron, a professional handwriting analyst and vice-chair of the British Institute of Graphologists, states, “We tend to doodle when we are bored or stressed. Because of this, we’re usually only half conscious of what we’re drawing means.” It turns out that even the smallest things we find ourselves drawing can reveal the most about ourselves. Although interpreting doodles isn’t scientifically proven, it still holds an interesting value by providing great insights on ourselves and close loved ones. Psych2Go shares with you the meaning behind your doodles:
According to Rostron, emotional people who strive for harmony tend to draw doodles with circular, rounded shapes and curved lines. Common objects they may draw are rounded trees, suns, flowers, fluffy clouds, balloons, cups, fruits, spirals, eyes, small animals, and clocks. This rings true for me as I tend to doodle in this fashion. Whereas flexible, imaginative, and emotional individuals usually draw curved shapes, people who prefer facts with strong willpower and self-control enjoy drawing straight lines instead.
Practical, down-to-earth individuals who need security and want to be in control tend to draw objects that have square shapes, flat surfaces, or symbols of material security, such as: boxes, houses, doors, books, ladders, fences, fireplaces, money, numbers, towers, and tables. Ambitious and determined people on the search for freedom tend to draw objects with triangular and pointed corners, such as: airplanes, kites, trains, stars, arrows, crowns, birds with beaks, mountains, lighthouses, and zig-zags.
2. Sizing & Spacing
Generally, size and spacing in doodles represents the individual’s lifestyle and how balanced they are in relationships. A single object drawn represents the individual; whereas, the background scene represents parts of them, the people and things that are important to them, or different aspects of the current situation they find themselves in. A large doodle means that the individual is outgoing, confident, and leads a busy, active life. A small doodle, on the other hand, shows that the person is observant and enjoys living quietly and passively more than participating.
Doodles that are spaced well in between shows that the individual is organized, mature, and balanced. Where the individual doodles on the paper is also significant. Doodling on the top of the page shows their dreams, ambitions, and aspirations, drawings on the bottom of the page signifies materialism and security, doodling on the right side of the page shows the future and relationships with the outside world, and drawing on the left side of the page represents the past, childhood memories, and family.
3. Styles & Strokes
The mood of the doodle represents the person’s temperament and state of well-being at the time. Does it look rushed, lively, peaceful, or disturbed? The strength of the strokes, on the other hand, represents the energy that went into the drawing. People who are sensitive, hesitant, or shy, tend to draw with light, short strokes; whereas, individuals who are determined and feel strongly about things, tend to have long, firm strokes. If the person digs into the paper as they draw, it indicates that they are feeling angry, frustrated, or obsessed with a problem. Heavy shading and criss-crossing shows signs of depression and anxiety.
The style alignment of doodles also says a lot about you. If the individual prefers to draw doodles in a straight linear fashion, it means that they are methodical, orderly, and organized. On the other hand, doodles that are chaotically and randomly drawn on paper shows that the individual likes their freedom and prefers to be spontaneous rather than planning things out. Chaotic doodles may also indicate signs that the person is experiencing some disturbances in life.
4. All the Colors!
If you tend to lean more towards certain colors over others when you doodle, it can say a lot about the mood that you’re in. Dark colors generally indicate a somber and serious mood, light or pale colors show timidity, indecisiveness, and sensitivity, and bright colors represent liveliness and a cheerful disposition. Here is a key that shows what each of the colors represents:
Pink is associated with soft feelings, such as compassion, sensitivity, warmth, and affection.
Orange is powerful, intense, and stimulating.
Yellow stimulates feelings like excitement but also fear.
Red is associated with energy, activity, and strong feelings, like love and hate.
Green is linked to renewal, change, growth, and transformation.
Turquoise represents calm detachment, self-control, and pride.
Blue is associated with peace, trust, self-discipline, loyalty, and spirituality.
Purple or indigo is often a color connected to royalty and symbolizes authority, deep insights, integrity, and dignity.
Brown is associated with down-to-earth traits like practicality and reliability.
Black represents facts and discipline.
People have a tendency to draw the same things based on their personalities and dispositions. But, did you know that the objects we usually doodle symbolize our desires, fears, and dreams? Here is a key that shows what each symbol represents:
Arrows symbolize the individual’s ambitions and determined nature. If the arrow is sharp and angular, then the person’s target is usually associated with career goals; whereas, if the arrow is more fluid and decorated, then the target is something the person is passionate about and has to do with the affairs of the heart.
Houses symbolize the person’s need for security. A neat drawing of a house indicates the person’s home life is well balanced; whereas, a messy drawing of a house, especially one deprived of windows, shows an unhappy and disorderly home life.
Boats and planes symbolize the person’s need for an escape. Usually, objects of transportation indicate the individual’s desire for freedom to help them get away from a situation they feel stuck in.
Spider webs symbolize either the individual’s feelings of being trapped or wanting to entice someone into a relationship or situation.
Hearts symbolize love and the person’s romantic mood.
Stairs or ladders symbolize the individual’s determination to work their way up in life. It can also represent the person’s spiritual journey towards happiness.
Flowers can mean different things depending on the way they are drawn. Flowers drawn with rounded petals and a round center signifies the individual is friendly and family-centered. If the center of the flower is round, but the petals are pointy, it may indicate that the person has a good heart, but is often hidden by their defensive nature. Drawing perky flowers often means the individual is sociable; whereas, drawing droopy flowers indicates that the person may be burdened by responsibilities and worries.
What do you think?
What doodles do you frequently draw? Psych2Go would love to hear your thoughts! Please be sure to leave a comment down below!
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Francis, M. (2011, September 12). What Your Doodles Really Say About You. Daily Mail. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
Rostron, R. (2018). Doodle Meanings. Epilepsy Action. Retrieved May 8, 2018.