Doodling: What It Says About You

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Erica Fitch, Art Director

Imagine you are sitting in class one day, taking notes on a lesson. Your teacher drones on and on, almost putting everyone in the class to sleep. Throughout the lesson, you find yourself doodling on your paper, dividing your focus on the lesson and your drawing. It might be a picture of your favorite cartoon character or it might be as simple as a flower. You might be wondering, what does my doodle mean?

Believe it or not, the things one mindlessly doodles on a piece of paper can be very telling of who they are. Doodles can shockingly portray one’s personality and emotions.

Shapes: The types of lines and shapes one draws are very revealing. People who draw straight lines and squares crave having control and security in their lives. They are very hard-working people who rely on facts, doodling objects such as books and boxes. Meanwhile, those who draw curvier lines are more flexible and are open-minded. Their curved lines and shapes show emotions such as love and happiness, such as drawings of hearts and balloons. Those who draw pointy shapes (such as triangles) are looking for an outlet for their high energy, drawing items such as lightning bolts and mountains.

Sizing/Location: The size and spacing of our doodles also show who we are as people. Size-wise, a large object drawn can show how a person is outgoing and wants to be- or is- the center of attention. However, a smaller doodle exhibits how a person is quiet and observes what happens in their lives, rather than diving in head-first.

The location of doodles on a page reveals a person’s timeline and their values. For example, a drawing placed on the left side of the paper may be seen as someone’s past, including drawings that relate to their family and homes. On the right, some doodles may represent what the artist thinks about regarding the future. While looking from the left side of the paper to the right, one can see the artist’s past to their future. Like the common phrase, “the sky’s the limit”, the artist’s dreams and hope for the future are placed at the top of the paper. Meanwhile, their material concerns are shoved at the bottom, representing how as humans, we try to push away our worries as much as possible.

Colors: We all associate colors with emotions. Likewise, the colors one uses to doodle can represent their emotions. For example, if one uses a “warm” color (red, orange, yellow, or pink), they are trying to represent intense emotions, such as love, anger, fear, and excitement. “Cool” colors (green, turquoise, blue, purple) calm the brain, showcasing loyalty, relaxation, self-control, and dignity. Other colors (brown and black) rely on facts, showcasing very little emotion or creative thought.

Overall: You may not realize it, but doodling a simple picture can say a lot about yourself. From the colors you use to the shapes you draw, you’re telling a story about yourself just on a sheet of paper. So, next time you see yourself doodling a picture while the teacher’s talking, don’t become frustrated with yourself.

Be happy. You’re just discovering who you are.