Psychology meaning of doodles/drawings.

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*Disclaimer* not my own written work just a collection of notes from many sources.* Last Edit: 8/23/2014

Many of us doodle and you may not realize it but doodles will actually tell you a lot about your personality and mood. The size, position as well as what the object(s) of focus of will lead you to some key clues. There are many different shapes, designs and colors of doodles, just as there are different dream scenarios, but there are some that are quite common and, as such, more easily interpreted. 

Size and Placement


Large doodles that take most of your page, you are likely to be attracted to nature. Moreover, you might also have a reserved personality, but would want to socialize.
Small doodles on a  corner of the paper suggest that the person is neat and organized in his/her ways. Because the drawing is placed on a side of the page, it shows that a person does not like wastage and prefers everything in its proper place. Those that use the center of the page may be extrovert and in need of attention. This is a common trait in those who work in areas where they need to get used to public speaking (barristers, public relations executives, lecturers, etc). Using the center of the page may also indicate the need for personal space.
Doodles at the top of the page show confidence, and an abundance of ideas. If the doodle is right next to the title, or heading on a page it can indicate that the scribbler thinks they have something more important to say than what is on the paper.
The left hand side of the page is the most common place to find doodles. These can indicate feelings of nostalgia for the past.
Using the right hand side of the page is not as common and may be seen more often in left-handers. It can indicate an urge to express oneself, or communicate hidden thoughts.


Objects and Things


So what do you doodle?
Doodling and sex?
Dr Burns observes that "a preoccupation with sexuality usually shows up in figures whose genital areas are emphasized
and heavily shaded or in the repeated use of classic sexual symbols such as snakes, candles, or darts striking a target".  

Animals
Animal doodlers are usually sensitive to living creatures. What sort of animal they doodle speaks volumes as to the mood of the doodler and, often, the type of person they'd like to be. Doodles of weak, passive or small animals indicate slowness, a lack of self-confidence, and more introverted tendencies. Doodles of aggressive animals represent feelings of assertiveness. Doodles of fun-loving animals indicate a playful doodler, of slow animals a more plodding, contemplative personality, etc.
  • Elephants -The elephant is powerful and dominant and can show inner strength that can overcome any obstacle. Those who draw elephants in any form are likely to be cheerful, a bit mischievous and fun to be around.

Arrows
Arrows indicate feelings of ambitiousness, drive, and motivation. These people are aggressively ambitious.

Chains
Chains can indicate feelings of restriction, particularly in a relationship or in a job. Restrictions can also refer to a person's attitudes and beliefs that don't allow them to do as they wish. Drawing a person in chains can show a feeling of being very stressed.

Circles
Circles represent a need to find unity and peace. They can indicate someone who is struggling to draw everything together and make sense of it. It can also indicate a strong intuitive sense that things are coming together to form a whole, whether that refers to relationships, or life in general. Since they're made with round movements, circles indicate a more passive feeling than angles. They're associated with feeling sociable, talkative and friendly, with a desire to be flexible and loving.

Clouds
Fluffy clouds may indicate a happy person who is apt to daydream a bit, but has a strong sense of freedom around them. Angry, stormy clouds can indicate depression, or difficulty in coping.

Cubes
They indicate a desire to be constructive. If they're three-dimensional, they indicate the ability or an attempt to see all sides of an issue. Drawing cubes is also a common sign of feeling trapped and powerless to resolve a situation. Combined with round shapes and spirals cubes often signify that the doodler really would rather be somewhere else at that particular moment doing something at lot more interesting.
*Fun fact* SOMA cube was created by student Piet Hian from Denmark when he was doodling in one of his lectures?  Boxes and cubes are universally the most common doodles.

As for doodles that present masculinity, they consist of boxes, squares and other three- dimensional objects. Moreover, if you draw boxes, you are likely to have a practical, organized and methodical approach towards different things.

Dots
Dots exhibit anxiety and instability.

Ears
Indicates the feeling of having to listen too much to someone.

Eggs
Eggs symbolize a new beginning. A new talent that you were not aware of may be emerging. Eggs can also show a need and a desire to settle down and build your own stable, safe nest.

Eyes
Eyes often show the inner self of the person doodling them. Big eyes have outgoing personalities and small ones are reserved. Closed eyes may indicate a refusal to look inside oneself and sad, or happy laughing eyes can reflect how the person feels deep inside. They may be drawn by people who want to be attractive. Many drawn at once suggest that the person feels to be watched by someone. According to Robert Burns, people who doodle eyes are vigilant and in severe cases they may be paranoid and are observant.

Faces
The expression on a doodled face is often a good indication of the mood or character of the person who has drawn it. A nicely drawn, good-looking face suggests you see the good in others. If you sketch weird or ugly faces, you are probably mistrustful. Comic faces demonstrate a desire to be the center of attention. Child-like doodles of faces suggest neediness. Profiles indicate you're an introvert.

Flowers
Flowers represent our feminine side, and a desire to see growth, nature, and reproduction. If flowers are in an arrangement, it denotes a sense of family and togetherness. McNichol writes that Jung believed dreams of flowers suggest a need to release emotion people feel unable to express openly. 
Drawing flowers as your doodles suggest femininity. This is the reason why usually girls are observed to draw flowers while they doodle. Moreover, drawing flowers also suggest that you might be becoming aware of your own personality and waiting to bloom.

Food
Drawing things to eat or drink indicates a need for love, or a desire to be filled up–or thirst or hunger.

Hearts
The doodler has love on the brain.

Houses or Buildings
These represent the doodler's attitude toward his or her home life. Houses definitely ought to have doors and windows which indicate that there's a way for the resident to see out and for others to see into him. A warm, inviting house–one that looks lived in, perhaps with smoke curling from the chimney–suggests the doodler has a happy and positive attitude toward his home life. Stark, unadorned or haphazard houses indicate uneasy associations with the doodler's home life. A house pictured on its own on top  of a hill suggests you're feeling isolated and lonely. 
Doodling houses and money?
According to Dr Burns, "if you find yourself doodling pictures of houses, you probably place a high value on shelter and security". Other symbols too are strong indications of things which an individual values most. For example, numbers and dollar signs indicate a preoccupation with money. Planes, cars, ships, and other vehicles may indicate a desire to travel, alter relationships, or change one's life. Houses in your drawings symbolize many things. If you draw a plain house that has no doors, windows, curtains or smoke coming out of the chimney, you are very likely to be gloomy about something in your life. You might feel lonely and would want to talk to someone at the moment.
On the other hand, if you have drawn a big house, with flowers and a garden around it, you are likely to be happy. Moreover, you might be materialistic; and like big houses, extravaganza and luxuries.
Some also draw tall and thin houses. These suggest a critical mind. These people do not show an open-minded approach towards different things.

Names and Initials
Doodling your name or initials is common for those who enjoy being the center of attention. Teenagers often doodle just their first name or the initial of their Christian name, indicating a desire to break away from the family and do their own thing. Doodling someone else's name, on the other hand, shows they are in your thoughts if it be romantically or because they are a presenting a problem you need to deal with.

Lines
Some people just draw lines. If these are drawn with a lot of pressure, they represent aggression and apprehension. The pressure is basically that decides your mood. The lighter the pressure, the more peace you have in your mind.

People
Doodling only profiles indicates that the doodler doesn't like the way he or she looks, or feels s/he can't draw well. In full-proportion drawings, not drawing hands indicates a feeling of being unable to do things; no feet indicates a feeling of not belonging or not having roots. The face is important: smiles are desirable, obviously, and frowns are not. Missing parts of the face indicate a person who feels fragmented, not whole, or faceless. Accentuating or drawing only eyes indicates a cautious, suspicious doodler. Doodles of ears usually mean that the doodler feels they have to listen too much to someone.
Children drawing: If the character is floating in the air it means that character has importance. Exceptionally large ears, unadorned by earrings, can indicate verbal abuse. Sometimes lines leading to the ears demonstrate the abusive tone frequently encountered. The mouth with a long slit will be drawn by and anxious, uncomfortable child, but no mouth at all may be a sign of there inability to communicate.Empty eyes may indicate a difficulty relating to the reality around them, they are blind to reality. Jagged teeth frequently indicate a tendency toward aggressive behavior, especially when coupled with other serrated graphic symbols such as spiked fingers, feet, ears, and hair.
* Fun Fact* Children draw out feelings they cant express.

Stars
Stars indicate a feeling of hopefulness, a looking forward or up to things, and optimism. People who draw clustered stars are irrepressibly romantic.

Spider Web
This can symbolize a feeling of being trapped or the desire to entice someone into a particular relationship or situation.

Transportation methods
Doodles of any form of transportation represent a desire to get away or to reach a goal. The faster the type of vehicle, the greater haste to make a point or speed away.

Triangles
Triangles are the second most common universal doodles. They reveal a rational state of mind and a desire to see things come to a head.

Trees
Trees represent our egos and our ambitions, so take particular note of the health of the tree! Trees with leaves and fruit indicate that the doodler associates love, sex, and children together. Bare, drooping branches indicate depression and lack of fighting spirit. Rootless trees may indicate that the doodler feels him or herself to be without roots. 
A tree symbolizes a person or a thing from the past that you do not happen to forget. Moreover, you might fear insecurity and would want to be protected. This might be your feeling if your tree is standing alone. If surrounded by flowers, it indicates happiness and love for family.

Zigzags
Zigzags show discomfort in life that one might want to escape or are energetic and just desire to get on with things. If it has soft, flowing, curvy lines it suggest a romantic, female approach to things, patterns made up of lots of straight lines, indicate more aggressive masculine characteristics.


Colors


When people doodle it is generally with whatever they have at hand. Colors though will mean different things depending on cultural differences. So unless you know that the doodler had the whatever they wanted on hand it should mean to much, but the meaning is the same in artwork as well.

Red :bulletred:
Often represents power and can indicate anger or a need to impose authority, but is also a seasonal, festive color.
-China sees it as prosperity and joy.
*Fun Fact* Looking at red increases the heart rate.

Orange
Shows social communication and optimism. From a negative color meaning it is also a sign of pessimism and superficiality.

Yellow
Is of the mind and the intellect. It is optimistic and cheerful. However it can also suggest impatience, criticism and cowardice.

Green :bulletgreen:
Suggesting well-being, balance and growth. It can mean both self-reliance as a positive and possessiveness as a negative, among many other meanings like envy, sickness, or money. Sea-green can also have connotations of water and the ocean.

Blue :bulletblue:
Indication of stability, strength, trust and peace. It can suggest loyalty and integrity as well as conservatism and frigidity. It can have connotations of water and the ocean. Dark blue is often chosen as a corporate color in the financial sector to indicate security.

Indigo
Intuition. It can mean idealism and structure as well as ritualistic and addictive.

Purple :bulletpurple:
Purple may represent sexual frustration or a need to appear unorthodox. It can be creative and individual, or immature and impractical. Imagination is the key word.
*Fun Fact* It is a favorite color of artists. Historically, purple has represented royalty, and in darker hues suggests magic and mystery.

Brown
Brown can suggest the earth and autumn. A preference for brown can indicate a conservative personality, even repression. Of course, in clothing and furnishings that depends on fashion, though trends can indicate the mood of the times.

Silver
It has a feminine energy; it is related to the moon and the ebb and flow of the tides - it is fluid, emotional, sensitive and mysterious.

Gold
Shows success, achievement and triumph. Associated with abundance and prosperity, luxury and quality, prestige and sophistication, value and elegance, It implies affluence, material wealth and extravagance.

Black and Gray
They indicate stability and strength
-Native American cultures black is the color of the life-giving earth.
-Western culture black is associated with darkness, evil and death.
*Fun Fact*Gray is sometimes called 'the color of sorrow' being considered the most depressing color with black coming in second.

White
It is complete and pure, the color of perfection. It shows purity, innocence, wholeness and completion.


Next time you doodle on a piece of paper be aware that you are telling the world what is going on deep inside your subconscious mind without meaning to do so. Take your doodles with you; don't leave them for someone else to interpret – because you just might be revealing all of your secrets

Want to feel good about doodling? Watch this TedTalk

Sources
Didn't realize my journal would become the 1st thing on Google so from now on I'll be adding future links to my sources.

fatemanoor.wordpress.com/tag/p… (similar to what I have)

www.bigdoodles.com/tag/abstrac… (not fully viewed yet)

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© 2011 - 2021 LiquidBlueFlame
Comments62
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EnoguBailing's avatar
I know it's been years but I remember this post and decided to refer back to it to see how I've changed. I was wondering if you remember any of your sources or what you searched to find some of these notes. Please message me whenever you can about it. Please and thank you ^_^
EnoguBailing's avatar
Just saw the sources at the bottom. If you have more remember to add them lol I'll probably check this often so I'll most likely reshare if I see new sources
MostAmateurArtist's avatar
This is amazing! Thank youuuu!!!
SadisticalShadow's avatar
What about snails? I drew two today. One sideways, on facing head on.
this was verry pertinent, good reading thanks 
Such lists shouldn't be taken too seriously. They indicate more about the personality of the person who made it instead of the art that it's supposed to classify. The style that an artist draws or paints something expresses their feeling about it, it happens that the same thing can represent unrelated ideas, not just opposite ones, depending on the purpose of the picture, when it was made, or who made it. So what you need to be sensitive to is the idea behind the picture which will be expressed by and determine the mode of appearance of the things pictured through it.
MostAmateurArtist's avatar
That's only the case of artists. People who are doodling while absent minded and thinking can indicate a lot about their mental wellbeing.
ReliableAddict's avatar
Good Read. Thanks.
aaliazt's avatar
is there a meaning when you draw a swan with a lip as it's body? as in like surrealism?
MaryM00's avatar
this is very interesting! Planning on doing an journal to except about other things,genes and such 
i want to show my sketches to someone expert to explain to me what they mean

help anyone? 
aaliazt's avatar
i can if you want :)
PurpleBat224's avatar
Is there a certain meaning if you draw complex lines, dots ad swirls on yourhand? Or is this just an odd habit .-. ...
Hi,

Can you provide me details of references for this information? Any books, articles, publications? This will be helpful for a research paper I'm working on.

Thanks
Creative-Chai's avatar
This is very cool
I like this a lot ^^
It really can explain people from how they doodle
For me, I draw in the corner, I like using cool colors like blue. And I usually draw eyes, or creatures, and I love drawing clouds :3
Very nice! :D
WebOfSpiders's avatar
What about drawing nothing at all? I just hold a pencil in front of a piece of paper and pretend to draw.
rolleN1337's avatar
What does it mean to draw knives?
An1meFr33k's avatar
I always doodle a huge face of cute children on the bottom left area of my pages, generally the have winky faces. One eye shut while the other is MASSIVE!!! I mostly draw girls with tiny pigtails and chubby cheeks. Kinda like chibis maybe? I dunno, maybe that just makes my an anime obsessed person....meh.
Is there any meaning to that though?
icyblaze89's avatar
i love doodling eyes or faces at a small corner place, really shows who I really am since I became more focus in my work if I did that. Thanks for sharing such interesting facts :)
abysmalcognition's avatar
I think that doodling is just random objects that come to mind and are then drawn due to boredom. In my opinion, none of this is true, except for may be the part that said that you doodle hearts when love is on your mind. Giving such finite possibilities of ones personality and feelings by what one doodles is ridiculous.
Spiders – Doodling and drawing spiders is very auspicious and indicates good luck, particularly when a web is drawn along with the spider/s. ShellwAke  
ssssandie2009's avatar
what if someone draws a line down the middle of the page and draws on the left and then the right only...? It's not drawn from top to down...


O.K. So I can not draw and I do not doodle except for one day when I doodled something very close to THIS. I was lost in thought until I suddenly noticed what I was doing. I thought "oh, that's odd. Well look at that... All it needs is a couple of red eyes." Then I added two red eyes and it was done. I don't like spiders and sometimes I think about my doodle when I see a random doodle somewhere. Want to help me out? This is not the original doodle but the original was very similar. It was even made on a laptop with a touch pad. This recreation was made on an iPad with a touchscreen.

any ideas would be awesome. Thanks    (:


fav.me/d84oj10
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