Reading minds through sketchbook doodles



If you’re a graphic designer, illustrator or just like to draw, chances are you have a sketchpad, and chances are this sketchpad is full of detailed drawings, abstract scribbles and, of course, a fair few doodles. But did you know these doodles could reveal some exposing secrets hidden in your subconscious? According to the vice-chair of the British Institute of Graphologists Ruth Rostron our doodles can be like “Freudian slips or body-language that we’re not aware of” because we tend to only be half-conscious of what we draw, when we draw them. So time to learn a little more about ourselves…

Although the content of what we draw can reveal some insights into our inner psyche it’s actually how we draw a doodle which gives the most insight.

Straight or curly?

Straight lines represent strong willpower and self-control; curved strokes demonstrate flexibility, imagination and emotion.

Circle, square or triangle?

People who want harmony and love tend to draw rounded shapes and circles. Circles can also be symbols of friendship and femininity. Down-to-earth, practical types who enjoy being in control are more likely to draw square shapes. They tend to be grounded and realistic people who have an organised, scientific approach and a sense of security.

Triangles a little more interesting; if you draw triangles or pointed shapes regularly then you might have a lot of energy that needs to be released. These kinds of people are creative, active and ambitious and tend to be determined. They can also be dreamers who have a difficult time staying grounded in reality.

Where on the page?

Where you draw your doodle indicates something about your attitude to aspects of your life. Doodling at the top of the page indicates a preoccupation with aspirations and dreams, the bottom of the page represents security and material concerns, the right is the future and the left is the past and family.

Style and stroke

If you doodle with a heavy stroke then you’re a determined person, but if you go over and over a line then you might be frustrated, obsessed or stuck with a problem. Heavy shading or criss-cross strokes suggest depression or worry. If you use a light touch then you’re probably a sensitive person and might be a little hesitant in day to day life.

Drawing lines or objects in rows shows a methodical approach, good organisation and an appreciation of order and control. Disorderly looking doodles indicate a lively personality and an individual who does thing spur of the moment and has a tendency to get side-tracked.

Some common doodles explained:

Stars: Stars indicate ambition. Lots of little starts indicate optimism, a big embellished star indicates a clear goal in sight and neat uniform starts suggest good mental focus. Free hand means you’ve got a lot energy.

Squares or boxes: Indicate you want control and that you are thinking through a problem. If a box becomes a cube you’re probably a very efficient, analytical person who can deal with difficult situations without fuss.

Flowers: Flowers indicate an amiable, family-centric person who is sociable. A dropping flower head indicates worry.

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