work-back What your doodle says about you

Jo Share • 3 min read

Every great creative idea starts with a doodle; a germ of inspiration that’s cultivated and tweaked until it becomes a fully formed image. You could argue that doodles are the bedrock of creativity as the artist’s mind flits from thought to thought, chucking out a slew of ideas until the right idea shows itself and can then be elaborated on through to the end result.


But doodling is not just limited to creatives! Everyone finds themselves absentmindedly drawing something while on hold on a call or when brainstorming ideas. Doodling can also help to release stress and tension in a creative way. It can be a means for one’s subconscious to work through problems — so looking at what you’re idly drawing may be the creative release you need to get to the bottom of whatever’s on your mind.  

What you find yourself doodling over and over again can also provide an insight into your personality. Here are some of the most common doodles and the meaning behind them.

  • Faces: This is a good indication of mood; happy faces suggest you see the good in others, ugly faces mean you can be mistrusting.
  • Flowers: Drawing flowers means you are sensitive, kind and family focused.
  • Flying animals: Doodling any sort of flying insect, like bees or butterflies, means you don’t want to be tied down — or that you’ve been landed with a tricky task.
  • Patterns: Drawing intricate patterns means you’re likely to be an introvert who is also a perfectionist. Typically, you’re observant with an eye for detail.
  • Arrows: These indicate someone who is ambitious and hardworking — you’re someone who aims high and has set goals in mind that you’re determined to achieve.
  • Houses: This suggests a strong need for security i.e. a neat house equals a happy home.
  • Spider’s web: This can indicate feeling trapped.
  • Modes of transport: Sketching vehicles can be a hint that you’re looking for a means of escape from a situation…
  • Names / Initials: A penchant for doodling your moniker suggests you like to be the centre of attention!
  • Boxes / cubes: These are an indication of being a good problem solver; someone who works hard, likes to solve problems and take action.
  • Stick figures: While it’s often assumed that those who draw stick figures aren’t very good at drawing, it actually means you’re extremely focused and on the path to great success!
  • Hearts: If you find yourself doodling hearts, you’re a born romantic — and either in love or looking for it.
  • Stars: Optimistic and positive in nature, those who draw stars have a tendency to put a positive spin on everything.

As well as what you draw, how you draw it can also offer a window into your soul.

A single object often represents the self, while the background and other objects show the world around you.

Does your doodle fill the whole available space or just a tiny corner? This can be linked to your sense of self-importance — and illustrates how dominate you are in relationships and situations.

Where you doodle on a page can be insightful; the top of the page is associated with dreams and goals and the bottom with material things and security. The right portrays the outside world and the future, and the left is associated with family and the past.

How heavy your pen strokes are can indicate your mood. Heavy strokes can imply you are frustrated or stuck, light strokes signal sensitivity or hesitance.

Drawing in lines can denote good organisation and a desire for order and control. More haphazard doodles are produced by people who like freedom and enjoy doing things on the spur of the moment.

So next time you find yourself filling up the spare space on your pad, take a good look at your doodle before you discard it. You might find it helps you figure out what’s on your mind!