|Soft and Wavy|
|Random animal companions|
|All kinds of everything|
|Swirls and Lines - To calm and concentrate|
|More Lines for focus|
|Birds and Bunnies - my mind wanted free|
|Curly Swirlys - these were the best at keeping my head calm and composed|
|Tenticles - Trying to concentrate getting stressed|
While we discussed this subject I thought of my own mental health and of times when it was not 100% and I was reminded of these doodles of mine. These are drawings I made some years ago when I worked in a job-from-hell in a call centre. At the time, I had put myself in a position where I was stuck in this horrible job that I hated but could not afford to leave for reasons I'll not bore you with here. I would sit at the computer in a severe depression and literally be on the verge of bursting into tears and only be prevented from doing so by having to answer the random individual on the other end of the phone. The one thing that kept me occupied and calm during this time was my constant doodling as I worked. I filled notepads with these doodles and shapes day after day.
Later when I moved home to recover myself I found a book in my local library on graphology that had some very interesting information. In the book it mentions a series of drawings used to help train adults and children to improve their handwriting. These drawings are also thought to help modify an individual’s mental attitude. The idea being that, if you improve your handwriting you also improve your life overall.
Now reading a claim like that I would normally be very sceptical about its value. However when I saw the two examples given I was amazed. The first was a set of jagged, pointy shapes that are used to sharpen concentration and the second was a series of curly, swirls that are meant to help to calm the mind. When I saw these I rooted through all my boxes to see if any of my 'demented doodles' - as I used to refer to them, survived. Sure enough there was one unfinished notebook that had these images in them.
Finding this notebook and discovering this information was a great comfort to me. It said to me that, when I felt most despairing and unhinged that somewhere in the depths of my brain there was this hidden knowledge that helped me survive. This might sound very dramatic but it is very difficult to describe just how bad the place I was in and yet somewhere underneath all that hurt there was hope in a lowly doodle notebook. I think that is amazing.
I would guess that there are many people that have this built-in safety switch and not even know it. Do you doodle? There are many purposes a simple doodle can have and if you do find yourself absentmindedly scrawling on random bits of paper I would encourage you to keep them. What you might dismiss as a useless doodle could actually be a thing of rare beauty.
I could not find the original book where I first found this information but I did a bit of quick googling and found this link for those interested:
I understand that this area of graphology is referred to as graphotherapy. I cannot say for certain that this type of therapy works. (One blog I read made, what seemed to me, outrageous claims.) Please don't take this post as a recommendation for it. I just wanted to relate my tale. The point of my story, for me, is that without even realising it I found hope in a simple drawing and with that hope I found the courage to look for help. I believe there is great strength, hope and opportunity to be found in Art and creativity no matter how small or simple the act.