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What your doodles say about you

2 March 2012

Whether it’s hearts and flowers, gurning faces or the scrawled name of your secret crush, your doodles say an awful lot about you.

As handwriting expert Ruth Rostron puts it, because we doodle without thinking the patterns we choose can be very revealing - “like Freudian slips or body language that we are not aware of”.

For instance, emotional people who crave harmony tend to go for rounded shapes and symbols such as circles, suns, flowers, hearts, lips and balloons.

More down-to-earth, practical people who desire order draw square shapes and things that represent material security, such as boxes, doors, forts, towers, block letters and numbers.

[Related story: How to encourage your child to read]

And determined people with a lot of mental and physical energy draw pointed or masculine images, from stars to arrows, zigzags, spires, stick figures and lightening.

But whatever your doodle style, today is the day to make those doodles make a difference. That’s because it’s National Doodle Day, founded in 2004 by charity Epilepsy Action as a fun way to raise funds and awareness for a condition that affects one in every 103 people in the UK.

By submitting your favourite personal doodles to the organisation’s annual National Doodle Day competition – along with a minimum £1 donation – you could stand to win £250 of high street vouchers and at the same time help raise cash for a vital cause. The closing date for entries is Friday 13 April and full details are available at the National Doodle Day website.

Alternatively you could bid to win one of dozens of celebrity doodles auctioned on eBay today - including Dame Helen Mirren’s doodle of a glamorous woman, X Factor winner Matt Cardle’s smiley face, The Only Way Is Essex star Lydia Bright’s scribbly lady, Queen guitarist Brian May’s swirly tree-like effort or Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s sleeping “goalkeeper cat”.

Other stars who have submitted their doodles include Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park, designer Ben de Lisi, Prime Minister David Cameron, Peter Andre, Joanna Lumley, Twiggy, actor Bill Nighy and footballer Steven Gerrard.

Epilepsy Action fundraising events manager Philippa Cartwright said: “National Doodle Day is a great way for celebrities and members of the public alike to get creative for a good cause. Taking just five minutes out of your day can make all the difference to the 600,000 people living with epilepsy in the UK.”

A winning bid or donation of just £10 can fund a call to the organisation’s helpline, £20 could fund one hour of support from an epilepsy specialist nurse, £50 could fund a six month supply of information booklets and £100 could fund an awareness session by a trained adviser to dispel myths and answer questions in schools and workplaces.

In the meantime, want to know more about what your doodles say about you? Here are 10 things you never knew about doodling:

  • Doodling is good for you because it helps relieve boredom and frustration, allowing pressure to be dispelled in a creative, playful way. The urge to doodle gets stronger as stress levels rise
  • Underlying preoccupations can surface and take shape as doodles. Doodling maps your mind as you plan something new, worry about money or dream of a lover. Subconsciously, it may actually help you sort out your problems.
  • Some symbols crop up again and again – such as the sun, stars, boxes, arrows, hearts, flowers and waves. This may be because they have special significance for human beings and are symbols that represent our aspirations, needs and feelings

  • People who prefer straight lines tend to have strong willpower and self-control and like facts. Those who prefer curved strokes are more flexible, imaginative and emotional
  • A single object represents the person doodling while the background scene or space represents the world around him or her. Several objects may represent people who are important to the doodler, different aspects of a situation, or parts of him or herself
  • If your doodle consists of a single object or pattern, how big is it in relation to the space? A large object shows you are outgoing, appear confident and have a busy life. A small object suggests you observe more than participate, like your personal space and prefer a quiet life
  • If you doodle at the top of the page, this is linked to dreams and aspirations. The bottom of the page is associated with security and material concerns. The right is concerned with the future and the outside world and the left relates to the past and family
  • People who are sensitive or hesitant tend to draw with short, light or sketchy lines. Determined people who feel strongly about things use longer, firmer strokes
  • Digging into the paper or going over and over something are signs that someone is frustrated, obsessed or stuck with a problem
  • Heavy shading or criss-crossing of strokes suggest depression or worry

For more information on how to take part in National Doodle Day visit the website here or call 0113 210 8800.

For more in formation on epilepsy, call the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050 or see Epilepsy.org

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