This is my fourth post for this blog series on doodling. Please click here for my first post.
Having doodled in an impromptu manner with and without words, I feel that words add coherence to the entire image. More importantly, doodling is best done with a certain conscious intent when drawing, not so much in having an objective or goal in mind (as that would be akin to mind-mapping, which is another topic altogether) but rather, consciously completing the doodling act by completing the visual element after a conscious recognition of the appearing visual (by associating the element with one’s recognition of the partially shown element based on associative thinking and one’s accumulative knowledge of things and people).
By doing so, one’s visual representation of the doodle would not be hampered or impeded by a pre-defined goal, and one is able to doodle at will, retaining a certain degree of flexibility for more varied interpretations from one’s subconscious. This allows one to manoeuvre at free will without being too “one-way” in thinking, thereby adhering to a stricter definition of “doodling”.
I feel that doodling applies to all areas of life. However, in the act of doodling, it is important for the artist to realise that many of the visual elements are drawn out of one’s subconscious and hence are symbolic. These elements should almost never be interpreted at the surface level. For instance, a dove is not a dove. A dove is love and peace. As for flowers, its interpretation should be made based on what it represents. For example, a rose is not a rose. It is romantic love and beauty, which differs from carnations (with its modern interpretation of maternal affection).
Previously, before the emergence and prevalence of the internet, symbolic interpretations of visual elements and dreams are restricted to professionals. However, since the internet’s proliferation, researching and understanding visual elements pulled from one’s subconscious and dreams have never been easier. Yes, it takes effort but with perseverance and gratitude, one can easily identify interesting thoughts from one’s own drawings and seek to understand oneself better. So, my personal opinion is that doodling does have a healing effect on oneself, thereby serving as a useful therapeutic tool for everyone.
Nevertheless, I have to add that not everyone is attuned to the act of doodling or even drawing. For some, there is a need to allocate some time to this endeavour for doodling to be an effective therapeutic tool.
In my next article, I will examine the process of doodling and how it can be used to enhance one’s self-learning in one’s journey of self-discovery.