What is the hidden meaning behind what we draw on misty windows? As a child, doodling on car windows was one of the few ways of keeping occupied on a long journey, in between asking “are we there yet?” . When you get older, your time may still be spent playing Banksy on a misty bus window, or perhaps drawing more Freudian-esque symbols on fogged up windows. But why is doodling such an appealing pastime? And does the type of doodle you draw have any significance or deeper meaning? And is there any difference between what children and adults draw? That’s what I was invited to explore in a fun collaboration with All Car Leasing and We Are Boutique PR agency, and this is (an extract) of what I contributed:
Both adults and children have been known to doodle when they’re trying to process difficult emotions.
Adults tend to doodle when they’re concentrating really hard on something else and not really thinking about what they’re doing. Quite often, they’ve got a problem to solve. Equally, they’ll also doodle when feeling stressed and trying to relax, as doodling is a form of mindfulness.
Children are more likely to doodle just for a bit of light-hearted fun and distraction, usually to fritter away time, when they’re feeling bored. It’s an excuse to let their minds wander and get creative. Their doodles commonly tend to be simple universal shapes, such as circles, squares, stars and triangles. These shapes may be basic, yet each one is so revealing, representing the child. They can be associated with repressed emotions and unconscious thoughts, different personality types, and basic needs, fears and phobias:
Circles are all about emotion and feelings. These are drawn by sociable, playful, friendly children. One single circle can reveal independence, or loneliness. A large circle shows confidence.
Squares are like building blocks – they symbolise security. These types are likely to be practical and constructive, well organised and conventional, and they want to see results for their efforts.
Stars are idealistic – they represent our hopes and dreams.
Hearts symbolise love, romance and innocence. These children are affectionate and caring. They just want to love and be loved.
Triangles are bold and adventurous, daring and ambitious. These are competitive children. It’s also a sign of aggression and anti-social behaviour.
Handprints are unique and represent our identity. It’s like the child is making a signature. Signatures are like shop windows or pocket snapshots into people’s souls. These children may enjoy being the centre of attention.