Saturday, October 11, 2008

Doodles & The Subconscious

I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. As a kid, it was mostly the margins of The Hindu. Notebooks were spared, as they were frequently examined at school.

Now my notepads, printouts, meeting minutes are full of it : Solid Os, Ds , circles, landscapes, textures, cartoons, geometry shapes and irregular forms.

Give me a pencil and a piece of paper and there is more than a 90% chance, you will find it. And it's all driven by my subconscious.

Honestly, I have no clue as to what I am doing when I am doing it or what I end up doing. Something that seems to start small at the margins, ends up taking up the whole page, time permitting.

Anytime is a good time, especially phone conversations, lecture sessions, meetings or idle time at the workstation.

Doodles, as the world calls them, is defined by Wikipedia as a type of sketch, an unfocused drawing made while a person's attention is otherwise occupied. They are simple drawings which can have a meaning, a shape or just irregular forms.

This somehow seems to explain my fascination for the abstract & the surreal. If you look at Jackson Pollack or Wassily Kandinsky or other abstract artists, their paintings are doodles at heart, subconsciously spontaneous, albeit at a much grander scale. Everything is fluid, non-representational, open to interpretation, with no visual reference to the real world...qualities I love in any art form.

Now the question that pops up is do they have meaning, can their interpretations reveal the subconscious. Pundits seem to think so, studying them with same fervor as handwriting analysis or dream interpretation.

There is a lot of literature on Doodle interpretations with location on the page consistently suggested as the most significant aspect of understanding a doodle.

Now it feels like doodles are a part of my identity, as unique as myself. As long as my teammates don't take offense to my doodling in meetings, my subconscious will keep firing away.

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