View Full Version : compulsive doodling

04-04-2003, 10:48 AM
I can't help it. No matter where I am, no matter what I'm doing, my hand seems to have a mind of its own. Not just random geometric shapes while on the phone, but actually tiny pictures-of things around me, of patterns in the texturing on the wall that look like cartoon characters, animals, or what have you. I'll draw on whatever's available, with whatever's available. In fifth grade I drew on the metal casing of the electrical box with a nail. I've drawn on desks, on my jeans, on my hand, on the corners and edges of my textbooks and notebooks. I was suspended from school in 7th grade for this problem. The teacher thought I was listening. I was. He warned me three different occasions to quit it, but I couldn't. I'm still doing it, at work and in my classes.<P></P>
Is this a normal disease for artists to have? Or is this my own uncontrollable problem? Does anybody else find themselves randomly doodling to while away the time in a waiting room or just because you can't only stare at the teacher while he lectures and take notes, it's just not enough to keep you occupied?:D

prairie painter
04-06-2003, 08:27 PM
You could interpret this several ways- perhaps you have a hyperactivity situation that you have channeled into one area unconsciously. Maybe drawing helps you focus on what you are listening to. When I'm tense I do some fairly elaborate, though not object-oriented, doodling.
Sounds like you have alot more practice in drawing than most people, just roll with it would be my best comment.

04-08-2003, 05:07 AM
You may be right! In some ways it may help imprint on my mind with images what the teacher is saying, no matter what I'm drawing. Like word association? That, and it may all boil down to being neurotic.

04-15-2003, 06:23 AM
show us some!

04-15-2003, 09:41 AM

sounds familiar. sure beats picking your nose though. :D


04-15-2003, 10:22 AM
Ok, here's an example. The muskrat skull and rabbit bones I doodled in math class last year on one of my binder dividers. I had the bones with me because I had brought them to school to show a classmate. Even though I was sitting in the front row, Ms. Wallin didn't say anything because I was also taking notes and had an A in her class. (It may also be because I gave her two betta fish paintings.) Later I cut each of them out and mounted them on black paper.<P></P>http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Apr-2003/14705-muskrat_skull.jpg

04-21-2003, 06:36 PM

I don't know if it is a compulsive thing...but when I don't doodle (or taking notes) I start to drift.

In Junior High -- I got in trouble for it. In high school they didn't like it either, but as long as I was paying attention they didn't care.

In college(where I am now), Almost never will a teacher say anything to you, because you have a choice to attend lectures or not.
Except one: In World Cinema, I had one teacher who cared, but not that I was drawing. Once again my pencil is always moving either notetaking or doodling. However there was another girl who would draw and color through out class and it wasn't that she was drawing, it was that she wasn't paying attention to what he said, taking notes or even watching the films. Since they were often in foreign languages, we HAD to watch them. It drove my professor nuts as well as everyone in our group because we were carrying her. (As you guessed she was in my group!)

Ok that being said, I would be as subtle about it as you can, and as you get older, if a teacher calls you on it talk to them privatly.


04-22-2003, 04:29 PM
Sometimes I wonder if the doodling is all that keeps me from going nuts. I'm on the phone all day with customers and for the most part I do indeed pay attention to what they are saying (it doesn't help me out not to, don't ask how I know) but my note pads are constantly covered with doodles... Just this moring I drew some very nice jacks.

04-24-2003, 05:50 AM
Doodling is your talent keeping its motor warm. Don't ever resist the urge!

04-24-2003, 10:25 AM
Thanks guys! You know, a funny thing... The more boring the class, the better drawing I do. I've always done my best drawings in lecture classes!

04-28-2003, 06:25 PM
I read something that George Armstrong Custer got in serious trouble at West Point for either doodling or scratching his initials in a desktop. This activity may not be just something that artists do. Who knows. It's good practice though.