On the Obsessive Compulsive Nature of Swirls

Let’s say, hypothetically, that your book is on submission.

Let’s also say you are of a more neurotic nature, and find yourself obsessing.

Let’s also say your name is Victoria.

So, you’ve been writing, and reading, and baking. But say you get to the point where you just need to blast some music and keep your fingers busy so you don’t refresh your email, make sure Allister (your Blackberry) is working, or harass any other devices.

What do you do?

Well, if you are Victoria, you draw patterns.

I developed this tic last year. I was sitting in my fiction class one day, listening to the professor speak, and I began to doodle in the corner of my notebook. I drew a few spirals. And then I drew more. And more. It became a nervous tic of a motion, and the spirals built on each other until they covered the page.

I lost myself in them, lost my fingers in the motion. It became my version of knitting, albeit less productive. And then when it came time for my to do my illustration projects (I have a degree in design) I began to pattern there too.

For one, I liked the way it looked, I had a newfound fascination with intricacy, with the sheer investment of time. But also, it was just so…soothing.

I’ve started drawing patterns again. They’re creeping onto my pages. Taking over the white space where words would go if I could focus*.

*That’s not entirely true because I have been writing too, and ATB is over 100 pages, but you better believe if I’m not typing, I’m doing this.

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14 thoughts on “On the Obsessive Compulsive Nature of Swirls

  1. jemacleod says:

    Well, they are VERY cool looking!

  2. veschwab says:

    Well at least they’re pretty :p They’re fun, and calming.

  3. veschwab says:

    Haha they’re entrancing to draw. I’d sit in class with one person on either side, and within a few minutes both of them would be staring at my page as the pen drew circles on itself.

  4. I do rows of hearts. Or stars and daisies. ANYTHING to conquer that scary white space!
    Sends a soothing cup of tea and a brimming up of patience. Hang in there! 🙂

  5. veschwab says:

    Ah, lovely. *sips tea and draws swirls*

  6. shanasilver says:

    I really love the circle pattern. I actually used to make patterns similar to the second one while in college. Not as intricate as yours though. I wonder if it’s a design student thing? I’ll try to find a pic but all my college notebooks are at my parents’ house.

  7. veschwab says:

    The circle one is my favorite to draw 🙂
    I’d love to see someone else’s neurotic patterning! If you come across it, be sure to post :p
    Maybe it is a design student thing, except one of my classmates in fiction (where I did most of my doodles) was also a design major, and she would just look at me like I’d lost my mind every time I started doing this.

  8. mindiscott says:

    Me, too! I do hearts and stars, but mostly hearts. 🙂

  9. They’re lovely! My favourite is the wave of spirals curling around your page.

  10. veschwab says:

    Haha thanks. Sadly that is but one page of an entire journal similarly filled :p

  11. veschwab says:

    I had this pattern I used to do with a chain of hearts alternating right side up and upside down so that I never picked my pen up. There seem to be universal doodles :p

  12. Anonymous says:

    I want a picture like that!

  13. veschwab says:

    I’ll draw you on, happily. I fill entire notebooks. When I’m not writing, of course :p

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