Let Me Tell You How Zentangle Found Me…
… and how it has changed my life, then you might check it out to see what can Zentangle do for you too! Quite possibly it will change yours! I had been searching for a creative artistic outlet for years. I tried watercolor, acrylics, pastels, markers, chalk, colored pencils, journaling, cut paper, coloring books and more to no avail. I felt like I was not talented enough and that my creations were not worthy of being called art. That has all changed. One day while in Book-n-Brush in Chehalis, WA buying my sixth or seventh coloring book by Sue Coccia, my husband asked, ‘So what is Zentangle about?’ I dismissively told him, ‘Oh, it is a scam.’ Boy, was I so wrong! Knowing little about what I was saying, I continued, ‘They want you to buy books 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. and order their supplies to do more art.’ He asked me, “So, what is so different about buying this series of books? Aren’t you doing that now!” I felt embarrassed. It was true, I had been buying a series of books coloring books, and my creative juices were just not being satisfied, but I was experiencing ‘flow’. And there’s more…
Honestly, the example Zentangle Tiles on display at Book-n-Brush intimidated me. I thought I could never do something as cool as those examples. They seemed so complex! I did not know that my second assumption was also incorrect.
Below is a tile similar to what a beginner might create in their very first two to three hour class. And then it grows beautifully from there! I recommend that tanglers buy a good quality sketchbook. Particularly satisfying are sketchbooks designed for mixed media or specifically for ink. Your sketchbook is something you will want to keep as you grow as an artist! I refer back to mine often.
If you ever have an opportunity to purchase an incredible sketchbook, I recommend an old friend, Mychal Mitchell, at https://IonaHandcraftedBooks.com and I highly suggest getting the bamboo paper, as I have tried the other papers with Zentangle Art, to no avail. Bamboo is what you will need. I also recommend the basic sketchbook in 100 pages, that is always available, mine are all The Writer Journal in 7.5 x 7.5 inches. This size provides enough space to stack several tiles on each page, or to create a huge tangle spanning both pages where double pages are available. There are 5 of these sections in every 100 page book! . Also, I tend to write only on one side of the paper except when drawing the large images. You can see an example of my work in the books at my website DoMore Art and look at the header image.
Little did I know what the universe had in store for me.
My husband, David had independently researched Zentangle and ordered the highly rated book One Zentangle a Day a Six Week Course in Meditative Art by Beckah Krahula from Amazon.com There are other good books to buy as well, this one happens to still be my favorite so far.
I began working through the book daily and really enjoyed the way Zentangle made me feel. I became relaxed and had a keen sense focus and purpose that I had not previously known. Each time I tangled, I felt a sense of calm overcome me. I was quickly hooked! I found I can tangle just about anywhere with pen, pencil and paper, so it is easily portable! I read more about Zentangle at Zentangle.com and learned a lot.
The bottom line is that I now own a business called “Do More Art in Toledo”, WA and Portland, OR. I became a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) in Providence, RI. I have gone on to continue my CZT education at Tangle U in Santa Fe, NM very recently. I am teaching Zentangle at Portland Community College for both teens and adults, I teach at the Multnomah County Library, businesses, non-profits, parties, and of course, I teach at Do More Art! in Portland and Chehalis, WA. I now know that my creations are with out a doubt art, and that I am an artist! My self-confidence has grown by leaps and bounds.
So you ask what can Zentangle do for you? Run, don’t walk to your nearest CZT! Zentangle is for people with NO art experience to the well-seasoned artist! I think In Zentangle we are all on an equal journey! If you long for a creative outlet, then Zentangle is for you!Experienced artists become inspired by and incorporate the repetitive patterns that Zentangle Art offers in to their work. You see it everywhere these days, in textiles, fashion, art, home decor… just look for it! Once you begin tangling, you will suddenly see patterns everywhere!
Zentangle is not doodling, although many people do not understand this.
Zentangle is primarily different from doodling because repetitive, non-representational Zentangle patterns are named and can be taught to others in specific steps. The steps include focusing on each intentional individual stroke being created while creating it. Doodling, while cool, is more of a mindless effort, where Zentangle is very much a mindful exercise, concentrating on your breath, what you feel while tangling, and your whole body experience. The mindfulness, and flow I experience is absolutely awesome. Zentangle rocks!
I have experienced a huge change in my ability to focus because of Zentangle.
I used to suffer from major depressive disorder, anxiety attacks, ADD, Seasonal Affective Disorder and PTSD. I had a severe inability to focus, just show me a bright shiny object and you had captivated my entire being for a few seconds… until I saw the next distractor. I haven’t had a depressive episode in years and my mood is greatly improved and much more stable over all. Now I am well focused and attentive to whatever task is at hand. I am a creative person with my nearly daily Zentangle Practice and I highly recommend practicing daily. It has become a celebratory ritual for me.
If I need to relax, for example in a meeting I need to speak at, I trace in my mind, the pattern called Mooka. What do I do when I find myself in a traffic jam? … I use my own tangle B’Twined to totally chill. The calming results are absolutely amazing! Sometimes I create what is called Zentangle Inspired Art, or ZIAs. One method to create a ZIA is to add color to the Zentangle tile. Many people find using color very satisfying. Most of the time I stick to the basics, black on white with graphite shading.
There are lots of books on Zentangle, but if you want to experience Zentangle the way the founders, Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts intended, please find a CZT near you from Zentangle.com. CZT’s can teach you methodologies and can help you with things that just are not learned from books. This is a worldwide phenomenon that is taking the art community by storm! It can change your life too. Feel free to contact me!
All art is (C) 2015 Pegi Schargel, CZT