In 2007, we started BLOG Zentangle and began our enjoyable series of conversations within our Zentangle community.
In reading through these blog posts with their insightful comments, we decided to bring a few of them to your attention from time to time. It is easy, for me anyway, to sometimes think of old information as stale information. But these insights and conversations are anything BUT stale!
We invite you to enjoy this post from 2017...
I really do believe that we are our own worst critics. When it comes to our Zentangle art, we know there are no mistakes and no preconceived outcomes, but sometimes (it’s okay to admit it) we compare our work to others and feel inadequate. One comment I get from many Mosaic App users is "I love looking at everyone's work but mine is not good enough yet to post." Today's blog is to tell you to embrace your Zentangle practice, let go of this insecurities and (literally or metaphorically) post that tile!
If there is one thing that I know, my Zentangle practice is much more about the process, the journey, than it is the outcome. Don’t get me wrong, I love finishing a tile. The satisfaction that I created something, a beautiful piece of artwork, is not something I had until the Zentangle Method. The real beauty to me is not in my finished work, it is in the process of getting there.
I was fortunate enough to have grown up next door to Rick and Maria and was a Zentangle “guinea pig.” I have been tangling for almost half my life but it was not until 2013 when I started working for Zentangle, Inc. that I really kicked my practice into high gear. In the beginning, it was intimidating. I was surrounded by the artwork of Maria, Rick and Molly each day and when my tiles did not look like theirs, I will be the first to admit that I felt discouraged. I felt pressure to tangle more, to learn more tangles and to be better. Where did this pressure come from? Myself. It was all my own insecurities.
It was not until I settled into my Zentangle practice that I was able to let go of my insecurities. I was able to do this when I began to embrace the process, the act of creating, and not just the finished product. It was okay that my tiles did not look like anyone else's, because I created it, one stroke at a time. It was okay that my tiles did not flow like Maria’s, hold as much graphite as Molly’s or have the geometric edge that Rick’s had, because that was their style and I had mine. It was okay that I did not know all the tangles because all I needed was a few of my mac and cheese tangles to make a beautiful tile. It was okay to draw marasu over and over (and over) again as long as I enjoy creating those tiles. Creating Zentangle art is such a personal process, my tiles should not look like anyone else’s.
Share with us in the comments below how you embrace your Zentangle practice and we will choose a commenter at random to receive a Zentangle surprise!
Thanks for reading!
Sandy Kelley-Jones CZT on
Maria Vennekens CZT #3 on
Helene G on
Annie Sargent on
María Tovar on
Linda Dochter, CZT 16 on
I teach Zentangle in the only art store in Anchorage where I am surrounded by the most talented artists. Many worldwide famous artists! My husband is one of those. And many of my student’s Zentangle art is absolutely spectacular (they are way beyond me!!). I did not know how to draw until I found Zentangle. When I first started teaching, I was very intimated and felt inadequate in sharing my simple art. But as I learned more about Zentangle and got more into my own practice, I asked myself, “What is my goal? Do I want to be the best tangler in the world or do I want to simply enjoy the process of relaxing and just tangling, and enjoying all the wonderful benefits I get from tangling?” I no longer am intimidated. It is not about the art or the outcome for me (although I am still always shocked that I can draw!), and besides, most of the time I have no idea where it’s going and what I’m going to end up with. It doesn’t matter. For me it’s all about “totally enjoying the process of putting that ink to paper”, the fun and the warm fuzzy feelings I get when I tangle. I “de-stress”! I am finally at peace and in a whole other world when I tangle and that’s what I try to teach my students. Zentangle has taught me many valuable lessons, which I’m grateful for and I carry with me into my real life!
Donna Jacobson, CZT on
Jo Lynne Abbott on
Also: what wonderful Pokeroot, Julie – they each wear a little smile!
Lately I’ve spent more time practicing tangles in my sketchbook than drawing on tiles. I’ll pick a tangle that I want to learn, give it several tries, and experiment with different Tangelations. I’ve had a lot of fun this way partly because I don’t feel pressure to have perfect tangles or a perfect string. I can just sit and draw. When I go back to doing tiles, my tangles will look even better!
Susan Goodman on
Leslie Hancock on
Lesley Goldberg on
I spend lots of time in dr. offices, waiting rooms, hospital rooms with my parents and husband. Sometimes it feels like I am simply re-tangling those tangles that I know best because I don’t have time to learn new ones…but nurses, other patients, other family members love what they see me creating! So I have settled in my mind and heART that re-tangles are more than ok…they keep me focused, calm, and the time passes quickly. Don’t know where I would be without Zentangle! Thanks!
Thank you Julie for a very timely reminder. I have become consumed recently by my ever-growing To Do list, feeling overwhelmed and a little panicky. When this happens, I have to remind myself that THIS is why Zentangle is so important to me, and why I should aim to tangle at least once a day if I can. It calms me, creates clarity and space in my mind, lifts my mood, refreshes my confidence and reminds me that I can create lovely tiles and if I can do that, I can do anything I set my mind to. I absolutely love seeing others’ work and their beautiful creativity, and I try hard not to compare myself unfavourably. The process is the beauty, the end result is the cherry on the top.
June Bailey on
Pat Floerke on
Ginger White on
Barbara Lindquist Miller on
Deb Prewitt czt8 on
christine maskaly on
Rita Miller, CZT 31
Lovely Rita on
Leslee Feiwus CZT 27 on
The process brings me calm, peace and joy. Sometimes the result brings a surprising pride “I did that?” other times it brings different emotions. It always brings gratitude for the practice itself. Awareness, intention, inner focus, reflection, and gratitude are staples in my practice. I am so grateful for this journey.
Michelle Aalbers CZT24 on
I embrace Zentangle with heaps of gratitude.
My CZT, Joanna Quincey has beautifully combined my Zentangle lessons with personal coaching. I take time out daily now in formal gratitude practice to appreciate every different aspect of my life. In the morning I appreciate my tile as I sit down to tangle. Later in the day, I take time out to express my appreciation for my family, and my job. When something “goes wrong,” I will say a gratitude to remind myself that while today something isn’t going my way, that LOTS of things do go my way every day and every hour.
Here is a good time to express my gratitude to you all at Zentangle Inc, for this amazing practice that is already – after not even 8 weeks – changing my life.
Heidi Kay on