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Back to Basics and Beyond Again

Back to Basics and Beyond Again

Julie writes...

Last week we concluded our Back to Basics blog series with the announcement of our TWO new Zentangle Kits. We are so excited to share these kits with you and see where they take you on your Zentangle journey.

We have been focusing on the basics of the Zentangle Method and some of you have asked, "then what?" After you have "mastered" the basics, what is the next step? Do you learn more tangles? Try black or Renaissance tiles? Add color? Where do you go beyond the basics?

The short answer: There are no mistakes, so you can go wherever you want. You don't even have to go beyond the basics. There are no "rules."

For those looking for a little guidance, I have asked a few of us here at ZentangleHQ for their tips and ideas...

Maria says... Whenever I have a chance to sit and tangle, just for the pure joy of it (not work related) I grab a pen, the closest clean tile, and put down the first thing I think of. Oftentimes, it’s a mooka or poke leaf or huggins. Now and then a blossoming tangle, like fengle, auraknot, dingsplatz, or a seed tangle like waybop or mi2. I almost never draw the basic tangle. I enhance just about everything with auras, rounding (to add strength and drama). Then some tipple or dudah. You get the picture. By that time, I’m off! like a tangle of tangles! Stuff just comes out of my pen. . . until it doesn’t, so I either stop or “rinse and repeat” with a different tangle. Always adding auras and little details. . . and fun. Don’t forget the fun!

 

Rick says... I might decide ahead of time to add a fixed amount of auras, or decide what to do once the auras begin to touch . . . and then watch what happens. It is a fun twist on our idea that the elegance of limits can often inspire increased creativity in unanticipated directions.

Julie says... I love to tangle the same tangles over and over again, but each time trying something new. It is like going out for coffee with a friend, but each time you change your coffee order. Once you feel like you have mastered the basics, go back to those first four tangles that you learned and keep drawing them, but on different color or shaped tiles. Use different tools. Explore different sizes and techniques. The basics have so much to offerI

Molly says...I tangle because it makes me feel good. Creating in general makes me feel alive. Its nourishing and inspiring. Finding ways to access that feeling is important to me. Zentangle provides easy access to creativity for me. I have learned that I need to embrace what is familiar first in order to find room for new thoughts and ideas. I often remind myself that Zentangle is about repetition. In fact, a true practice is something you do over and over again. It is through the familiar behavior that you gain the strength and clarity to incorporate in something new. When we find things in life that we are passionate about and excited about it is easy to get caught up in "wanting more" mentality, obsessively trying to learn all there is to know. It's easy to become overwhelmed thinking you need to know all the trending tangles or explore every new material or be the one to invent the next new technique. In reality, it is simply about putting pen to paper in a way that feels good to you. Embracing the repetition is important. Once you have tangled the basics many times slowly integrate in something new. Change things slowly and let the new things gradually become familiar before moving on. Focus on the tangles and techniques that feel good. Allow room for growth. Take chances and embrace mistakes. Most importantly remember that all of this happens one stroke at a time. Focus on your next stroke and so on ...

Martha says...If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with the question, "what next?", I recommend sharing the Zentangle Method with a friend. Sharing the method, one stroke at a time, will give you a whole new appreciation for this basic strokes. When you are showing someone else, sometimes you see new opportunities that you didn't see before and the answer to "what next?"

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We have been having so much giving away new Zentangle Kits that we wanted to give away one more! Share in the comments your best advice for where to go beyond the basics and we will choose a commenter at random to receive a Zentangle Kit - Classic.

Thank you to everyone who commented on our last blog, A Zentangle Timeline. We enjoyed reading about YOUR Zentangle journey. We have randomly selected 3 of you to receive a Zentangle Kit - Classic. If your name has been selected, please send your snail mail address to julie@zentangle.com

  • Linda Stephens
  • Lucinda Mathews
  • Cheryl M

Julie Willand

109 comments

  • Good Afternoon! I not only felt like I hit the Jackpot, I did !!!! Thank you so much for designing such a beautiful Zentangle Classic Kit! I was one of the 3 TREMENDOUSLY FORTUNATE people to win one of the new kits! It just arrived at my house. It was pouring down rain, but I ran out to get it anyway. It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I carefully peeled of the shipping label and put it on the bottom of my box. The beautiful “Anything is Possible one stroke at a time!” sticker on the brown paper wrapping is now gracing the inside lid of the box. I also ordered the Zentangle Sounds CD by Rick Roberts. The music is hauntingly beautiful and so relaxing! The perfect accompaniment to tangle to. Thank You! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!! May the Lord Bless you for all the work you do!!!

    Linda Stephens on

  • I absolutely love that the legends booklet is being included as part of the expanded kit. I remember the day I discovered the Zentangle

    Legend videos on line. I felt like I’d hit the jackpot! I thing gaining that solid foundation for my tangling really cemented my abilities to expand and grow as well as expanding my love for the Zentangle method.

    Wendy Solomon on

  • I loved this blog post, so much that each one of you mentioned really resonated with me. My best advice as to where to go beyond the basics, is basically to take those basics further, explore them more. Don’t go out and buy more stuff to add to what most of us already have in excess, use what you have in different ways. There is nothing wrong with wanting more, with wanting to go beyond, but perhaps we should exhaust what we have and know and make sure we have appreciated that fully before adding to it in anyway. CZT #13 – South Africa

    Brenda Urbanik on

  • For me going beyond the basics is incorporating the 8 basic steps in everything I do, my calligraphy, painting, and sewing. Starting with gratitude for the opportunities I have, setting my parameters, doing my work, embellishing or going beyond expectations, then owning my work and appreciating being able to finish. My favorite way to end a basic class is encouraging the ideas people come up with to use their new skills and methods, it is infinite and the joy we get from sharing is contagious, other classes want to see and well it just keep mushrooming positive beautiful ideas

    Anita M. Jones CZT#30 on

  • Hello! It is me again! After reading this blog yesterday, I again went to my Zentangle Primer. I came to the page of fragments for square reticulum. There are over 180 designs!!!! I decided to draw a half inch grid on a 9×12 piece of mixed media paper. It gave me 432 squares. . . I started out doing 4 squares of each design, but quickly realized that I wasn’t going to get to try them all on that page. I am now doing 2 of each. It is making wonderful meta patterns! Then I want to do the triangle fragments. This could take a WHILE!!!

    Linda Stephens on

  • Hello! It is me again! After reading this blog yesterday, I again went to my Zentangle Primer. I came to the page of fragments for square reticulum. There are over 180 designs!!!! I decided to draw a half inch grid on a 9×12 piece of mixed media paper. It gave me 432 squares. . . I started out doing 4 squares of each design, but quickly realized that I wasn’t going to get to try them all on that page. I am now doing 2 of each. It is making wonderful meta patterns! Then I want to do the triangle fragments. This could take a WHILE!!!

    Linda Stephens on

  • I have only been immersed in Zentangle for the last year. There are so many WONDERFUL Tutorials to watch! I just watched the one where Rick and Maria are at a Museum. I LOVE her Calligraphy!!! I keep hoping for a book on Calligraphy from her. I treated myself to a Zentangle Primer. I am reading through it the second time. I am in awe of the beautiful frames and ZIAs that it contains. The Project Pack from May was so beautiful with Marie’s calligraphy. May the Lord bless you all for sharing this life altering art form. I have been trying to share it with anyone who will listen, it has helped me mentally and emotionally, but more importantly, it has helped me to grow in my other artistic endeavors! I can’t thank you enough!

    Linda Stephens on

  • I’ve found my day isn’t complete unless I’ve watched my micron pen slide across one of those sweet official Zentangle tiles! I’ve yet to figure out why it’s so satisfying to pair pen and paper, but it just IS!!! I’m So grateful for the Zentangle process!

    Susan Talbot on

  • I enjoy doing the challenges where specific string or tangles have to be used.

    Karyn Clarke on

  • Lately I have felt that my Zentangle practice is in a bit of a slump. Thanks so much for these great inspirational ideas. I am looking forward to trying them. I hope they will do the trick and help me get going again.

    Marcia Fasy on

  • I received my new kit and I am thrilled. I’ve never had one of these kits and was surprised at the beauty and detail. I will treasure this for a long time to come. Thank you.

    Vickie L Stamper on

  • My repeat students and I have noticed improvement in all aspects of our Zentangle journey. We all have enjoyed the process of creating and exploring tangles. I always leave room in a lesson for a repeat tangle to incorporate into our work, and often another pattern of the students choice from their own journals. Fun!

    Marjorie Goosen on

  • Take a grid based tangle & give it a wonky string, take any tangle & tangle inside the elements or enlarge it.

    Evy Browning on

  • If I’m not sure what to tangle next, I watch one of the Project Pack videos and work from there. I’m gradually working my way through all of them (up to 13!), and using the materials I have to hand if I don’t have the specific materials. This also makes me move in different directions as I ask myself ‘What happens if…..?’

    Denise Gannon on

  • I’m quite newbie with Zentangle and i have to practice practice and practice again! ;)
    These days i use again and again easy tangles
    so i’m still in the basics he he

    Yasmina on

  • For expanding beyond the basics, it is fun to try a new string, or to repeat a string that I’ve previously enjoyed. I use a few ZHQ tangles like crescent moon, bales and mooka along with tipple. A different string with just a few favorite tangles and some varied enhancements provide endless variations, fresh inspiration and fun!

    Jane Rhea CZT #27 on

  • Christmas came in July this year! I gave myself a present, and just received my expanded Zentangle kit. Everything I need is all bundled up in a lovely box, just waiting for me to continue my Zentangle exploration. So, the Do Not Disturb sign is up, I’m tangling!

    Carol Hagen on

  • I find the best way to get out of a slump is to take the time to create a good setting to get into the mood to create! It’s like setting the table with care by using placemat and napkin holders and candles, etc.. Drawing is the same.. take the time to set out tools and get comfortable with seating and lighting with maybe a nice beverage and get creating!

    Linda Hunter on

  • I’ve been in a Zentangle slump lately….no inspiration, no joy, no zen. This thread has been a great reminder! I am going to dedicate 30 days to using basic tangles daily. Thanks to all for your inspiration!

    Lisa Anderson CZT20 on

  • This has been a very inspirational post—so many great ideas. Things I have done for beyond the basics: take classes from a CZT; do some project packs (and adapt as desired); take CZT class, teach classes. I really like the idea of putting tangled bookmarks in the little libraries. Making bookmarks seems to free my creativity but my family and friends all now have bookmarks, so the little libraries is a great idea.

    Joyce Rosenberger on

  • I’m still fairly new to Zentangle with having started this March, so it feels there’s still so much to explore and many ways to try the basics too. But for me Zentangle headquarter’s videos have been an inspiration and also somewhere I went to start when I didn’t have a chance to attend a class at once. The project pack videos also have a nice variety of both more basic concepts and going beyond that with colours and new tangles and techniques.

    Annina W on

  • I’m still fairly new to Zentangle with having started this March, so it feels there’s still so much to explore and many ways to try the basics too. But for me Zentangle headquarter’s videos have been an inspiration and also somewhere I went to start when I didn’t have a chance to attend a class at once. The project pack videos also have a nice variety of both more basic concepts and going beyond that with colours and new tangles and techniques.

    Annina W on

  • Zentangle can go off on so many fun and exciting tangents, and that’s a great thing about it. But the simple basics can be just as exciting and interesting.
    I, too, love to choose a tangle and do a tile. Then do another. And another, with little changes, then big changes, trying this interesting idea, and that dopey idea, and some weirdo idea, and before you know it there are a whole lot of new possibilities to add to my tangle quiver.

    Margaret Bremner on

  • Thank you for sharing your insights, always a good remember to just have fun one stroke at a time.

    Jocelyne Archambault on

  • I’ve just begun learning Zentangle, first attempt at anything in the ‘art field’. So thank you for the encouraging words, that there are no mistakes.

    Candace G - Florida on

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