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Back to Basics: Blog Zentangle

Back to Basics: Blog Zentangle

Things are a buzz here at Zentangle HQ. This summer, we have some exciting new things to share with you and we can’t wait!
As we look forward with excitement, we decided to also take a walk down memory lane to appreciate how far Zentangle has come and how it has grown over the years. For the next few weeks, we are going to be going Back to Basics as we pay homage to our Zentangle RootZ.
What better place to start than with the Zentangle Blog.
In 2017, we launched a new and we moved our blog to our website. But, for 10 years before that, we ran a Zentangle Blog on blogspot. We have always kept that blog up because there is a treasure trove of Zentangle treats, tiles, discussions, and more!
Whether you are new to the Zentangle Method or have been with us since the beginning, we invite you to explore the vintage Zentangle Blog. The fun tidbits of information are not just in the post but in the comments as well!
You can learn why the Zentangle Tiles have a deckled edge in the comments of this post. Or, the inspiration behind the tangle floorz here.
See Maria’s morning tangles here and a story about teaching their grandsons 2nd grade class (that same grandson graduates high school this week!).  
One post that caught my attention was this one about the Zentangle DVD. Many moons ago we used a mini DVD, which at the time was fun, new technology. As technology changed, we then switched to a full size DVD (read more here). 
Today, DVDs are pretty much obsolete. When we retired the current version of the Original Zentangle Kit earlier this year, we retired the DVD along with it, but, the lessons are available on our YouTube channel for all to enjoy.
It is nice to see that as time has passed, technology has changed and we have evolved, but the 8 Steps of the Zentangle Method have remained the same. We invite you all to go back to basics and enjoy the lessons from our Original Zentangle Kit.

Share your completed tile on the Zentangle Mosaic App with the hashtag #BackToBasics2021 and tell us in the comments below how and when you found the Zentangle Method and we will back a commenter at random to send a Zentangle surprise to!
And, what is next for the Zentangle Kit?

Stay Tuned!

Julie Willand


  • I think I found the Zentangle method about 3 years ago. I looked for ideas on Pinterest and came across Zentangle. I was helping my friend at a Dharma camp for kids at her church, and we made a gratitude journal with a tile on the front.

    Kim Springer on

  • I found Zentangle through CZT Jan Galloni at her shop River Twist. I took numerous and brought friends with me on may occasions. I am currently working with the technique through Instagram and YouTube. I love to sit back at night especially and relax with my tile / pen / pencil and tortillion. I experiment some with colored pens and watercolors. I can’t seem to get enough. Jan is my Hero!!!

    cheryle parrish on

  • I discovered Zentangle because a local junior college was offering a course, but through a few semesters it always was canceled. I finally went to the library and ordered every book in the system. Love at first site – when I could finally see it. I just finished the CZT37 class and couldn’t be happier. So many resources, people, and tangles. I love it!

    Elizabeth Wheeler on

  • I want to say that I discovered Zentangle in 2006, but wonder if that’s too early an estimate? I was injured in an accident on the playground of the school where I was teaching, and was forced to stop working that year. Stuck at home recovering from a dislocated hip for quite a while, I may have lost track of the time… So, I’m not sure exactly when, but I ordered the Design Originals booklets (“Zentangle Basics” and the numbered ones) by Suzanne McNeill during that recovery time, and spent a happy period tangling with the early Kit, early versions of the tiles and Sandy Steen Bartholomew’s materials (which followed on from her participation in, I think, CZT#2). That I can’t remember the exact circumstances of my first meeting with Zentangle frustrates me, but I do know that the physical frustrations of rebuilding myself after the accident would have been far worse without my alternate focus on The Method. I still have that first teal box – it closed with a teal-tagged string that wrapped around a wood button – which contained the little DVD and a brief “How-To” booklet from HQ. It feels like a relic of the True Cross (which is both blasphemous and completely accurate!); I treasure it as a reminder of the roots of the Zentangle faith!

    Rebecca Lawrence on

  • What’s interesting to me is to see how much (though subtly) Zentangling has changed in almost 16 years, As I watch Maria work, I can see the doodling origin of it all much more clearly than I can in recent videos. Here she’s sketching many lines quickly without any great precision. She’s scribbling her fill-ins. It’s more playful and spontaneous, less meditative. I wonder if these tiles had three or four drafts before the final version, as we sometimes get to see in videos from the last few years. I’m not suggesting that one approach is better than the other. I believe that both have their place in my day and the Zentangle world.

    Nancy Lapp on

  • What’s interesting to me is to see how much (though subtly) Zentangling has changed in almost 16 years, As I watch Maria work, I can see the doodling origin of it all much more clearly than I can in recent videos. Here she’s sketching many lines quickly without any great precision. She’s scribbling her fill-ins. It’s more playful and spontaneous, less meditative. I wonder if these tiles had three or four drafts before the final version, as we sometimes get to see in videos from the last few years. I’m not suggesting that one approach is better than the other. I believe that both have their place in my day and the Zentangle world.

    Nancy Lapp on

  • I started Zentangle 2-3 years ago when my husband was ill. I saw something about zentangle at the craft store and then started watching videos at the pizza place while he was in dialysis on Saturdays. Since he died last year I have continued my Saturday pizza & tangle time. Earlier this year when I couldn’t find the original kit I decided to buy the flute CD to listen to while I watch videos and tangle. I really enjoy the music.

    Vickie L Stamper on

  • I found Zentangle in 2017 when a CZT displayed the poster “102 Tangles of Zentangle” at our community college. I learned as much as I could until I could take one of her classes. I was immediately hooked and attended seminar 34 in June 2019. I love Zentangle!

    Barbara Langston on

  • A couple of months ago, I was looking on a website for books on drawing botanicals and ran across a couple of books on Zentangles. I had never heard of it before, so I ordered them. Then before, I received them, I did a search and found this site, so I ordered the “Zentangle Primer Vol 1” and some tiles. Enjoyed it so much I ordered the Project Pack #14 and followed along. Great fun. So I “accidently” discovered Zentangles, and am slowly but surely going through the" Primer", and have project pack # 4 and #10 waiting in the wings, so to speak. Who knows what the future will bring in my Zentangle world. Thanks for all the hard work that is put in to the great You Tube lessons, and the inspiration and joy it brings.

    Fran Sparks on

  • I’ve always been a bit confused by the website/blog relationship. There is a treasure trove of info on the blog for sure and I searched it a lot when I first discovered Zentangle. I appreciate too when Rick reminds us to search on the blog for info about a particular pattern. I’d love to see the blog more integrated into the website so it’s all connected. (Or maybe I’ve missed something obvious? It has happened before. ;>))

    Lynnda Tenpenny on

  • Zentangle first crossed my path around 2008(?) when my calligraphy teacher told me about Maria and this neat drawing approach that was non representational. I looked into it, waited for my next birthday gift money, and ordered the beautiful teal kit with its tiny DVD. When it arrived I admired and handled each part with awe. Because I’ve always had a tendency to ‘save the good stuff’ for ‘really special’ work, I didn’t use the materials in the lovely box, but just worked on scrap paper a bit until I got ‘better’ at doing it. Life took some difficult turns soon after that, and the lovely box was misplaced in a move. Years later it showed up. I started tangling and collecting books, materials, and then Project Packs after hours of admiring the little pieces of magic on the Mosaic and watching all of the Zentangle videos over and over. Zentangle was my main lifeline in the craziness of 2020 lockdown times. I’m especially grateful for the generosity of Maria and Rick in making the videos available to all without cost or membership. What a life blessing in so many ways! ❤️

    Paula Rupp Baen on

  • Wow wow❤️❤️… Big treat to hear Rick flute which am a big fan, the dvd doesn’t work now so I never got to hear from the dvd… Still kept it safe..

    This youtube for treat to eyes and ears..

    My journey started I would as unplanned n accidental way back in 2016, my best friends sister directed me to this art. Started as a hobby then and made me so crazy to travel all the way to usa from india to be CZT (34) and making this as profession to mentor people. I always play the 4 min video Rick n maria video to my beginners students.. n sometime I get to play short reel of Rick flute video with Marias beautiful calligraphy..

    Rick voice echoes in my mind when I decide to do classic tile.. “it is simple decision of black n white” and going with the flow of the art enjoying it…

    Thanks to the whole family for this beautiful zentangle art form …🖤⚪

    Maya Avanith on

  • I found Zentangle by chance on the internet while I was still teaching art, about 2012. I became a CZT #11 the next year. My art students loved the Zentangle lessons! If the classroom teacher returned early to the room, they were always amazed how focused and quiet the students were while tangling! It was a joy to teach tangling to the students and the meditative process has been a continued joy to my life! Thank you for all the fun and artistic creativity you’ve given to the world!

    Linda JF on

  • I discovered Zentangle Sept 29,2020. I was looking for a Beginners Caligraphy book at the library and a book about Zentangle appeared in my search. I thought it had great quilt patterns in it. So I borrowed it, then found out it was about drawing went on Amazon and bought the Primer and I tried the first lesson. I’ve tangled every night since and recently became a CZT.


    Nita CZT37 on

  • What a fun and fantastic thing to watch this video!!!!! It is so interesting to see how Maria drew these various tangles in 2005 and ponder on how some of them have morphed over the years. I do so love this art form – not only to practice it on my own, but also to teach others this marvelous means of expression and mindfulness. Thank you so very much for this grand gift in my life!!

    Pam Stevenson, CZT 20, 31 on

  • I found Zentangle in a very roundabout. I’m a beader and I was reading a beading blog. The author of the blog mentioned a quilter’s blog she followed, so I went to check it out. The quilter mentioned another blog that SHE followed, about something called Zentangle. So of course, I had to check that out too. That’s when I found “I AM THE DIVA” and had a real “AHA moment.” I found a few local classes and treated myself to CZT Training to become a CZT in the Spring of 2015. (#18?) Now, there is some element of Zentangle in almost everything I do. Thank you for helping me find my inner artist. ❤️

    Janet Concatelli on

  • I discovered this method in a calligraphy course, I guess it was 2010 or 2011?! The teacher used tangles in a creative assignment, of course that had nothing to do with Zentangle, but she did mention it.
    So my curiosity was triggered.
    After a search on the Internet I started filling ‘tiles’ on my own.
    In 2018 I had a health setback and started searching for extra ‘help’, since there are waiting lists for everything these days.
    I stumbled across the Zentangle method again, after an extra search and buying some books I found, it helped me gaining my health again. So I treated myself to the Czt seminar. I’m a CZTeu3 now. So thankful and starting to spread this method myself.
    This community is so warm, helpful and supportive… Thank you all!! 😊

    Tina on

  • In the summer of 2012, my friend Lise took a calligraphy class during which the instructor mentioned she had just run across Zentangle. She shared the little she knew with great enthusiasm. Lise then shared it with me shortly thereafter. I took a class from a local CZT to learn more and was instantly hooked! Lise and I attended Seminar 12 in October 2013 and I have been teaching in my community since the beginning of 2014! As of this date, I have taught the basics of Zentangle to 174 people! I have developed and taught 17 different classes and a core group of 20 or so continue to take every class I offer. Sometimes I wonder … what did I DO before Zentangle?! :) Thank you all at ZTHQ for offering us the Zentangle Method AND for continuing to keep it fresh and fun. I’ll ALWAYS be grateful!

    Jan Brandt, CZT 12 on

  • I saw an article in the Atlanta paper talking about Zentangle and I went to the website and ordered the kit. I was a busy mom at the time so it sat on my desk for awhile. I read the blogs and did a few tiles but then I saw them notice to become a CZT and I signed up. That spurred me on to do more and I haven’t stopped since! I am a grateful CZT10.

    Linda D on

  • Watching the original DVD made me realize how much I love Ricks flute playing. I purchased the dvd at CZT class. However I no longer have a DVD player where I tangle. In the spirit of keeping up with technology, is there a way to download the music to our devices?

    Tracie Schatz CZT 32 on

  • My sister accidentally sent me a Zentangle book she intended for her granddaughter. I was in a very dark place at the time and I began to teach myself the method and did one tile a night. The tiles were not official since I had not yet discovered how to get the real deal. Doing this helped me regain my footing and get better. Later I attended the “Back To Basics”, October 2017 weekend at 1440 Multiversity in CA. I was so hooked and impressed by all the staff, that I became a CZT (32) in October 2018. I have filled several Zentangle blank books and hundreds of tiles, and I have serenity…most of the time! Thank you Maria, Ric, Molly and Martha, Julie and all the “store” staff and staff I have not met and the folks at Sakura for all the inspiration, education and tools. (And my sister became a CZT in 2020!)

    Susie Powell on

  • I happened to find a book in 2017. If I hadn’t had it at that time, I probably still didn’t know. And when I think I didn’t meet any nice friends, I think it was my destiny to meet Zentangle. The first tile drawn by imitating the appearance are still important treasures. I remember having fun from the bottom of my heart. I am really grateful to meet you.

    Ayumi Fujimura on

  • Thanks for sharing this timeless material.

    Rimona Gale on

  • In 2019, I was searching the art books section on Amazon…looking for botanical drawings…which naturally led to some Zentangle publications. The name was intriguing as was the entire concept! I started and couldn’t stop. No day is complete without a tangle or two. I do a lot of ATCs (artists’ trading cards) and have amassed stacks! This practice got me through the worst of the last challenging months. Thanks to you all!

    Wee on

  • In the Spring of 2010, while participating in a northeast USA vendor gathering for scrapbooking/papercrafting/ rubberstamping in or near Massachusetts, I attended a workshop where Maria and Rick introduced us to their Zentangle method and materials. In the midst of so many fast-paced and product-heavy vendor workshops, Maria and Rick led a considerably slower-paced and very calming, relaxing, easy going but powerful workshop then provided us with a couple of key materials that fit inside of a teal-toned jewelry box secured with a thick gray rubberband. Once back at home, I signed up for their 4th Zentangle CZT training seminar to be held within walking distance of their home in October, 2010. I immediately began sharing Zentangle with customers of my local scrapbook store until sadly they closed in 2014. I still practice Zentangle using that teal-toned box from Spring of 2010 with fond memories and I thoroughly enjoy the special treats found in the Project Packs. ~ Rose

    Rosemarie Crawford on

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