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But, What Do You Do With Your Tiles?

But, What Do You Do With Your Tiles?

From 2019...

Maria and I just received this letter:

Dear Rick and Maria,

Some time ago my husband and I went on a motorbike weekend with a group of 20 friends. My husband loves to ride his motorbike and it always warms my heart to see the smile on his face when he rides his horse of steel. I recognize his smile because it is the same smile I have on my face whenever I tangle. I cannot help it, even when I slightly think about Zentangle the smile appears.

So, there we were in beautiful France, being blessed with some free time among friends. They drove off, on a daily basis, while I stayed at the base camp filling my days with long walks, and mostly tangling. For hours and hours and hours . . .

This caught the eye of one of the other bikers — a woman who was obviously going through some stuff at that time. She walked up to me and, a little bit annoyed, asked, “What is this thing you are always doing and why do you have this grin on your face while doing it?” As I tried to explain what Zentangle is and offered to teach her, she interrupted and asked, “But, what do you do with them afterwards?”

I thought about it for a second and replied: “I just keep them.” And then I asked, “What do you do with the result of your bike tour after a drive of 250 kms? Isn’t it all about the journey?”

She looked at me and said, “You are so weird!”

I replied with a kind smile, “Yes, you are probably right. And I am also happy.

It truly made me realize, as I had been there, that the teacher can indeed only appear when the student is ready. I also felt beyond compare grateful and blessed for Zentangle art because it has changed my life in such a tremendous positive way that I cannot even begin to explain it. It brought me so many things, but above all, it brings me happiness, day after day after day.

Now to me that seems like the best gift anybody can give you.

So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the gift of Zentangle.

Love and blessings to all of you.
K, Belgium

To which I replied,

Thank you so much for that story!

"Coincidentally," Maria and I were talking with friends on Saturday, when you emailed about this very topic.

Imagine how wonderful it would be for some future generation to discover your treasured collection of Zentangle tiles; how they would carefully appreciate each one.

Best regards from one who is often also called "weird",



On our recent trip to Germany, CZT Ela Rieger shared with us her album of over 1,000 tiles!


And here are some examples of where we have tiles up around our house . . .



In the past, we have written a few blogs about this topic as well:

Stuck Up from August 2014 and A New Frame of Mind from July 2018.

So, what do YOU do with your tiles?


Rick Roberts


  • I USE most of my tiles… purposely make them
    for birthday, thank you, thinking of you cards, Christmas cards. After tangling the front of the tile, I write my message on the back. Then I punch a hole in an appropriate corner (or side), loop a ribbon thru it, and my friends hang them on doorknobs, etc.

    Ruth Osborn on

  • I really liked this post. I guess I’m among the weirdos. I’m not neat, not organized; so, my zentangle stuff and other art are stowed in many different places. I love opening a cabinet and being surprised at something I did months ago. It brings back memories of what I was doing or feeling at the time. Zentangle brings me peace.

    Quwatha Valentine on

  • I have a basket that I made about 30 years ago and I keep tiles in it. I also have some hanging from the mantel. Sometimes I just write ZRAK on the back and give them away. I give them to waitstaff, leave them in the dr’s office, the hospital, anywhere I go. Love her story and her response.

    Terri Young, CZT 16 on

  • Hi Rick & Maria!
    I hope that a Zentagle Seed was sowed in the mind of the “Biker Lady” and that, one day, it will germinate…

    I store my tiles in a Pauper’s Press Artbook…Unfortunately, they are no longer available. Recently I have been duplicating some and using them on card stock for giving..I also put labels of explanation on some of the copies and share them about. I also have 2 project Opus pieces that I will or have already had framed at Micheals..

    Bless you and your family for making our planet a better place for humanity…

    Sharon J CZT31

    Sharon Jerkovic on

  • Real simple. 1) Random acts of Zentangle (RAZ) and 2) Bible journalling

    Linda Dochter, CZT on

  • What a perfectly synchronistic post! I literally was just pondering this question this morning and was going to post it on the CZT Facebook page. I have hundreds of tiles neatly organized in a binder in my art room as well as is a Zentangle box. And I’ve been thinking there’s got to be a better place for them then stored in my art room. I think I’m going to break them out and display them around my home too!! After all my family already knows I’m weird!! 😂
    Love to you all!! 💗

    Valerie on

  • Maybe I fit somewhere in between. I mostly tangle on card stock and send them as birthday, get well, sympathy or whatever cards. Sometimes I tangle on a tile and glue it to the cardstock.

    I have tangled my shower curtain and the light switch plates in my house. And thinking about the inside walls of my garage that has new Sheetrock.
    Weird but with a need to DO something with my tangles !!

    Patty Steele on

  • Lovely letter you received! I keep some of my tiles in the wonderful wooden “treasure box” you used to carry. (My students would love it if you reinstated that box!) I also give many away on the spur of the moment. Really, that’s my favorite thing to do! Gifting Zentangle art is such a delight. 😊

    Jan Brandt, CZT 12 on

  • I can so relate to this. I get this question a lot and was just talking about this recently too :)
    My answer is that it isn’t what I do with the tiles, it’s what they do to me. If that makes us weird, count me in!

    Jody Genovese on

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