Variant Title has been added to your shopping cart.    View Cart   or   Checkout Now
  • Check out what is NEW in the Zentangle Store! Learn more about No Mistakes on our blog!


Julie writes...

We were recently asked about chops and how we develop them. Rick and Maria wrote a great response in this blog post.

After reading their blog, I naturally began to think of my own chop. I have always had a love hate relationship with my chop. I have tried many different ones over the years, but never really happy with them.


After a while, I eventually settled on this combination of j and b (my initials before I was married) with two dots. Even though my last name has changed, I still often go back to this chop.

Since the beginning of Zentangle, my mom has tangled here and there but she really started to pick up her practice when she became a CZT a few years ago.


Her initials are also “JB” and one day I was looking at her tile and I saw that she used a combination of j an b with dots. Identical to my chop. I looked at her and said (with love), “Mom! You stole my chop!” she denied this saying it was her chop first. We bantered back and forth about this for a little bit before my mom pulled out some tiles from the very early years of Zentangle and sure enough, she was using the chop long before I was. I don’t know if great minds think alike or if I was subconsciously inspired, but if there is anyone, I’d want to share a chop with, it is my mom!


One of the things that I love about the Zentangle Method is that there are so many great minds thinking alike all over the world. It happens all the time – two people (or more?) in different parts of the world will come up with a similar tangle or technique. Sometimes we develop a project pack and right before we release it, we see a CZT teaching a similar teaching a similar concept or theme. We have a saying when things like this happen… “there must be something in the air.” It is so much fun being a part of this community of great minds.


After writing this blog, I realized that my (little) brother, also a CZT, uses a similar chop to my mom and me. He definitely copied me though!



Julie Willand


  • I love your story Julie. My chop has changed a few times and I’m still not thrilled with it. 26 years ago when we were visiting China, my father-in-law had an actual chop made for me. Of course it’s not a translation of my name but a description of my relationship within the family. I don’t remember exactly what it says but hope to find someone who can translate it for me some day. I use it on larger pieces.

    Deb Turnipseed on

  • Glenda, I love the symmetry of lowercase script g, with a loop down, and d, with a loop up. Perhaps play with that. I don’t think anyone will think of the slang; you have such a lovely name. Layla is very sweet too though, so, if you like, include it too, of course. Make it fun!

    Donna Lynne Strong Brott on

  • Yes, Joyce.. of course!

    Julie on

  • I used to draw a ‘bear’ face with a smile to end my personal letters and years later I tied a heart on to the end of my first name with a flair… I still do that but struggled with using just my initials for a chop. Right now I’ve settled on the letter A and S with three dots (trinity) but it will probably change – as I grow in Zentangle! Thanks for this!

    Annie Sargent, CZT 33 on

  • Julie, May I borrow your chop? Actually, I have played around with mine and have not come up with anything that really excites me but I keep playing.

    Joyce Block on

  • This is such a sweet story. Thanks for sharing your mum.

    Mary Kay Watson on

  • I have always believed that there is an invisible thread that connects minds and creativity enhances this.
    A great blog, Julie.

    Jo Quincey on

  • It happened to me at zenAgain! The person sitting behind me said that I was using her chop (humorously of course). It’s pretty funny when the universe lets us know that we aren’t all that different in the long run.

    Kim Kohler on

  • What a fabulous post you and your mom. I did a spiral-ly J once upon time like one of your tiles too..I have a page dedicated to all of my chop iterations in one of my journals. It is so funny how we often are riding the same universal wave and doing the same type of thing at the same time. I’ve noticed it on many occasions. Love this community. Thanks for always bringing a smile.

    Jody Genovese on

  • Yes mom .. but which dot is your favorite???

    Julie on

  • ❤️ This….. and you Julie. The 3 dots on my chop represent my children, Stephanie, Julie and Luke.

    Judi on

  • Julie, I loved this blog entry. And laughed out loud about the coincidence of something in a Project Pack while a CZT is designing a class. I was working on a class about spirals when I discovered “spirals” were one of the features in #PP10. I was worried what would my students think when they are doing this PP and then I’m teaching “spirals” too. Of course. they could care less and the classes are quite different, but I did have that momentary pause.Yes, there is something in the air- all the time- and “great minds think alike.” THANKS

    Gale sherman on

  • Truly the family that tangles together ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜….

    Kathy Y on

  • Glenda, your initials sound like “Gold” to me. Beautiful! I know your chop would be too!

    Laura on

  • I have always used the same initials that I use when initialing a document. Methinks it is time to discover a new way to sign my work!

    Ginger White on

  • Love this Chop! Laughed so hard!! THANK YOU!!!!!😂🤣😄

    Pam Truitt on

  • Hysterical!
    And I love the message.

    Molly on

  • c

    Marsha Fuller Glenda, why not try using just your first initial with some fancy flare. As you can see, I don't have the best combination for initials either. on

  • There seems to be something very special about adding my chop when I finish a tile or work of art. I too have fiddled with it many times! I think and wonder, should I make more asian like those cool stamps? Should I put a circle or square around it? Should I make more “tangly”? I think it’s good to make it something people can sort of look for and know it’s you and your work, as the masters before us, we know it’s unique to that person and their fun tile or piece of art.

    Linda Elkin on

  • Well one of my students spent a couple hours drawing her initials everywhere at she could think of to discover her chop.. I have certainly looked at other peoples chops to come up with ways to draw mine.

    But of course a little brother is used to copying His big sister -what else do little brothers do? 🤪

    I love that you have a family of CZT’s. That’s just the best!

    LIsa HOesing on

  • I love my chop – my initials are RLT – my middle name was almost Anne, but luckily my parents thought that one through. I use a capital R that anybody would recognize , and it flows nicely downwards into the T. However, my capital T is the one I was taught to write in the province of Quebec, Canada, and some people think it looks like a J. My middle initial, which is L for Lisette (see pattern) intersects nicely with the R and the T, and I make them nice and curly with bobbles on all the ends. I might consider adding a dot or a diamond or two. Thanks for the ideas and chat, folks!

    Rosemary Turpin on

  • I have also noticed the commonality – or connection, or link – that many of us share in our tangling. It’s kind of a manifestation of our spiritual community. Thanks for this great post!

    Peyton on

  • Hehe it’s only since the previous blog about chops I am thinking about doing myself a chop-session with my chop. I use the same from my beginning with Zt :-) in januari 2011.

    It could I will make it into the elephant I already ‘sign’ my little notes to my family about shopping groceries or walking the dog.
    Enough to try again :-D
    Thank you Julie WB ;-)

    ArjadLH on

  • I am having a hard time since my initial is GD… some might interpret that as a slang. I would love ideas. My middle name is Lala. (Pronounced Layla. )
    Should I use that…gld ugh?
    I love this idea of dots. Thanks for sharing. Love your mama too.

    Glenda Dudley on

Leave a comment