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CZT Family Tree - Cynthia Standley

CZT Family Tree - Cynthia Standley

We always say that the Zentangle Method attracts really awesome people. We have had the pleasure of working with wonderful Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZT) all over the world and we are excited to share these wonderful people with the entire Zentangle Community. Through our series, CZT Family Tree, we will introduce individual CZTs.

Today, we are excited to introduce Cynthia Standley!



Name: Cynthia Standley                                                                    CZT#:26

Hometown: Born and raised in Detroit, MI; Have lived in Phoenix, AZ for the past 24 years.

Favorite tangle: Cadence – I like the graphic style tangles.

Favorite place to tangle: Anywhere.  I take my tangling supplies with me everywhere.

How I use the Zentangle Method in my life: I’ve been using the Zentangle method for the past 7 years.  I spent a year doing it on my own, then took classes with one of my beloved art teachers, Judy Kula,who is also a Certified Zentangle TeacherTM, and then became a CZT myself.  Since becoming a CZT, I teach the method to the medical and health professional students, as well as the faculty and staff where I work at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine-Phoenix. It is a great way for all to embrace the creative side of the brain during the rigors of medical school. I also volunteer at the SunTree Adult School for Seniors where I teach it to older adults.  In addition, there is a group of about 24 of us Phoenicians that get together once a month and teach each other new ways to use the Zentangle method in our art.  In one session, I demonstrated how to tangle on X-rays (photo attached). We’ve learned quite a lot from each other!

My favorite story or memory about teaching the Zentangle Method is: I recently tied the Zentangle method to geometry skills for 4th graders.  I told them that there was no eraser in their kits, therefore, there are no mistakes to be made – only new patterns!  I had the students first measure the angles they drew for their string, and note these on the back of their tiles.  However, one young man started to write the degrees on the front, in ink.  But he quickly realized he could just make it into a pattern, when the class yelled “no mistakes!” and thus emerged a new pattern called “6’s”.  This is a true growth mindset!

Through my experiences as a CZT, I have learned: that this is a great way to decompress, open your mind to possibilities, convince other people that they can indeed make art, and make new friends.

If I’m not tangling, you will find me…: sleeping.

Mosaic Name: Academicmom_CZT26




  • What a great profile! I enjoyed reading it and I enjoy Zentangling a lot.

    Kathleen Lehnhard on

  • Really like hearing stories about how CZTs use and teach Zentangle. I’m a retired elementary school teacher, so your favorite story of 4th graders’ experience is also my favorite. Thank you for sharing!

    Peyton on

  • Judy Kula was my introduction & inspiration thru the Tucson Color Pencil Artist Association. CZT 23. Split time Tucson & Flagstaff so our paths will cross one of these days!

    Debbie Shepard on

  • I am so very proud of all the wonderful things you are doing. You’re a great role model and I support your efforts 100%.

    Judy Kula on

  • This story is so heartwarming-thank you for sharing!!!

    Kathy Y. CZT22 on

  • Blessings to you. I am so proud to know you and learn from you. You are a star!!! Thank you for all you do.

    Bette Wheaton on

  • Excited to see your profile here Cindi! I am proud to have your represent our Phoenix Tanglers!

    Jan on

  • Thank you for sharing your experiences. Teaching the Zentangle Method is rewardIng in so many ways. Happy you became a CZT!

    Brenda Shaver on

  • Thank you for this great blog post! I started tangling last Summer and found the whole process so relaxing. I hate meditation, but this really puts me in the “zone”z Now after being in quarantine in NYC for two months, I have used this as my daily therefore when getting our updates. I love this so much, I’ve decided I will attend CZT next year and become a certified teacher so I can help others appreciate this. Thank you!

    Kathy Wiktor on

  • How exciting to see you here, Cindi. Glad to be on this journey with you!!

    Diana Claus on

  • How inspirational! I want to tangle on X-rays, too!

    I have multiple autoimmune diseases and the Zentangle Method has greatly decreased my pain levels so they are much more manageable. My better half saw how much better I was doing and decided to he was going to use our meager savings to send me to CZT36 this November (or whenever it happens because of CV19). I work in higher ed and I want to bring the Zentangle method to my faculty and staff coworkers to help them de-stress and feel better in their wholeness.

    Debbie 'onna' Smith on

  • That’s exciting about the 4th graders and very clever. But how do you do the tangle 6’s ??

    Cynthia on

  • First let me introduce myself, I had a stroke 13 years ago which left me with partial use of my right (dominant) hand. I had recently gotten back to drawing a hobby of mine but was very critical of what I created. Discovering Zentangle was life changing for me.You mentioned teaching seniors. I want to be able to teach Zentangle to people with disabilities like myself but that will happen sometime after this epidemic is over. I can’t draw a straight line or a circle but I can make art that I can be proud of

    JUdith Thompson on

  • I just read your story. It is so enlightening to hear who the CZT’s teach this method to. I am not a CZT but, who knows, maybe someday. Zentangle is such a wonderful art form. I enjoyed looking at your tangles; especially the ‘X-Ray’ one. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Deborah Davis on

  • What creative works! I so enjoyed meeting you. I, too, have the same feelings in helping my senior companions.

    Gloriann Ehrman on

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