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 Eni Oken!
Name: Eni Oken
Hometown: I'm originally from Brazil, but now living in El Segundo, CA for many years.
Favorite Tangle: Mooka
Favorite Place to Tangle: in my kitchen
How I use the Zentangle Method in my life: I found Zentangle at a particularly delicate time in my life when I was going through Stage 4 Cancer treatment. During the 3 years of treatment I found myself creating pictures of the treatment procedures totally covered with tiny repetitive patterns. My oncologist recommended I draw happier drawings as part of my recovery and that’s when I discovered Zentangle. I immediately became enamored by the method since it elegantly allows a person to reach that wonderful Zen flow feeling artists chase all their lives. I had been an art teacher for a few decades and desperately wanted to become a CZT right away, but health and financial recovery didn’t allow me to attend seminar until 2016. Zentangle has literally changed my life, I tangle every single day as a way to calm down and de-stress, as a meditative practice and also find immense joy in teaching Zentangle to others through videos and live online classes.
My favorite story or memory about teaching the Zentangle Method is: As an experienced art teacher, I am particularly impressed at how the Zentangle method can easily teach a person with very little or no artistic background to reach artistic confidence and Zen flow, something artists with more experience take years to master. Every time I see the look of surprise in a person’s face, or the surprised comments online “I never thought I could create something like this”, it gives me such happiness, such joy, it’s hard to describe. I have collected many emails from people expressing similar feelings of surprise, and it never gets old.
Through my experiences as a CZT, I have learned: It is such a great feeling to be part of a community of like-minded people from all over the world, people who connect through this visual language that is Zentangle. I always enjoyed repetitive ornamental patterns, but thought it was too much of a specialized topic in art to dedicate myself exclusively to. Well, CZTs LOVE exploring tangle patterns and easier ways to deconstruct them, it’s such a joy to bond and explore those processes with other teachers.
If I’m not tangling, you will find me: My fiancé and I love to dance, cruise and travel, and during our trips, I am constantly searching for patterns everywhere when we are not dancing. Recently we created together a free app called “Art Raffle” for iPhone, iPad and Mac which explores different ways to combine tangles and enhancers, so we are constantly refining the app and adding more step-outs. Finally, I also teach a LOT, I run a Zentangle monthly membership program called Eni’s Art Club, and the online classes can be very intense, so I spend a lot of time coming up with new projects and preparing for classes. I have created dozens of video classes online, it's amazing how technology can help reach people from all over
Mosaic Name: EniOken