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CZT Family Tree: Eni Oken

CZT Family Tree: Eni Oken

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




  • Eni has such a generous heart and soul. She is such an ambassador of the Zentangle Method and all that it stands for. She sat across the aisle from me at CZT seminar 23 and I remember being amazed at her special style. If you haven’t had a chance yet. I encourage you to take a class with her. Her patience, knowledge, humility, and generosity are simply amazing. Glad to be part of this ohana (family).

    Lisa Wyckoff on

  • I have been tangling from only past 5 months now. I got to know Eni Oken through her works which speaks a lot. I really appreciate her creativity and look forward to learn more from her. Her story is truly inspiring to all who want to enjoy zentangle 😍

    Shalini Rajesh on

  • I love Eni’s classes. She is an experienced artist. She brings her deep artistic knowledge to every class and shares it so graciously with all of us. Thanks for letting the cat out of the bag.

    LIsa Hoesing on

  • What I love about Eni is her ability to really help me take my zentangle art to the next level in my personal practice. I too tangle just about every night. But with Eni’s help, my shading and exploration of Zentangle techniques has increased ten-fold. When you meet Eni in person, you meet a creative, confident, kind and one of the most idea-driven artists I’ve ever met; Not to mention one of the most down to earth CZTs out there. Eni is one to be admired an emulated in the CZT world as she has found the right balance between teaching and giving. I’m so grateful you featured her here for more people to meet her. Peace.

    Miriam Z (HIPster the Artist) on

  • I love Eni! As a teacher I have told her many times, “You teach the way I learn!” I have come so far being a member of her Art Club. As a person, she has helped me get thru a difficult time in my life by sharing her experiences. Thank you a million times, Eni! Thank you, too, Zentangle for being Zentangle!

    Sallie Gurth on

  • I have been on my Zentangle journey for nearly 8 years. Joining Eni’s Art Club earlier this year has had a fabulous impact on the quality of my art as well as my emotional well-being during this difficult time of Covid. She truly is a gifted teacher. Zentangle has been such a blessing in my life and Eni has expanded it in wonderful ways.

    Leslie Barr on

  • Ahora el Zentangle es realmente nuestro mundo, cuando creamos un tangle y se revela una historia hermosa a través

    de sus pequeños trazos. Cuántas cosas maravillosas pasan por nuestra mente en unos pocos minutos cuando nos enredamos. Gracias Eni, por estar ahí!!

    Elsa Dueñas CZT#26 on

  • Thank you Zentangle family for sharing my story!!!! I’m so psyched for being part of the family tree, thank you! As I mentioned, Zentangle literally has changed my life in ways I cannot describe. I’m forever indebted to you and to the Zentangle method for everything that it continues to bring to me on a daily basis. Not a day goes by that I don’t get a surprise at how well the method works, how it can easily provide Zen flow regardless of how the drawing looks, at the wisdom of “slowing down”, at the magic that comes with each tangleation, or how the “no mistakes” takes me into places I could have never imagined. I particularly love it when halfway through the tangling I can see the entire composition emerging, completely unexpected. It brings a smile to my face every time. Thank you!!!!

    Eni OKen on

  • great story End! I just love all of your artwork! You are so talented and fearless with your art that it makes me a better artist just looking and examine your creations! Thank you for creating the Art Raffle, I love it and have learned so much from it!

    Leslee Feiwus on

  • I found Eni’s ebooks relatively early in my Zentangle journey, and it was a defining moment of my creativity! I remember being completely enveloped in the style, tone, creativity and approachability in the way she described things, and I felt I had a connection with her even before we met in person! I’m now a long term member of Eni’s Art Club, and being one of Eni’s students has truly improved my creative style and detail. We are very lucky that Eni is part of the CZT community!

    Mary Rose Feldman on

  • I absolutely adore Eni! I was a fan of her work before I realized who she was. She is one of the most giving persons I know when it comes to sharing her knowledge of art, techniques, inspiration and time, lots of time. Eni’s classes can be intense and well worth one’s time. The Art Club is a fantastic place to learn so many styles and new ideas. I look forward to each and every one. Thanks Eni!

    Terri Young, CZT 16 on

  • Oh! I learned gems from Enia few years ago-She is an inspirational teacher! ❤️❤️❤️

    Kathy Y. on

  • Emu Oken is one of my absolute favorites!! I want to take the cat course now that’s it’s offered online!!! Too pricey for me as I’m just finishing my 200 hr YTT and save up for a year – Enid has a style and flair I love and just can’t seem to get mine to look as stunning!

    Maria, Ricky, Molly, Martha, and Juliet W…. also love to try and replicate their styles and alas, my own style comes forward which is what’s it’s all about!!! Thx for sharing YOUR story Eni!! Awesome tangles

    Laurieann Jacobs on

  • I have been following Eni since I began tangling. Such a wonderful story, remarkable style and exceptional teaching skills. I have purchased a few e-books that have been very helpful in my practice and only wish the app was available for Android (know you guys are looking into that!). Wonderful member as well as terrific contributor and inspiration to this community.

    Pamela Sauerwald on

  • Thank you for sharing your wonderful story! I am going to check out the app. Waiting anxiously for #36 to become certified to teach Zentangle!

    Paulette Kirschensteiner on

  • LOVE this to keep up with my Zentangle family. Thank you all at ZTHQ!!!! xoxoxo

    Karen Izzi on

  • Inspirational story and inspirational art. I immediately downloaded the Art Raffle app, and will be checking out Eni’s Art Club. So happy that you shared. Thank you!

    Peyton on

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