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 Julie Allison!
At school, art was not much fun as I just could not capture my teacher’s vision and always struggled through classes. My art rarely fell within the parameters of his course and we constantly debated the fact. The end result was that he won and I failed! With my creativity crushed, I hung up my apron and packed up my pencils and brushes.
Decades later I studied interior design and architecture and became an interior designer. This provided the artistic outlet I craved and missed. Architectural details and the almost-tactile nature of fabric patterns captured my heart………
…..then came Zentangle! From the moment I found this magical, mystical art form my creativity soared! I created pieces of art for my design business and have been teaching in colleges, senior centers, schools, wineries, art stores and anywhere that would host a class.
My Zentangle mosts:
Rewarding – volunteering to teach Military Veterans and Recovering Service Members as a healing arts and pain management tool.
Challenging –School students in an alternative program which creates opportunity to explore new ways to learn. My lesson plans are fluid as we ebb and flow, darting off on a tangent at a moment’s notice. This is always a fun group and they keep me on my toes.
Unusual – Palestinian university students and graduates via Zoom from Hebron, complete with an Arabic interpreter, with participants reluctant to open cameras. Fortunately, through a meeting with the interpreter in advance, suitable translations for Hollibaugh, Sparkle, Aura, etc., were explained with ease (I think!) and student surveys indicated that it was very much enjoyed.
I consider myself a Zentangle storyteller and visual-tactile artist, with the tangles almost demanding to be touched. When creating lesson plans you will find me behind my desk in my studio, poring over books on art and far-away places, lost in inspiration. My personal Zentangle practice takes me outside in the back garden or in a park setting, taking in the delights of nature.
I am notorious for asking my students “what else can this tangle do?”, urging them to explore the possibilities, rather than moving quickly to the next new tangle. To that end, and to support students as they self-quarantined, I started my “What Else?” free mini-series to explore a tangle at a time, slowly and deliberately. It is such a pleasure to see new interpretations of tangles evolve, and students are often amazed at how their explorations unfold. Ask me about my Retro Rixty tangleation sometime!
I really miss meeting students and CZTs in person, but have settled into the “Zoom Room” era, and instead of hosting Maryland CZT meetings at my home every other month, we get together virtually and work on something together, led by our guest presenter du jour. It makes me smile to see everyone in their “Hollywood Square” and giggle when people step away from their screens to take a break, likening it to Harry Potter’s Hogwarts’ walls of portraits, where illustrious headmasters and teachers leave their paintings to go to bed.
Zentangle has changed my life in many ways. It has helped me maintain balance and harmony during some challenging times. I feel as though I have found my tribe, from the wonderful community of Certified Zentangle Teachers who have partnered with me, guided and supported me, to the amazing people I have had the privilege of teaching, many of whom I now call friends.
I have no idea where my Zentangle journey will take me next, but with the unusual and interesting path I have walked thus far, I am excited for the next great adventure, taking my Art (husband and fellow CZT) along with me!
“The beauty is in the journey, the art the destination” ~ Julie Allison, CZT
Julie Allison, CZT 20
Harmony Inspired Art