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CZT Family Tree: Miriam Zimms

CZT Family Tree: Miriam Zimms

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 Miriam Zimms



Name: Miriam Zimms                                                                             



Hometown: Tampa, FL

Favorite tangle: Molygon

Favorite place to tangle: in my bed.


Favorite quote:  I am a Champion of Life.  (by me)

How I use the Zentangle Method in my life:

I started my art life in 2010 after a battle and victory over breast cancer. Throughout all my visits to Moffitt those first three years, I utilized all the art methods available at the Arts in Medicine (AIM) studio located on the third floor of the Clinic Building – String Art Using India Ink with watercolors, word art, collage, story books, Mandela coloring pages, and origami.   In 2013, I was diagnosed with a separate and unrelated cancer, ChondroSarcoma (primary bone cancer). The second cancer required that my left pelvis and femur be amputated and rebuilt (HIPster). I spent a lot time still in bed after surgery and approximately two-years relearning how to sit-up, stand-up and walk again. I now have a permanent disability and use a cane for short distances and a wheelchair and scooter for longer ones.

I suffered from severe insomnia during my pain management and rehabilitation period. Through that rehabilitation process and introduced by AIM staff to help with insomnia, I fell in love with the Zentangle Art Method. The side effects we talk about with cancer are often the negative ones, but the meditative and healing arts, gave me a positive side-effect through a renewed purpose from art; something I never did as a former environmental consultant. Zentangle has helped my insomnia by slowing my mind down at night (yoga for the mind) with repetitive, deliberate strokes. It helps me daily to focus away from pain by drawing tangle patterns on small tiles that allow me to finish something and gain closure without feeling overwhelmed. The art method aides me by reducing my anxiety around stressful situations and people. Lastly, it’s just plain fun. The art is small and portable and I can take it anywhere to relax.

The Meditative and Healing Arts have helped me to understand basic concepts about drawing and shading. I’ve become a better and more confident artist as a result of it.  Now there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t use the meditative and healing arts for mind, body and spirit healing. Cancer took motherhood and my career away from me but it left me with something I’ve never done before, making and teaching art. I currently volunteer my time teaching the Zentangle Art Method in the Hillsborough County Libraries, Faces of Courage Summer Camps and Children’s Cancer Center.

I have walked along my tangled healing arts journey and found the Zen in the Tangle. I am grateful to Rick and Maria and the entire Zentangle family for the creation of this amazing art method. Peace.

If I’m not tangling, you will find me…: I love writing, botanical poetry, and being the storyteller of our garden. My husband has been collecting since he was 16, we have over 10,000 cacti and succulents and probably the largest private specimen collection in the south.  I say he’s the Green Thumb and I am the garden storyteller.

Mosaic Name (if applicable): HIPster the Artist






  • Thank you for the courage your story inspires. I could also really feel the peace that you received from Zen tangle. Your story will stay with me. Thankyou

    Cynthia Rosiek on

  • You are such an inspiration and your beauty truly shines in everything you do. It is an honor to know you and call you my friend. Julie xx (CZT 20 Sister)

    Julie Allison on

  • Well said. Thank you for having the courage and energy to speak to us and share this remarkable and unimaginable journey. ❣️

    Maria Thomas on

  • What an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing with us!

    Ginger White on

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