This week in our Back to Basics series, Maria reflects on some early ideas they had about the Zentangle Method.
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In the early days, when Zentangle was just a smile in our hearts, Rick and I knew that this new thing we happened upon, would be totally and inexplicably magical. We were obsessed with sharing this drawing system with whoever would dare to listen. I had dreams about how it would grow, by leaps and bounds. But my initial thoughts about who would love this new artform was … wait, wait, get this … children. I thought that it would be the next “Pokémon™” trading card phenomenon and instead buying cards with images already on them, children would draw the cards themselves! Imagine children of all ages, drawing all the time to keep up with learning the new tangles that would appear all around them. They would stop watching TV and playing video games and tangle instead. Maybe even teach their friends and siblings to tangle.
I imagined that we would teach sessions online, to kids all over the world, without speaking a word, just drawing, so that people that spoke all different languages, even the deaf community could understand. It was one of our early beliefs that our tangles had to be simple enough to teach without saying a word.
Imagine a world where creativity outranks the tough kid in the schoolyard. Everyone would trade two of Jimmy’s tiles for one of Sarah’s. They would trade them, collect them, maybe even sell them. Maybe play games with them. But the best thing? They would create them. And guess what? The kids (in my imaginary world) were not so stressed out. They had a way to meditate, without even knowing what the word meant.
So, we began by teaching in schools. All ages. Anywhere that would have us.
And we continued to teach more and more to people of all ages. As we did, a funny thing happened. As much as the kids did enjoy tangling, we realized that there was another group that was starving for creative connection. We had completely overlooked the obvious, it was adults that wanted the classes, and loved what it did for them. This was all before we knew about the
“great” things Zentangle could do. When folks started coming to us and telling us how Zentangle helped get them through especially bad times, or dealing with pain, or giving them back their missing confidence, well, it was then that we had found our calling.
Funny enough, most of the people we taught just wanted that feeling of creativity back, like when they were children: that confidence that somehow slips away or is discouraged as we grow older.
I love how Rick and I learned just how magical Zentangle is, along with the rest of you.
We listened as we taught and learned from you all.
We are and will forever be grateful that we listened. . . to you and to what our hearts were telling us.
Let us know in the comments what YOU have learned from the Zentangle Method and we will pick a commenter at random to send a special Zentangle Surprise to!
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Thank you to everyone who commented on our last blog, Back to Basics, and shared with us how you found the Zentangle Method. We have randomly selected Sarah W. as the winner! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your snail mail address!