In Project Pack 06, we brought forward the discussion and intention of one of the most profound philosophies of the Zentangle Method, “No Mistakes.” We told a story of an experience that Maria had years ago as a platform to discuss the No Mistakes philosophy. You can learn more about this story through project pack 06, but the gist of the story is that she encountered an unfortunate scenario with a very much-treasured journal. She was put into a situation where she had choices about how she could look at the situation. Some might call this perspective. We have all been in situations where things don’t go exactly as we planned. Some days, one might say we encounter so-called good luck and others we encounter so-called bad luck. What if that was not exactly the case? In one of my favorite books, Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth, he writes about this topic through story. In one of his stories the main character perceives every scenario of what others see, as clearly bad luck, he sees as potential good luck. Patience, time and creativity can give us the superpower of seeing through difficult situations. A change in perspective is not an act. It is deep down belief. It comes from within. And once activated, it is like seeing every experience in your world with new eyes.
We took inspiration for Maria’s story in designing the mini journals found in Project Pack 06. Each booklet was an expressive version of Maria’s accidently ink soaked journal. We were not trying to recreate a so-called “mistake”, but rather using the story’s result as an exercise to shift our perspective. We also wanted to offer a challenge in the way we look at what we have or are given to work with, rather than hoping or wanting something different than what is presented. If we are always wishing how things could be different or better, we find ourselves in a constant space of discontent. When we are able to shift that energy to a place of contentment where we see the beauty and potential in what is given or presented, our outlook and experiences are much different.
When creating these journals I actually made prototype mini booklets and dipped a side of the journal in puddles of ink and let it sit and soak it up. There was no planning or manipulation of how the ink would sit on each page. Once the ink dried we disassembled the books and photographed the image the ink left behind. We created different books and within each version, the pages of those books had unique expressions. Some pages filled with more ink than others and all of them coming from different parts of the books. Our intent was for the end user to have in front of them something not so sculpted. We deliberately wanted people to be potentially forced to use different pages than those seen in the video tutorials. And most importantly, we wanted the pages to offer you the challenge of taking your book and making it yours by filling it with your marks, and in the end, to see the beauty within it all. Whether you see it on the pages or in the process, it is all yours. This book offers what we call in the Zentangle Method, the elegance of limits. With subtle parameters our creativity is forced into a space where it can grow, thrive and think outside the box. It is amazing what masterpieces are born from places of the not so perfect or restricted.
In the case of all the art created by Project Pack 06 that I have seen, I must say that all of them, whether in one of our books are on other materials, were beautiful specimens of awesome. And true evidence of artists working through limitations. Regardless if you are in a place seeing beauty all the time or still working through to that place, I applaud you for making it this far and I can tell you this journey continues and it is a wonderful place to be.
Thank you for joining us!