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Get to Know Bijou

Get to Know Bijou

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy
Ba da-da da-da da-da, feeling groovy.
- Paul Simon

Last week, we announced that beginning on May 11th we will be hosting a 21 Day Zentangle Journey. Our dear friend Bijou has offered to help, and we are so grateful for his assistance.

Some of you might know all about Bijou and the fanciful tale about his humble beginnings, which you can read about here, but we realized that for many of you, this adorable snail might be a bit of a mystery. More than just the namesake for our small tangling surface, Bijou has served as a fun and whimsical mascot for the Zentangle Method. His insightful Bijouisms serve as gentle reminders for our Zentangle practice and our lives.

While we usually talk about Bijou in a light and playful manner, his presence in our practice is much more profound. Bijou represents the philosophies that are at the core of the Zentangle Method. Today, we are sharing the story of the deeper and more purposeful development of Bijou, what he means to us and what he does for the Zentangle Method.

His very inky beginnings came from the tip of Maria’s pen many years before the birth of the Zentangle Method. Unnamed and unsure of his future, he remained adored and cared for, but his life’s purpose was still unknown. As the Zentangle Method came to be, and Rick and Maria began to caretake the Method and all its amazing community, they quickly learned more about the journey they were on. They soon realized they were not alone; they would need to welcome and lean on others to help them on this amazing path of sharing the Zentangle Method. Their first stroke in this process was starting the Certified Zentangle Teacher training program. This was a wonderful start, now there was a growing group of amazing ambassadors out there sharing and inspiring others to create with the Zentangle Method. We cherished our small group of CZTs sharing the Method and honoring its philosophies, but we also saw so many others that had not learned from us or a CZT. They were eager about the art form and diving in to create, but we noticed some of the key components were lost. From a distance the work created looked like a piece of Zentangle art, but through written words and conversations we learned that many of the Zentangle philosophies that were so near and dear to our hearts were left behind.

We immediately put our minds and hearts to work brainstorming how we could remedy this. At some point someone suggested a mascot to help us. We all agreed that this was a fabulous idea, but what to choose?

Maria knew right away, “He is slow and deliberate. He is quiet, yet thoughtful, and he encourages others to come out of their shells. Oh and he loves spirals!”

She quickly dug out the drawings of the adorable snail and we all agreed, “That’s it!”

The name Bijou was stumbled upon, as this all occurred after Rick and Maria had taken a very memorable trip to Paris. The name and the fanciful tale came naturally from that. Bijou quickly became very real in our world at Zentangle HQ. His personification of a two-dimensional, ink drawn snail to real life ambassador of the Zentangle Method was immediate. He was hired to help us bring awareness and share all the philosophies that are so near and dear to us in a fun and fanciful way. Over the years we have been lucky to let Bijou take the reins in many Zentangle projects, and this year we are thrilled to have his assistance in honoring Mental Health Awareness month.

Join us … and Bijou.

During this exploration we will be using 21 Bijou tiles and a variety of tools. Bijou has suggested we offer special tangling tool bundles in celebration of this project.

Bijou’s Be Well Bundles

Available in white and black tiles.


Molly Hollibaugh


  • I just love the Bijouisms:. Savor, Trust, Breathe, Come out of your shell, and Focus are a few of my favorites. I enjoyed them all, but Focus has to be my favorite one. the phylosophy is easier said than done some days. Choosing one tangle is almost mission impossible, but I have a particular atracttion for Printemps, drawing like this.Thank you, too, for showing the variations in each design.

    I also really enjoyed the silence in the videos. I do enjoy when there is narration, but I think the silence this time was perfect for this project. Thank you for such a wonderful 21 days!!

    carmela on

  • I was fortunate to find Zentangle when the pandemic hit. For some unknown reason I was really looking forward to the 21 Day BeWell challenge for many reasons.It has provided the benefits of many of Bijou’s “isms” without my actually realizing on a conscious level. After reading your Blog, I have come to understand more about the process and benefits. I’m sure you have a Bijou working group at HQ, and I would like to take the opportunity to share one of my favorite quotes that has allowed me to expand my Zentangle experience, “Imitation is one of the sincerest forms of flattery.” Imitating the work of others when I first started Zentangle was a limitating factor until my friend, mentor and instructor Jo Quincey set me free when she told me that when you use a tangle always give artistic credit to the one who invented the tangle, and all is well. Have fun using it. So, thank you so much for the last 21 Days, and I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

    Sincerely, Dan.

    Daniel Renwick on

  • Thank you for doing this. My mental health has been improved by Zentangling daily. I especially like Day 6 … Embellish. My family routinely accuses me of exaggerating, I like to think I just enhance, but embellish is better. The idea that my ‘flaws’ are potential assets is profound. I’m going to use that from now on to promote myself. I also really like the Be Well, Be You salutation. Thank you again for all Zentangle has done to change my life and the lives of my students.

    Ann Baum on

  • Many thanks to Zentangle HQ for making another series of videos specially for bijou. I love bijou much as it’s tiny but special, simple but meaningful. Let us learn together, look forward to tangling with you ❤️

    Mimi ZTsang on

  • I was so looking forward to doing my morning meditation with Bijou, but he must sleep late. I don’t think is was posted until after 1:00 yesterday and it’s after 11:00 today, and still no Bijou. Any chance you can post them earlier.

    Laurie on

  • Evidently the videos are on YouTube.

    Lesli on

  • Where or how do I access Bijou videos?

    Ellen Novinsky on

  • Can anyone post a link to the videos? I can’t seem to find them. TIA

    Fiona Egan on

  • How do I access the videos please?

    Marlene on

  • howdi I join the bijou session starting today?

    sherie on

  • How do I join this event please. Thx

    Eliz dwyer on

  • Where do I access the lesson and when ?

    Pl share the link
    I’m very interested

    Vidya on

  • Timely that this message arrived now! I had the most uplifting day of Zentangle with my group of veterans today. Several shared genuinely about how meaningful Zentangle has been to help cope with mental and physical health issues. It really has enriched their lives in so many ways. Thank you, Zentangle team, for devoting your creative resources to Mental Health month! And sharing Zentangle with others still brings me so much joy.

    Julie Till on

  • I don’t use Bijou tiles much but looking forward to this series. I’m pleased that the Zentangle team devotes their creative resources to focus on Mental Health

    Julie Till on

  • Where do I find the lessons?

    Eilee Boylan on

  • Where and when are the videos please and thank you?

    Merrie on

  • Oh, dear Bijou, your timing is perfect! I had foot surgery on Tuesday and will have to pretty much stay off my feet for the next few weeks. I will enjoy your companionship, tangling and sharing our art in this lovely community! I’ll be doing my own “case study” to see how well tangling with you manages my pain! See you tomorrow!

    Sandy Kelley-Jones CZT on

  • Just what I need during this stressful time in my life.

    Marlene on

  • Just what I need during this stressful time in my life.

    Marlene on

  • I‘m so grateful for this journey which I’m sure will nurture my mental health while sitting at the bedside of my dying Mum. Thank you Bijou and all at the Zentangle HQ! ❤️

    Ulrike on

  • Just was on my way to work more with the Bijous so this serial comes handy and sounds so nice. Looking forward to join it! ❤️

    Annika Wiener on

  • I am looking forward to it!

    Will you post at a special time?

    Dominique MARTIN-PROVEUX on

  • How and where do you see the videos, or do you need to buy supplies in order to join. I have already puchased numerous books ,project packs. Supplies from you and my bijous. Easy!!! But for the life of me can’t figure this out. Thank you!!! I am dealing with radiation and need 15 minutes to forget all.

    Patricia BURKART-BLACKMAN on

  • How and where do you see the videos, or do you need to buy supplies in order to join. I have already puchased numerous books ,project packs. Supplies from you and my bijous. Easy!!! But for the life of me can’t figure this out. Thank you!!! I am dealing with radiation and need 15 minutes to forget all.

    Patricia BURKART-BLACKMAN on

  • I went for both bundles for double the fun! I love the idea of working small after working large the past few PPs. The Zentangle Method has recently been helping my mental health because work has been horrible the last month or so. I may only be able to draw a few strokes a day due to my autoimmune exhaustion kicking in after work each day, but those few strokes calm me and re-center my brain so I can fall asleep peacefully.

    Debbie Smith on

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