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Humble Beginnings

Humble Beginnings

Julie writes...

We have been enjoying our stroll down memory lane as we go Back to Basics this summer. A few weeks ago, we invited you to visit our old blog, BLOG Zentangle, and peruse the entries and comments. Today, we are sharing with you a blog from 2017: Humble Beginnings.

Please join us as we look back and where we our Zentangle journeys stated.


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Julie writes:

[Previoulsy] I wrote about how we need to stop comparing our Zentangle art to others and embrace our practice. Well, Maria liked the blog (and your responses) so much that she suggested I write one about comparing our Zentangle art to… our Zentangle art. Are you scratching your head? That’s ok. It will all make sense.

Consider this – a world class ballerina’s first step as a baby was probably a wobbly one. Michael Jordan probably missed his first basket and Julia Child probably burned her first soufflé. They all may be known as exceptional in their field, but they all started somewhere.

And so did we.

The more you practice something, the better you get at it. The same rings true with your Zentangle practice. The more you tangle, the better you get at it. By “better,” I mean, you become more comfortable with the pen and paper. You refine your style and master techniques and tangles. You find a safe space where the pen meets the paper and you grow. But, you had to start somewhere.

 After last week’s blog, Maria thought it was a good idea to find the first tile she ever did and encouraged us to do the same. It was humbling to compare where we started to where we are now. To see how our Zentangle practice has evolved and our styles have emerged. It is also a good exercise when you are feeling inadequate about your work, to see how far you’ve come.

Maria, 2004

Rick, 2004

Molly, 2004
Julie, 2004

Whether you have been tangling for a week or for years, we encourage you to compare your first tile to your most recent tile. The tiles tell the story of your Zentangle journey.

Join us in this exercise on the Zentangle Mosaic app by uploading your first tile(s) using the hashtag #humblebeginnings. We will select one mosaic user who uploads their tile using the hashtag to receive a Zentangle surprise.

You can also download the app for free and search #humblebeginnings to see where Zentangle artists from around the world got their start.

If you are not on the app, you can find your first tile(s) and hang it somewhere you will see it often, to remind you how you’ve grown!

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Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts on our last blog, The Eight Steps of the Zentangle Method. We have randomly selected ~Jan~Sailandbejoyful to receive a Zentangle surprise. Please send your snail mail address to!

If you could describe Zentangle in one word, which would it be? Share in the comments below and we will select one commenter at random to receive a Zentangle surprise.

Curious as to what the Zentangle surprises might be? Stay tuned!

Julie Willand


  • Healing

    Tiffany Larsen on

  • “Tardis”. As in the Tardis from Doctor Who.

    Janet Johnson on

  • Definitely…..LIFE SAVING!

    Sue Zanker on

  • Very creative!


  • Creative ❤️

    Mary Keller on

  • Focused!

    Gail Minichiello on


    Mary Lou Minard on

  • Evoking, limitless, surprising, ahhhsome

    Gailene Zalman on

  • Unique (Individual, personal)

    Holly on

  • Immersive

    Donna Guy on

  • Meditative

    Wendy Need-Beak on

  • It’s a journey, one’s mind is undergoing in the current moment.

    Journey on

  • Relaxing!

    Judith Rae Shamp on

  • Transformative!

    Paula Schneider on

  • No, wait…“enthralling”!

    Vivian on

  • Engaging

    Vivian Vivian on

  • Lifechanging!

    Doris Bisschop on

  • Life-changing. (Is that one word? 😉)

    ~Jan~ Sailandbejoyful on

  • fun!

    Rimona Gale on

  • Centered.

    Therese DEnham on

  • Centered.

    Therese DEnham on

  • Joy

    Mary Kay Cass on

  • These old tiles are eye-opening! I’ve been tangling, on and off, for about six years, and I know that my work has “improved”, but it’s interesting to see proof that Maria’s, Rick’s, Molly’s, and Julie’s have as well. This is great encouragement.

    Claudia McKeon on

  • Fun

    Gale Sherman CZT23 on

  • Rewarding

    Lori Riden on

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