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Look Through Your Own Viewfinder

Look Through Your Own Viewfinder

When I take a picture, I look for beauty in my viewfinder. 

If I’m taking a picture of a person, I look for an uplifting part of their personality. And whatever the subject, I work towards a pleasing geometry of scene. I don’t over-think my shots because I expect that as soon as I look through my viewfinder, I will get inspiration for what to do. And if I don’t, I don’t force it.

Sometimes I see a picture of an interesting location and I go there with my camera. But I don’t go to take the same picture that inspired my visit. I go because I am inspired to discover what new perspective I will find in my own viewfinder.

It works the same with tangling. When I see a tangle that intrigues me, I’ll tangle it to find out where it can take me; to see what I can do with it.

For me, a Zentangle tile is like the viewfinder of a camera. It begins blank, but when I turn on “tangling mode,” the tile’s edges become just like the frame of the camera viewfinder.

After taking pictures and tangling tiles for a while, I can see how much my perspective affects what I create. Now, when I see a photograph or admire someone’s tile (or read something in the news), I remind myself that I am perceiving those pictures and tiles (and stories) through their creators’ viewfinders.

So, take inspiration from the tiles and tangles that others create. And then, get out the metaphorical viewfinder of your blank tile and ride the inspiration of your own creativity. You just might discover wonders you never knew existed.


Rick Roberts


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  • Yes. I like to learn from other peoples tangling and I like to look through my own view finder at their tangling. I call the lessons I learn best, side lessons. What I mean is that when someone is teaching a tangle, what I’m learning (in addition to the basic tangle steps), is how they think, and it’s always different than how I think and it can open my mind up a little.

    Lisa Hoesing on

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