I have spent a lot of time recently looking through old family photos. I started looking for just a few photos, but next thing I know, it has been hours of sorting through photos. Taking the time to relish the memories, to study the faces of the people in the photos and to reflect on what has changed and what has stayed the same. Sometimes, you do not realize how far you’ve come until you look back at where you started.
The same can be said for your Zentangle practice.
We recently pulled out some of our very first tiles created using the Zentangle Method. This was a delightful trip down memory lane. The pen strokes on the paper feel both familiar and foreign at the same time. While the 8 Steps of the Zentangle Method have stayed the same over the past twenty years, our styles and execution have evolved. It is beautiful to see how our work has grown over the years guided by the elegance of the limits.
In our blog last week, we went back to basics to savor the 8 Steps of the Zentangle Method. The tile we created in that video was inspired by my first tile. When I look at the two tiles, I do not feel as though one is “better” than the other, but rather, one is more confident than the other. That is what years of a Zentangle practice can give you … confidence. Confidence to explore and evolve.
I also see that earlier tile much differently now. I see it as more beautiful, more expressive, and more “me” than I did when I first created it. Not only has my practice changed, but I have also changed. I have a deeper appreciation for the beautiful things around me. I see myself as an artist now and more importantly realize I was an artist then too. I appreciate that first tile more now than I ever anticipated. It truly reminds me of all the different layers of my Zentangle journey and it documents growth and beauty at all the stages.
If you still have one of your first tiles, I encourage you to dig it out. Whether your first tile was last week or 20 years ago, take some time to relish in the memory of first discovering the Zentangle Method. Study the lines and strokes and reflect on what has changed and what has stayed the same. Sometimes, you do not realize how far you’ve come.
Zentangle 20th Anniversary Journal Prompt: Create a page in your journal dedicated to then and now. Add an early tile of yours and a more recent one and reflect on how your practice has evolved over the years and what has remained the same.
Learn more about the 20th Anniversary Journal Project here.
Thank you to everyone who tangles along in our #8Steps2024 tutorial. The randomly selected artist who will receive a Zentangle surprise is @mghdkCZT40! Please send your snail mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org.