Variant Title has been added to your shopping cart.    View Cart   or   Checkout Now
No Mistakes, Only Mistangle...

No Mistakes, Only Mistangle...

Not too long ago, I was browsing through the Zentangle Mosaic app, and saw a tile that caught my eye. It was by Eva Wu, a CZT from Taiwan. I was mesmerized by this tile, not sure if I could say why exactly. Then I read what she wrote about it. "It was a mistake, a beautiful one."

I messaged her and asked to hear how this tile came to be. Eva replied, with a lovely account of her journey. She agreed to let us post it on our Zentangle Blog. 

And the rest, as they say. . .  is "herstory."

Eva writes...

This is my #1064 Zentangle creation. It looks great, isn’t it? But before the final shoot, it really frustrates me.

I can recall clearly that day, 10th July, 2019, quite peaceful, and routine. In the morning, I answered questions to my on-line Zentangle students, and wrote my  Tarot diary, what I draw is the “Magician”
Ha! If you familiar with Tarot, “Magician” bring us the message of  “Anything is possible." I wondered what will happen in that day.
The afternoon I went to my street dance class, but my coach was absent. The studio had assigned a substitute one, he is good but I can hardly follow his beat and felt my hand-foot movements were totally out of coordination! What’s wrong with me?
Usually, my daily Zentangle time is in the evening. Perhaps my body was too tired after the dance and the hot, humid summer night in Taiwan makes me feel uncomfortable, I was totally out of my mind on what to draw.  
Well, that was not news, we all experienced the “no idea” moments. In this kind of condition, I will start with some simple tangles. Printemps, the swirl is a good start. Then Mooka, my favorite. And placed some tiny flowers. So far so good.



(Because I didn’t expect sharing it, there are no process images available. This photo is my recreation, to show you what happened on the tile. )
So we had flowers, they must be accompanied with some leaves. That was the beginning of tragedy: I made wrong directions, they looked so awkward!

Something like this …. believe me, much more worse than it. Impossible to re-do the original “mistake,” but I can remember clearly how depressed I was with the chaos.
Why I felt so anxiously about the “mistake”? Partly because I had made a suggestion in the morning to my students about the direction of plants. In Zentangle, they don’t need to be realistically, but taking attention on the way they grow will make the drawing more beautiful visually.
Yes, I know they are not mistakes; they looked exactly leaves, but not what I want! I prefer they are dendritic but not parallel to each other. The feeling is like my mind and hands are belonging to different bodies, I can’t control my hand to draw my thought.
OK, this is a “mistangle”. I love the way Maria names it. No mistakes, only mistangle. It should be a strong believes to every Zentangler. I have finished more than 1000 Xentangle artworks, and how many pieces had been trashed? No more than 5. How can I make it? Because I feel certainly, there will be a way out, not only Zentangle, but also life. What we need is a little bit patience, God will show us the path.
Then I decided to let it stay on my desk and went to bed: “Tomorrow is another day.” As Scarlett said in Gone with the Wind.
The next morning I woke up and felt no hesitation to black the periphery with a brush pen. Adding Flux and Printemps with metallic gold pen. In the center, maybe Scena is a good idea? 
It took only about 30 minutes to finish the revision. And I shared it on WeChat, remarked it as: Things are not as bad as we image, after a sleep, there is a peach blossom Shangri-La.
What I have learned from this tile is: never stuck yourself in the emotion of making mistake. In anyway, it happened. Try your best to find out if there is anything you can do. If not, surrender and accept. If yes, do it. You will never know what the next is; maybe another open window is waiting for us?
All we Zentanglers are gifted magicians, with micron pens as our magic wands. I do believe Zentangle is our spiritual alchemy. Find out the inner gold, our life will sparkle.
Love you all. Abracadabra.
Eva Wu, CZT#29, Taipei.


You can see more of Eva’s work on the Zentangle Mosaic app @EvaWuCZT



  • I like this tile very much, the middle part looks like my hair. And I like the philosophy , there are no mistakes, its very encouraging.thanks.

    anette on

  • can you guys or gals show how to do a perfect spiral

    Micah on

  • I love watching the beautiful zentangles all of you make, but this took my breath today! It surprised me to read you didn’t feel it was good. The reason this is important for me: I’m trying to zentangle but disappoint myself over and over. I watch the wonderful work done and it looks so carefree, done by you! For you to tell us you weren’t happy with this beautiful piece made my day! I WILL keep at it and NOT be so hard on myself. Thank you for sharing, marjie

    Marjorie Perkins on

  • Wonderful backstory to a fantastic piece! So glad you shared, Eva Wu – thank you!

    Shawna Oertley on

  • Wonderful tile, and wonderful story of its evolution. No tile is ever a disaster. We just sometimes need to put it to one side, come back another day and see what it needs, and what we need. Thank you for sharing Eva!

    Jem Miller on

  • ……peach blossom Shangri-La…. I love that. Perfect description. Lovely story.

    MKay BB Watson CZT 17 on

  • I remember seeing this tile when you posted it on the app. How wonderful to read its creation story! I agree that it is always better to give yourself time, coming back to a tile with a mistangle later, or the next day gives your mind time to see the best way forward.

    Lucy Farran on

  • What a wonderful story, Eva, and a beautiful tile! You are right, the Zentangle philosophy of “no mistakes” only “mistangles” applies to life as well as to our pen and ink practice! Thank you for sharing and reminding us of the possibilities!

    Gale Sherman on

  • “Mistangle”. I like that word!
    This is wonderful, Eva. I have quite a few tiles, and other work, that went sideways at some point and I decided to press on through. Usually they turn out better than I could have imagined. I think it’s the Universe telling us, “I have a better idea.” :D

    Margaret Bremner on

  • I don’t stress anymore about taking the wrong turn in my tangling or art of any kind anymore because after time away from any tile or piece of art, I find I really like those ones that I may have disliked previously. Some of my best
    Zenventures have involved tiles I thought I didn’t like until I took a second look at them. Other people always have a different opinion when I am not sure if I like a tile. I always post my tiles even if I don’t think they are my best, that is the beauty of Zentangle, someone always comments to say something positive no matter what. But even so, I love all my tiles even the ones that I do not love at first sight, those ones grow on me. Someone once said that art has a piece of the artist’s heart in it, I do believe that. So next time you get down on yourself remember you put a piece of your heart into everything you tangle or create. Don’t be so hard on yourself, accept your ability to create!

    Dolly Bolen, CZT 15 on

  • I would be very happy if all of my mistangles looked like yours :) Beautiful tile and beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

    Jody Genovese on

  • ⭐️ Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with us. Eva your mistangle is as beautiful as a midnight summer dream. ⭐️

    Miriam Z on

  • Love this beautiful tile and your wonderful description of your creative journey. Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational message!

    PamS on

  • Such a beautiful story and so inspirational! You lift us all up with your magic. Thank you, Eva.

    Georgianna Klein, CZT 11 on

  • Just before reading your story, I too was frustrated with my mistakes on my Zendala tile. Reading your story and learning about mistangles gave me good vibes to go back and tangle away. Looking better already! Thank you for sharing and your tile is gorgeous!!🤟🏻

    Sharon McKenney, CZT8 on

  • I love this! I’ve rescued a few mistangles and yet find this one and the story so perfect! Thank you for sharing, Eva!

    Linda Lockwood on

  • thx for sharing

    Carol Parry on

  • so eloquently put.

    Molly on

  • My husband was a jazz pianist. Our philosophy of life was: there are no wrong notes!!

    I say – there are no mistakes – just unintended actions which sometimes result in the best things we can do.

    When I drive, I don’t make a “wrong” turn – just an unintended turn that will take me down a different path and show me new and different things. Same with zentangle and anything else in life. Everything is in divine order!!

    Deborah Alborell on

  • I just love this story. Zentangle helps you keep it real and parallels life. Thank you for reminding me that we can make things better and that tomorrow is another day! Beautiful tangle!


  • It’s just awesome! I love how you started without an exact plan and you simply allowed your hand/arm to draw the way. This is how I do art best. I just allow it to happen and it turns out better than if I force my arm/hand to follow my brain’s pathways.

    Kim on

  • Lovely image and good advice! Life is all about the happy accidents. Much of what I treasure are the experiences I did not plan. Mary D’Angelo, CZT 32

    Mary D'Angelo on

  • Mistangles -a new word to be used everyday, as needed! Breathe, relax, let you mind and heart open to all new possibilities.

    Ginger White on

  • Loving this message of handling mistakes/mistangles on a tile and in life. Just lovely! The message and the artwork!

    Leslie Barr on

  • Wow beautiful and so much about the path of life, always changing!

    Alice Roche, CZT 29 on

Leave a comment