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Seriously ? . . .


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Rick Roberts


  • I am sending love and peaceful feelings to all involved in this. I hope this will be solved soon, to bring us back to the zen of zentangle. Maria Vennekens CZT 3.

    Maria Vennekens on

  • Seriously!!! It’s doodling with style. There are 100s of the patterns on pinterest. It’s fair game open to anyone who wants a crack at it. If someone feels the need for a formalised class all power to them.

    This is a private legal issue which doesn’t need a public audience. By all neans share the outcome but don’t drag us all down the sad path.

    Zen indeed when you go guilty until proven innocent. Bad firm people. Verybad form!

    Ruth Nicol on

  • Dear Rick, Maria and all at ZTHQ — thank you for sharing all these updates with us, even though they have been a difficult, disappointing read. It must not be easy to share, either, because the ordeal is still playing out, so thank you for keeping us updated. It must also be difficult to read some of the situationally-blind comments such as “Zentangle having lost its way” when it is clear those authors have missed the point completely.

    Like other CZTs who have commented before me, I hope that this matter may be taken before the courts for a just and judicial resolution. Even if it may mean extensive legal fees (I used to work in the industry) I believe that this is not a situation that may be ‘contained’ by looking away. The fact that she is certifying people – on the one hand to teach, on the other hand to essentially copy and re-distribute her disregard for your intellectual property rights, is downright alarming in itself. This is a problem that will only get bigger with each person she certifies. I agree that some ‘tenets’ taught in Z are universal ones, but the terminology, methodology, execution utilised in CPT….. are way too similar to be considered separate and distinct. To a lay person, it would be easy to confuse the two for each other, and that is where most of the problem lies (Of course there is another, secondary issue with how she collects fees, like some have pointed out.. but if she had come up with her own distinctive method and collected fees etc, this wouldn’t have been an issue.)

    I will be praying for you and your family, and that, which ever path you decide (to sue or not), you will have the tenacity, strength and energy to see it through in the months to come. I pray that whatever this incident had unfairly taken from you and all at ZTHQ, be it peace, contentment, restfulness etc, that you will receive restoration in multiple portions.

    “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well. If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for. If it is worth attaining, it is worth fighting for. If it is worth experiencing, it is worth putting aside time for.” Oscar Wilde.

    Many blessings.

    Debbie New CZT 18 on

  • Hi Rick & Maria. I have been reading everything I can about all of this mess starting from Nadia Rush to Ina Sonnenmoser. First, I just wanted to say that I have seen the facebook page and other links to Ina’s Pattern Collection dot com. I never realized that she was teaching or intending to teach this as her own. I really just thought it was another resource for tangle patterns, not unlike tangle or Linda Farmer’s books. I was shocked to see that she really did plagiarize original Zentangle patterns and their method of drawing. I haven’t seen her site in a very long time and have no idea when she started this movement. It is an obvious case of stealing your patterns as well as your method (which is really what Zentangle is all about). As far as Nadia Russ is concerned, I really can’t see how Zentangle and her artwork are even close. She painted her art which is entirely different from what you and so many of us teach. It is not about the art, it is about the process! It is weird because I happened to see the Nadia Russ thing yesterday on facebook and then couldn’t find where I had seen it. Then today, I read your latest newsletter. This whole thing is disturbing to me and I am sure, many others including yourselves. I hope this gets resolved soon. As I see it, it should most definitely be in your favor. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. It has helped me with my ongoing cancer struggle for 6 years!

    Barbara Burgess, CZT on

  • Quoting a famous writer “oh what tangled webs we weave, when first we chance to deceive”…I’ve probably not accurately parsed the quote…I hope you get my drift.This next quote from Ina to Rick is correct…“Thank you for contacting CPT and expressing interest in our certification.”Duh…on face value this makes no sense. Ricks letter was/is clear, respectful, and transparent. I hope and pray that whatever transpires will have a favorable outcome for the continuing service provided by your world wide phenomenon. We have your backs R & M and ZTHQ.

    Judith Shamp on

  • If this goes to Court I’m gonna LMAO! Shame on ALL of YOU! $$$ Yes OF COURSE! CZT Training is not offered across the US, only at their chosen Hotel and Times. Sorry can’t afford that. I use BOTH Methods in my ART and don’t feel the need to BE CPT or CZT granted by someone else to me. I frequently buy the Official Zentangle supplies because they are Superior and carefully chosen. I have learned both methods on my own. KUDOS to Both sides for sharing with us Little People. Don’t take the ZEN (BTW someone else had that word first) out of the ART!! That is REALLY what it is all about. That is all. Jules Mack NOT CZT/CPT

    Jules Mack on

  • There is a special circle of Hell for people who rip off artists.

    Nancy McCarthy CZT4 on

  • Sometimes when I’m teaching a Zentangle class, I share a bit about my experience at the CZT13 training. I tell my students how I was a bit nervous before going – how I was worried it might be like a tupperware convention (apologies to anyone who sells tupperware out there). I was concerned that the folks at Zentangle Incorporated might get us all fired up to “sell, sell, sell” their products and give us hundreds of ways to push their wares. Silly me. I go on to tell them about the lovely Zentangle family and their ‘no pressure – quiet, zen-like’ approach. Much like completing a Zentangle tile, they seem to be about the process and finding the peace and joy while sharing this method. I am so sorry this peace has been interrupted. I plan to continue to focus on the art, on the peace and joy I receive and share in the midst of creating. I plan to share more random acts of Zentangle – putting goodness and creativity out into the world. Rick and Maria – I trust you and believe you will do whatever you feel is right. I support you in your efforts, but plan to work to stay positive and not let this person’s negative actions pull me down. Bijou might have some good words for us to remember: Breathe, Relax, Inspire, Comfort…

    Leslie Barr on

  • I am a 2014 CZT having taken the course the June of that year. The biggest Red Flag is that this woman wants a ‘cut’% from anyone who is teaching her method.Yikes! The Zentangle Method and philosophy is about anything but GREED.

    Please use your lawyers to stop this woman.
    I for one always bring my certificate , framed when and where ever I teach! I also encourage my groups to explore the possibilities of taking the ZCT course with Maria and Rick.
    All the best to you Maria and Rick in your pursuit of shutting down this very greedy , thief. She is a thief stealing intellectual property.

    H.Carol Schmidt on

  • Please, please do NOT let her get away with this!!!

    Janie Brackney on

  • Dear Rick and Maria,

    I am so shocked and saddened by this post. I am hopeful that you will be able to resolve this issue amicably. It very sad that someone has taken these liberties with your Zentangle method. Thanking you and the rest of the amazing Zentangle family for the wonderful Zentangle Experience! Wishing you all the best in resolving this!

    Best wishes,

    Harriet Meltzer
    CZT 16

    Harriet Meltzer on

  • In Ina’s own words, Karma will bite her in her backside!

    Caarol Dunn (CZT 3) on

  • Rick and Maria,
    I am very saddened to learn about this other method that so clearly is a rip-off of the dedication, thought and hard work you have put into creating and sharing Zentangle with the world. I have been an avid tangler since my first class in 2004 when Rick and Maria were first getting started and I instantly fell in love. Anyone who has met them knows that there is pure love of what they do and how they speak, act and breathe Zentangle. I was lucky enough to be part of the first CZT training in 2009 and I love sharing Zentangle with others whenever I get the chance. I had not heard of Ina and her website before this. I did check it out before writing this and find it very interesting that all of the zentagle original tangles do not list a creator??? Every other pattern does list who created it. I find that odd since she states in her letter that she distances herself from any other groups and that they are entirely different methods – however she has posted Zentangle original step-outs so how can it be entirely different if you follow the step outs of Zentangle? I also laughed out loud when I read the money, money, money part! I have no idea what you should do but I will always be eternally grateful for you both and the joy Zentangle has brought to my life.

    Lara Williams on

  • Sadly, we are living in an age of lies and deceptions, even from the very people who are elected to lead us. It isn’t surprising that this has happened. I’m distressed that it’s happened to such wonderfully genuine people as you and Maria and the rest of your family and business family. It seems like such a blatantly obvious copyright infringement. I’m sure you already feel that legal steps are a foregone conclusion. The first time I heard anything about this, I got online and placed an order from your website. It’s the only way I know to support all of you, besides my thoughts and prayers. As an artist, I know I’m vulnerable to thieves. It’s maddening to think someone can just steal an image or a concept that I’ve given my heart and soul. I appreciate you sharing this. Having gone through a painful and expensive divorce, I don’t know that I would have the stomach to go through any litigation again. I did, however, keep my faith, I kept my head and I listened to my attorney and came out on top. I learned years ago, in Philosophy 101, what causes poverty…….greed. When people get greedy and steal they never think they could lose it all. The community that yours and Maria’s Zentangle company has created will support you.

    Mary Kay Watson on

  • Some people are just incorrigible. And brazen. Just wow.

    Valerie Hayes, CZT 28 on

  • You and Maria worked long and hard to develop your business and idea, do not let anyone try and take the easy way out by stealing your information. I paid good money to become a CZT and lots of time developing my business and name not to have my customers be confused by a counterfeit. But mostly the fact that she wants people to pay her for information you developed is madness. She has to have a screw loose to think what she is selling if some how different than what you and Maria created. I say nail her to the wall.

    Lee Darter CZT15 on

  • Dear Rick & Maria, I am so sad that this has happened to you and to the CZT community. I love Zentangle, and have taught all ages with great success. Whatever is your process to deal with this, I totally support your efforts. I hope, hope, hope, it ends with all involved coming away with positiveness. Thank you for all that you have done to open a creative path for many that have never thought they could be creative!

    Betsy Smith on

  • Dear Rick and Maria,

    I am generally a kind person who would rather take the gentle approach you tried to deal with this horrifying issue. At this point, I say sue her lying pants off!! Zentangle as you teach and promote is a blessing- with financial gain a means to keep the process alive. As CZT, I used to teach public classes- but the joy became tainted for me by the burden of maintaining it as a business. I am fortunate to be able to teach at a cancer support agency as a volunteer. In this way Zentangle can be shared as a tool for healing which to me is one of its greatest applications.
    I am so sorry there are people who would so blatantly steal from others and then deny it!
    Please know you have my support.

    Jody Church, CZT 21 on

  • While I at first welcome the openness with which this whole topic is adressed, I must say that I’m… shocked. Shocked, saddened, disappointed and even disgusted in some parts at the evolution of the whole topic. I don’t want to take either side really and my only comment on it is that if you think that you can win the lawsuit, then please just file one. It does take money and energy and time and all, but to me it is the correct, the “clean” way to tackle this problem. And it would scare others off who copy your method 1:1 or maybe even in parts in the future, too.

    What really made me post this comment here is (more or less directly) appealing to some kind of “witch hunt” in the blog post and especially so many comments (mostly by CZTs) here jumping on the bandwagon, verbally harrassing somebody in a way I would never have expected to read here AT ALL. To me the Zentangle community always seemed like a caring and friendly one so, an image that was created and nurtured all these years by Zentangle HQ. I never imagined reading comments here that display such negativity directed towards a single topic or even person – no matter what that person has done in their opinion. I completely understand that many have a strong emotional connection to Zentangle, most of all its creators, but admitting that the comments were likely written in a state of some emotional outbreak is no excuse. As someone who suffered from bullying for many years, I’m honestly saddened to say that some of what can be read in and especially most of what is written under this blog post reminds me a lot of it and I can’t express how disappointed I am. In my opinion, Ina displayed better style in shutting off comments for her posts on this topic.

    I tangled a tile yesterday. There was no “flow” this time but a bitter taste accompanying me all the way. It was not because of the discussion topic – it wasn’t new to me, I had heard about it some time ago – but because how it is being discussed here. There’s no better way to sum my thoughts on all this up than the title of the blog. Even if it is filed under “zenthoughts”, this is definitely not Zen for me.

    Yvonne Li on

  • Sending love and peaceful feelings to all of you!

    Katrina Thiebaut CZT22 on

  • I do not know any of the involved personally, I do not want to take sides. However, what I see is both sides want money and in my humble mind, there is nothing wrong with it as long as the people paying do not feel ripped off. As for trademark registrations and doing business under that trademark: e.g. Zentangle. If applied in the US, only valid in the US, it needs registration with the Madrid System in Geneva to cover Europe (and Asia?). Not sure. Me, too, I am no legal beagle, but can someone please name ONE business that has no competition? And for INA: Please do not use Zentangle original patterns in your teachings, such as Knightsbridge. If the patterns are existing patterns, rename them, such as Knightsbridge to ….Checker?
    To both parties: is the world not big enough to accommodate both of you? Do you have to ask us tanglers to take sides and become your little soldiers?
    My advice to both: Please get yourselves an intellectual property attorney and let them cross swords and let us tanglers draw our tiles in Zen.

    Susie Ng on

  • Sooooooooo, I believe in Karma, the Golden Rule, the Silver Rule, all those things we learned in Kindergarten
    But like John Travolta in Michael, my wings have popped open and I want to “BATTLE!”

    So, I will post things to CPT’s and I will stand strong with the Zentangle community, arm in arm to protect “the gift” that is Zentangle.

    Peace Out ✊🏼👊🏼💥💥💥

    Terri Delaune on

  • I always think of what Rick said during my CZT7 training regarding copyright issues – “don’t be a jerk” !

    Jane Armstrong on

  • I agree with the above comments. I have the highest admiration for you, Rick and Maria, and your selfless gift to the world. I admire the patience you demonstrated in your letter to Ina. Unfortunately, her response, in my opinion, pushes you closer to legal action, which is totally justified, albeit undesirable. She has stolen a precious gift for her own profit and must be held accountable. My thoughts are with you.

    Jennifer Sparrow on

  • Rick and Maria,

    We have never met or spoken, but I feel like I know you both. You have not attacked Ina, but you now have one of her CPT’s posting attacks against you on this blog. This is so unfair and distressing. You have done absolutely nothing to deserve such treatment.

    Your openness and sharing with the Zentangle family (and, yes, it really does feel like a family even to those of us who have never taken any kind of class) is only to be applauded. Once Ina posted your letter and her response you had no choice but to also share that. You asked for none of this.

    I’m sure there are thousands of people who consider the whole Zentangle thing glorified doodling and thousands more who say nobody can own a doodle (tangle). But those thousands have never truly looked at Zentangle. They don’t understand that you in no way have tried to own or sell your tangles. You don’t make money from registering your Zentangle trademark. You don’t make money from people using the wonderful method you spent years developing. You do make money providing supplies as you should. You do make money providing well-planned and executed training for CZT’s which also cost you time and money to provide. You provide services for which you deserve to be paid.

    You have never asked to be paid for your intellectual property other than through your well-produced books and your actual time in training your CZT’s. Anyone who has ever looked at Ina’s website can clearly see that she heavily relied on the Zentangle method and its followers to develop it. Until recently, she chose to use all of the Zentangle terms as well as tangles developed and named by you and your family – tangles and method you OPENLY share on the Internet at NO COST and encourage ANYONE, including Ina, to use to create their own art.

    Rick and Maria, I don’t know what you should do. It is a decision only you can make. There is no doubt that Ina has deliberately stolen your intellectual property and the result of years of your work. Whatever you decide I am sure the vast majority of people will support you.

    While Ina may succeed in “training” (by merely providing a poorly written booklet) some CPT’s, she will not succeed in developing any kind of successful business. Her purpose is to make money. She is selling her “training” as an opportunity to make money. There will be no success or happiness or love of Creative Pattern Tangling.

    Yes, I am sure there are very talented CZT’s that are making money and getting paid for their efforts, but I am also sure that for the vast majority, becoming a CZT was more about advancing their understanding and art than about making money. No matter what anyone does, no matter what anyone says, Zentangle will be around long after all of us are gone from this earth and generations to come will be sharing the great gift that both of you have given us. Thank you.

    Claire Warrington on

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