I see this question asked in various Zentangle groups online and we get it a lot here at HQ.
What direction is the Zentangle Method going in?
My favorite response to this question is, “Well, there is no up or down, or left or right in Zentangle, so it’s going in any direction you want.”
But, as this question comes up more and more, I ponder what the community is really asking and why they are asking? I think this question comes up a lot because of the vast variety of Zentangle art shared online. If you spend just 5 minutes on the Zentangle Mosaic app and you will see Zentangle art and Zentangle Inspired art going in all different directions. Tiny bijou tiles to murals covering entire walls to tangled shoes and tangled quilts. Here at HQ, we too have taken our Zentangle practice in exploratory directions like introducing colors, folding techniques and tangling on different objects. There are new techniques and ideas popping up every single day that can take you in many different directions, but I think it is important to remember that the roots of the Zentangle Method, stay the same. Introducing new techniques does not mean we are abandoning the original method that Rick and Maria came up with that weekend in Western Massachusetts. If you don’t want to venture off that main road, you don’t have to.
I think a good comparison is recipes. Take guacamole for example. I consider myself a purist when it comes to guacamole and I make it with avocados, lime juice, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapenos, some salt and viola! Guacamole. But, when my husband and I go to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, he likes to get their “Flight of Guacamole” which includes a small sample of 3 different types of guac. They often have a variety of different “flavors.” Sometimes it’s tropical, spicy or with a Mediterranean twist. The last time we visited, the special was strawberry-mango. My friend swears by sour cream in her guacamole and Molly will sometimes use cashews. You can take guacamole in so many different directions with all kinds of ingredients, but the recipe for classic guacamole remains the same. All of our taste buds are different and it’s all about what you want on your tortilla chip.
The beauty of the Zentangle method is that it sparks creativity. It opens to door for you to try new things, to follow new paths, but only if you want to. If you’re a purist like me, you might be happy with black ink on a white tile. There is a road for everyone. Occasionally, I venture out, but no matter which road I take, I find myself back cruising along that main road.
So, what direction is the Zentangle Method going in?
Well, there is no up or down, or left or right in Zentangle, so it’s going in any direction you want.
Compass Rose postcard available here.