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TanglerRootZ: ING

TanglerRootZ: ING

In this Zentangle Blog Series we explore the ins and outs of some of our most loved Tangles. Join us as we journey back to how it was discovered and deconstructed, why a certain tangle got its name, and who was involved in the process. We will look into different styles, applications and tangleations of a tangle. We will examine how some tangles have evolved over time and discuss how the same patterns have multiple names. Some tangles have inspired tangleations that were so wonderful that they became their own tangle. This series is fun deep dive into the life of a tangle.

Today, we take a look at the tangle ING. Enjoy!


Molly writes...

Over the years ING has come to be one of my favorite tangles. It did not start out that way but over the years it has developed, and I have learned more of its potential, the more time I spend tangling it and become inspired by what others are doing.

ING was discovered about seven years ago. I had taken a solo voyage down to visit a dear friend in Miami, Florida. It was the first time I had traveled alone since having my children. And although I missed them dearly, the trip was an exhilarating re-charge. The time away gave me time to pause, breath, and digest all the wonderful things that had been happening. Motherhood had taken a front seat to many of my creative outlets and it was time to pull some of that back into my life. Traveling alone offers you time to be with yourself. For some reason, when I am journeying alone, I tend to appreciate and notice more details in my surroundings. I also find myself letting go and experiencing wonderful daydreams. My brain was open, and I seemed to be taking it all in and feeling very inspired by everything.

Part of the plan of this particular trip was that my friend and I would run a half-marathon in downtown Miami. The day of race, we woke early and made it to the starting line before the sunrise. There was a chunk of time where we had to wait. We stood among the dense crowds of people. When it came time for the race to begin the sky started to fill with day light. When you are at race this big you move very slowly at first. I was in a new place so none of the landmarks were familiar. Miami is one of the more colorful cities I ever been to. Colorful in so many ways. I love the esthetic and the warmness in Miami. I love the love of Miami. I found myself in a trance as my feet pounded the pavement and my eyes connected with interesting sights along the way. At one point I found myself enamored by a sculpture anchored on a plaza in front of large building. Its presence was strong and struck me in way that felt familiar. I stared at and through the pieces of metal. I soon passed the sculpture, but its memory remained in my head. Some of you might agree that when you tangle often you start to see patterns everywhere. I continued to play with the construction of the structure in my head. I was deconstructing and rearranging the components, changing its original DNA. I kept thinking of how I would draw this when next found myself with pen and paper and continued to burn its strokes into my brain.

When I finally did get to that moment, I was able to quickly translate my thoughts down. My lines were not a replica of the sculpture, but rather something that was inspired by it. This pattern would soon become known as the tangle, ING.  Why ING? The race was sponsored the ING company and 30,000 or so people running the race all had shirts with ING printed all over them. On top of all the shirts, there were signs and banners and vehicles and more all labeled with ING. So, when I was pondering a name, it seemed those three letters were everywhere I looked, and it just stuck.
The actual sculpture I was looking at was the Challenger Memorial, designed by artist, Isamu Noguchi. It is located on Southwest corner of Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Florida. The pictures below show the sculpture and then my early ING drawings, followed by some later ING explorations.

Here is another viewpoint of the same sculpture. This blows my mind that the same sculpture when looked at from another viewpoint could inspire something totally different. What tangle do you see? What else can we discover when we just look at things from a different perspective.

I challenge you to spend some time with ING. It’s rewarding, challenging, surprising, and inspiring. Have Fun!

Molly Hollibaugh


  • I love ING too! Thanks for sharing the background of this delightful tangle.

    Kim Longenecker on

  • I love your early INGs as well as the final version, Molly. I am inspired to try the early ones too. Thanks for sharing how ING evolved.

    Leslie Hancock on

  • I am starting a new project…a tangle pattern on a wooden stool. Before I get too far into the project I have a question. I want to seal the design with clear spray gloss. Does anybody know how the usual pens, jellyrolls, etc. react with the spray gloss. Will the gloss smear the designs? Many thanks for any advice. Sandy King on February 6, 2021

    Sandy on

  • I ran the ING marathon in Miami a couple of times. I know the name was changed some time ago but I never saw this tower. It is very cool and I am so happy to hear how the name came about!

    Barbara Burgess on

  • ING is one of my faves too! Great story – cool name origin – and awesome shifted perspective. Looking forward to more of these stories.

    Peyton on

  • I am so thankful to you and your parents for zentangle. Also a heartfelt gratitude to my CZT Rohini for bringing this to us in India. She teaches us zentangle with so much love and shows us different viewpoints just like you have done Molly, in the blog above.
    We just learnt this tangle in one of our classes and today she shared this blog with us. Wonderful to know the roots behind the tangle.
    Thank you Molly for sharing this with us.

    Alka Sood on

  • Your memorable story is so nicely told. And yes, for this relatively UNobservant person, who (thank you for the reminder) has raised 11 children, over many years so think I was observing other things, haha….I am NOW, and many thanks to you and your family, AM seeing patterns all over, since Tangling. Wonderful experience for this old gal. Hugs.

    Didi Teufel on

  • I just loved learning the background of ING, which has become one of my favorite tangles! It is so easy and so versatile! Photos are a perfect illustration of how it inspired you!

    Jessica Dykes (aka, Jake) on

  • Knowing the Rootz of ING makes me appreciate it even more. The photo of the Challenger sculpture was helpful in understanding the tangles transparent nature. You interpreted it very accurately. The fact that it becomes Hollibaugh when viewed from underneath must have been a surprise. Thank you for sharing, knowing the origin of a tangle really does make a difference when you’re drawing it.

    Ann Baum on

  • Fabulous source reveal! 💝

    Rimona Gale on

  • Fabulous source reveal! 💝

    Rimona Gale on

  • I first discovered ING in the Primer. Thanks for showing the sculpture that inspired it! When I worked with ING the first time I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t go far enough to add the second row of horizontal lines. So what I had was a single ING…. a sINGle ? :)


  • ING is one of my favorite tangles. It is one that I put on all of my notebooks, journals, and other paraphenalia that I have received at the various Zentangle workshops and seminars. I love the picture you included that shows the sculpture from the bottom up. It is SO Cool!!! Thank you so much for these wonderful stories of our ROOTZ.


  • I remember seeing this sculpture when we lived in Miami. It made an impression on me. Years earlier, I was standing in my backyard, in Tampa, looking up at the Challenger launch, as it exploded before my eyes. Thank you for sharing the story of how you developed this tangle. It gives it a deeper meaning for me.

    Mary Kay Watson on

  • Lov—ING the history of ING! Looking from different angles reminded me of the story with the five men and an elephant where each one describes the elephant from their perspective!
    The Hirschorn Museum in Washington, DC has one similar where when you look up from the inside it becomes a pattern of stars!
    Thank you for this! I will continue to work on it!

    Zipporah Rosenblatt on

  • Thank you for discovering ING. It is one of my favorite tangles. Its geometry is very appealing for me. Hollibaugh is a tangle I often use as well.

    Thank you for this story.

    Emily Dixon on

  • Thank you so much for this insight into the beginnings of ING. I love learning about the history of each tangle. I will be teaching ING as a feature tangle at the end of the month and being able to share this will add yet another layer of interest to the class. So grateful, thanks again!

    Julie Allison on

  • Yes. Overtime in has become more and more important. I taught Ing as a string recently, and what my students did amazed me. Each person translated it differently, as often happens in Zentangle classes. Thank you for this wonderful Tangle.

    Lisa Hoesing on

  • I love learning about our Rootz. I don’t remember hearing about this one before. I propose that you guys add the stories to the Zenthology. What do you think?

    Kim Kohler, CZT on

  • Thought I found ING quite challenging in the beginning, I’ve come to appreciate and enjoy it! I especially love the last photo. When possible, when I photograph a sculpture, I try to also get a different and unique perspective of it- often the inside “guts.” And here we have #hollibaugh reaching for the sky! SUPER, two tangles in one!

    Gale Sherman on

  • During my meditation moment this morning I focussed on the words of my teacher that you can only see the whole picture of something if you are willing to look at it from all sides. So often you stay at one point of view and miss very much of the many possibilities. Your example confirmes this way of thinking.

    Warm regards, Eefke
    Breda, the Netherlands

    Eefke Warffemius on

  • It is incredibly interesting to hear (and see) the stories behind the tangles that have become favorites for so many of us. The photos of the structure certainly adds to our understanding of the tangle. The one taken from beneath ING just screams Hollibaugh! Thank you Molly for sharing this story, but even more for your amazing gift of teaching this artform! We all love you! 🤗💝

    Bonnie JohnsonCZT36 on

  • Ing and holibaugh are two of my go to favorites. Loved the article.

    Lane Clabaugh on

  • Love reading the stories of Tangle Rootz … really great addition to share a little history while teaching Zentangle to others. So grateful for all the good and inspiring work you, and the Zentangle community does😁❣️

    Karen Keefe on

  • I’m up to the challenge. I just screen shot the samples and will attempt it. Thanks.

    Elaine Novak on

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