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You're a Genius!

You're a Genius!

In 1968, NASA hired George Land and Beth Jarman to assess the imagination and creative potential of NASA engineers and rocket scientists. After developing an effective test for NASA, Dr. Land gave the test to children ages 4-5.               

98% of those children scored at the genius level of imagination and creativity. Surprised and inspired, Dr. Land tested the same children five years and ten years later. Five years later however, only 30% of the same children displayed a genius level. Ten years later, when they were about 15 years old, it was down to 12%.

Then he tested a group of adults. Only 2% scored at the genius level.    

You can learn more about this study here and in this video.           

The point of this blog is that Zentangle Method doesn’t need to make you a creative genius. There’s a 98% chance you already were a creative genius as a child. Rather, my point is that the Zentangle Method can reconnect you with your own innate imaginative and creative genius that still pulses inside you and that yearns to flow forth.

I believe each of us has an inborn urge to create. And if you doubt that, just ask any second grade class, “How many here are artists?” and watch every student lift their hands so high they rise out of their seats. I also believe that if that natural creative urge is discouraged and denied, it is harmful to the individual and it shortchanges us all.

The Zentangle Method can re-engage your innate child-like ability to imagine and to create. It nurtures and supports you so your creativity can manifest and flourish. It is a tool to overcome childhood criticisms that made you doubt yourself. It demonstrates the healing potential of creative expression.                                                                                               

“Every child is in a way a genius; and every genius is in a way a child.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer

As an adult it is a wonderful and healing joy to once again access and creatively express your heart’s imagination. It is inspiring and encouraging to trust yourself to be able to improvise and boldly blaze new paths. I believe it is in the restoration of this natural flow of innate creativity that is behind so many of the health benefits that people report from creating Zentangle art.

You discover you can confidently make a next stroke without needing to know exactly what the final outcome should be. Your creation is more alive and compelling and beautiful when you don’t predict what it should be ahead of time.

You discover the importance and value of drawing your own lines – not just filling in lines that someone else produced.             

You discover you can reactivate your genius.                   


                       “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion!”
– Rumi

Rick Roberts


  • Sir Ken Robinson said: " We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it." After 20+ years, I left my career as a public school teacher here in the US for that reason. I am so grateful to be a CZT now, and to be able to help folks, young and old to grow back into their creativity.

    Jennifer Sparrow on

  • Hi Rick,

    Please may I use this image and blog to re-publish in our space magazine for early childhood in NZ? I will acknowledge the original source and send you a copy of course.
    regards, Toni Christie CZT

    Toni Christie on

  • I am in awe. Wish I could do this.

    Joanne on

  • YES, I believe we all are artists! <3

    Donna Jacobson on

  • A very interesting, and thought provoking post. Here are my thoughts after reading this post, and in no way do I wish to offend anyone.

    What are we doing to our imaginative, creative genius children once they enter education systems and lose this ability so quickly? What imaginative, creative potential has humanity lost which may have been focused on fixing world problems such as famine, pollution, and the many other global issues we face today? Thank you Rick and Maria for sharing the Zentangle method so we can again reconnect to our imaginative, creative selves, not only with our art, but also in extending our creative abilities in other areas of our lives. Who knows, maybe some day humanity will recognise the potential of creative genius and develop ways to utilise and train that powerful potential from this earlier age.

    Lianne on

  • ? Peace & Love?Stay with us anytime.

    ViVi Lee on

  • This is great, thank you for sharing!

    Olivia Wu on

  • I am surprised the numbers dwindled so quickly. I still thought I was an artist at 13. The next 30 years not so much. Zentangle brought it back!!

    Kim Kohler CZT16 on

  • And all that is possible using a pen and paper. So much power in such a small thing. It’s just waiting for us to let it out. Thanks for this powerful reminder!

    Carole Ohl on

  • Interesting string, Rick.

    Linda Dochter, CZT 16 on

  • Thank you for reminding us of our innate creative gifts and why Zentangle enhances our creative expression.

    Really powerful and important blog post. Thank you.

    Nancy CZT18 on

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