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Zentangle Doppelgänger

Zentangle Doppelgänger

In 2007, we started BLOG Zentangle and began our enjoyable series of conversations within our Zentangle community.

In reading through these blog posts with their insightful comments, we decided to bring a few of them to your attention from time to time. It is easy, for me anyway, to sometimes think of old information as stale information. But these insights and conversations are anything BUT stale!

We invite you to go back to the Zentangle Doppelgänger with this post from 2018...

Begin previous post . . .

Maria writes...

If we were to humanize our tangles. . .  which one would you be?  

When we first started speaking​ about Zentangle, one person spoke out and said Rick was surely Zen and I, of course was tangle. I kind of liked that.  You know. . . "Sonny and Cher,” "Burns and Allen,”  "John and Yoko,” "Mickey and Minnie,” "Fred and Wilma.”   I could go on and on.  (but Rick thought maybe it was enough. . .)  I love being "Rick and Maria". 

Lately, I started thinking about the personification of tangles, giving them character, images, and a history.  I soon realized my Zentangle Doppelgänger is, of course (duuuuuuh!) Mooka. I gave it a capital letter, just like me and my chop.

 I feel if someone were to describe me and Mooka, there would be lots of overlaps:  like being fairly curvy, exuberant, short (but wanting to be taller), we both have a history of art in our lives, we're both move quickly and in unexpected directions, and, we are most definitely a bit loopy. It is my "go-to" tangle, my "mac 'n cheese" tangle, the one that seems to just pour out of my pen, and one I cannot control. 

Rick, on the other hand, is without a doubt, Paradox.  I was going to write why here, but I asked him to do it instead. (mine would have been funnier). His version is nowhere near what I was going to write, but, Hey! That's cool.  Here it is:

I love that by drawing a simple series of straight lines in a particular way, a beautiful curve results. I love that I thought I had come up with this tangle only to discover that it is a generations old quilting pattern. I love how when you put paradox sections side by side a meta-shapes reveals itself; and if you do adjoining sections in different directions different meta-shapes reveal themselves. I love that you can take almost any familiar repeating shape and "paradox" it and discover fresh meta-shapes. I love that paradox's meta-shapes all result in tessellations or repeating shapes that neither overlap nor leave any gaps. I love that you can't predict what those tessellated shapes will look like until you draw them.


And, I guess that says a bit about how I approach the world.

I asked Indy and she said Pokeroot, because a few people commented on Zentangle Mosaic that she was the pokeroot queen. Mazzy said she would be pokeleaf, because, after all, they are sisters.  

Molly, immediately said Tripoli, Martha, Mooka. . .she is my first born and all, and she's just recently got the mooka bug and cannot stop drawing this voluptuous tangle. And Nick, well let's just say Hollibaugh and leave it at that.

Soooooo, my dear Zentangle family, what tangle would you be, if you could be a tangle and why?  I cannot wait to hear the stories and reasons for your choices.

Give this some thought.   It might surprise you what you come up with!



October 10, 2023: If you commented below years ago what your Zentangle Doppelgänger is, is it still the same or has it changed? We would love to know!

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Thank you for everyone who commented on our last blog, When the Student Surpasses the Teacher. We were touched by all of your stories. We have randomly selected Anita Stovall and her CZT, Deb Prewitt to receive a Zentangle surprise. Please send your snail mail address to

Maria Thomas


  • There really are a lot of tangles that I love, but for the last few years Mooka has been creeping into almost all my artwork in various guises. It is flexible, soft, cuddly and yet elegant, unobtrusive, binding and connecting, it caresses my soul.

    Ela Rieger on

  • I’m a bales girl. The structure and framework I need but the beauty of curves, floral and lace patterns that emerge.

    Ellen Metzner on

  • Honestly there are so many tangles out there that it is hard to choose from. The original ZHQ tangles are always a good choice while there are so many new high focus tangles out there which are not tangles to me, they have nothing to do with the basic philosophy of the Zentangle method. This is why I always return to my mac´n cheese tangles from ZHQ, Tipple is a great favorite of mine. I have even developed a workshop just on Tipple as it is more than just clusters of orbs.

    Inge Frasch CZT21 on

  • Crazy Huggins…that’s me for sure! I’m sorta organized. I love connecting with others and I’m filled with so many different thoughts and feelings all at the same time. Yet, when you step back and take a look at me and Crazy Huggins as a whole, we are both beautifully filled with interesting and wonderful thoughts, ideas, and movement…of mind, heart and soul.

    Leslie Mahon on

  • So many tangles are favorites! But the one I truly enjoy is Marasu. The beautiful curves, the spiral continually moving outward, the ability to divide as I am feeling that day, the deep shadow that defines and rounds, the march into infinity… . Marasu can be a small inward world or an ever-expanding one! As a mac-n-cheese it’s not easy because it takes a bit of time but I have used it as such, or tried! It’s one of the first tangles I felt I had “gotten” and been able to do without the constant self-correcting that goes on at times. Thanks, everyone. but especially Rick and Maria, for bringing and sharing this artform.

    Liz Strekal on

  • Bunzo – I’m a layers to layers gal – inner curves radiating increasingly outward. Stripes or filled in – dressed up or plain with a happy name- Bunzo

    Nancy needler on

  • I would have to say Mooka, Flux, Tipple, and Printemps are my personal doppelgangers (or “mac ’n cheese”) tangles. They are “decorative arts” patterns which I have used as a former calligrapher, embroiderer, folk art painter, etc., long before I ever discovered Zentangle. They almost always appear in the doodling I do in the margins of meeting notes, while talking on the phone, (filling in other tangles), etc.
    But it was Zentangle that brought focus and organization to my lifelong doodling habit.
    Betweed, Shattuck, Bunzo, Knightsbridge, and Crazy N’zeppel are constant faves, along with the very versatile newcomer, Wyfore! Paradox is my nemesis. I am never satisfied with my results (because they never look as perfect as Rick’s effortless beauties!) The tangles mentioned here are just the tips of the iceberg of my doppelganger(s).
    My biggest problem is, there are “…so many tangles, so little time!”

    Jessica L Dykes on

  • Gotta say Zinger. Every time I make it, I love it. I never know where its going to land and it’s constantly full of surprises. It always adds spice and sweetness to my Tangling, it looks very happy and whimsical and fits in everywhere.

    Alice Steuck Konkel, CZT 20, Wisconsin on

  • I like the tangles that are hard for me to catch on. Pages and pages of trying then finally getting it. Then can’t stop looking at them because they are so beautiful. Cell, Trinity, Loop, naya, Huggins and Way Bop. I love them and now I can tangle them with ease. I also like Drama the drama speaks to me. I’m a young acting 85 year old and I tangle every day. I keep my tiles in an album to leave to my family to remember me. I’m on my 8th album.

    Shirley Abrahamson on

  • Love this blog post and the comments. On my business cards, it says: what is your comfort tangle (molygon); tangle alter ego (Tipple); and if I had to add another one that is the title of my life story – (paradox). :-)

    Miriam Zimms on

  • My doppelganger would definitely be crazy ‘nzeppel. I have never quite fit into any box but I need the structure, containment and predictability of ’nzeppel. I really don’t feel I have a lot of flare but I can make the situation my own smooshing into corners and rounding things off to keep everyone happy. When I tangle crazy ’nzeppel it looks wonderful and finished no matter how shaky my hand and that allows me to feel artistic.

    Claire on

  • At the beginning of my tanglepractis I was definitely Ricks Flux, meanwhile it depends on my daily form. I am sometimes Divadance, sometimes Mooka, Tipple, N’zeppel but also Paradox. I like to think about which tangle I am. :) And Doppelgänger is my favorite word for today, it spells itself and means the same in German ;).

    Rahel Müller on

  • Mine would definitely be Mooka. I just love that voluptuous tangle and add it everywhere!!

    Kathy McMurtry on

  • My favorite go-to tangle is the beautiful Nzeppel. It always adds a sparkle, makes a pleasing background or stands out as a highlight. I think that is what the practice of drawing tangles does in my life adding sparkle around my house, connecting me to family on cards sent and highlighting my sense of creativity. Doris

    Doris Howard on

  • My 2 most recent doppelgangers are CC and Fluxecho. I love to do CC in color because I am a very colorful person. I like the fact that I can do simple things to change it (just like me because I am very flexible). Fluxecho is like me in many ways. It is easy to fit in to just about any space and it just kind of floats around and is very graceful (which I wish I was).

    Barbara Burgess on

  • My favorite go-to zentangle is Cadent with Huggins, Paradox, Flux, Mooka, and Fengle right on its heels! I use tons of Tipple and Printemps to finish off my pieces. It is sooooooooo difficult to name just one…..

    Ruth S

    Ruth Sands on

  • Mine is definitely flux, it is organic or regimented, can take orbs or printemps. I love it because It is all the lambs ears in garden, my favorite plant, fairy blankets.

    Lin L on

  • My doppelgänger is Purk. It is organic, curvy, pearly – I love everything on it.
    Lily Moon.

    Lily Moon on

  • I really like paradox. It always surprises me, just like Rick’s paradox in this newsletter. Would you like to tell me how you made that beautiful tile? Thank you for your inspiration! Bertie

    Bertie on

  • I would say Printempts is mostblike me. I am very centered and sometimes wound up. I have a spring in my step and am happy most of the time. Printemps is the perfect tangle for for adding a litt zest where you need it or letting it be a surprise in the shadows. It can be large or small depending on the situation. Just like me, I can lead but also follow and hopefully I compliment the other tangles around me.

    Nancy Loomis CZT19

    Nancy loomis on

  • My doppelgänger, rather to my surprise, is Shattuck. It turns up all the time. I love the way it weaves its way across a tile (or a book spine, or a box, or…) it’s fun to draw and even more fun to shade. Shattuck takes me to my happy place. Yup.

    Mary Bartrop on

  • My doppelgänger would be Well-Variation. I love that I can get it to flow, but if I get distracted – it gets squirrely….
    just like me!!!

    Dona Stallworth on

  • Mine would have to be gneiss. It appears in many tiles that I have created.

    Harley King on

  • My doppelgänger is Pokeleaf, I just love how the drawing of it feels completely natural to me. I like to draw them because they are all little hearts… Zentangle to me is all about the heart and when looking back at the first time I drew Pokeleaf. I didn’t click at all. Somewhere along the way they became fuller and not so skinny as I drew at first. Now I love combining them with pokeroot and use them a lot. Looking at my own life: I’ve been on a diet for well over 10 years. Skinny was ok, but I gave up and decided to just not diet for a while. The scales found a few extra pounds, not even as much as I thought they would and I feel so much more me… alife and free. This is how Pokeleaf is my doppelgänger :D

    Annelies Hoornik on

  • Interesting concept. I would have to say Bales. It is structured and organized in its making but looks organic when finished. I could say that about myself as well.

    Linda D CZT10 on

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