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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


  • My go-to tangle is “Crescent Moon” — it was one of the first tangles I learned and it is in everything I do — in one form or another. My second go-to tangle is Paradox because it is magical to me. So many ways you can do it and every piece turns out different. N’zepple is probably me — going every which way, being on the edge but still having form and meaning. Thanks, Maria, for the opportunity for me to open up a little.

    Estelle Goodnight on

  • Paradox is my alter ego. As an introvert, synesthete, and highly sensitive person, my thoughts are always swirling inwards… leading to surprise connections… blending onward. One thought leads straight to another, and another, and though they are all connected, it is impossible to tell where it starts and ends. The tangle Paradox is a beautiful visual representation of what lies beneath.

    Kelly Houlton on

  • I have so many favs, but mine has got to be Paradox! I love to introduce Zentangle to people! They admire what I’ve done and say that they are not artistic and couldn’t imagine being able to do something like that. I ask them if they can draw a straight line and show them a simple Rick’s Paradox telling them that there are ONLY straight lines on the tile! They don’t believe me until I give them a straight edge to prove it. I then give them a tile because it has the word Zentangle on the back, so they’ll remember, and introduce them to your web-site and You-Tube videos.

    Cynthia Douglas on

  • That’s a very exciting discussion. And as so often in my life, I can not decide right away. One method I keep on coming up with is the exclusion method, and so I went through my favorite patterns in centhology – all blasted the frame. I was amazed myself by what came out of it. On my list were still to choose from Tipple, Echoism, Mooka, Onamato, Bumper and Phicops. It was so hard to decide, because each of these tangles is one aspect of my life and work.
    Then I drew a tile with these patterns and in the end Tipple stayed and made me smile.
    I do not know how many times I have drawn Tipple but I know when I always draw it. Whenever I want to rest, need a break, have pain, feel sad or despair. Whenever I want to make another sad face laugh. Tipple is my smile pattern. It is “mostly” round, can be small or large, but still fits in everywhere. Is an emergency pattern and extremely beautiful, very multi-layered and three-dimensional and sometimes falls out of the frame without much notice. Often it is almost inconspicuous and hides in the crowd and then again very present. It’s funny and yet it seriously fills in gaps that are hard to find another solution. Somehow, it is always on the move and bring peace into confusion. I would be, I think a round, wobbly Tipple always waiting for his appearance, and then disappear unnoticed back in the background.

    Ela Rieger on

  • My name is Quwatha (Mooka) Valentine. Mooka is my go-to tangle. It flows so nicely and isn’t complicated. It adjusts to its surroundings, becomes big or small as needed, and brings a smile to the world. It can have complicated tangles inside it but I prefer to keep it simple, bringing all the troubles one has down to a manageable size or eliminating them all together.

    I love Mooka. Occasionally I go to Betweed first. That’s when I can’t decide which way to go in the tangle or in my life. By the time I finish, I know where I am and where I’m going.

    Quwatha Valentine on

  • I am moocha because I am round, curvy and smooth. LOL! Love it all.

    Terri Young, CZT 16 on

  • This is an interesting post and nice to read the many comments which are different from every one. That shows again how many faces the Zentangleart can have. At het moment I’m fond of Crescent Moon but that wasn’t always so and after reading this post, I took a look on all my tiles and saw appearing Tipple and Printemps on many tiles but also I like more and more Huggins, Toodles and Fassett. Which one will I prefer next year? Zentangleart is always moving and that is wonderfull. Thank you Rick and Maria for giving so many people a wonderfull new way of drawing.

    ria matheussen on

  • Printemps reminds me of my early love of pirouettes as a ballet dancer. Mooka feels like the infurling and unfurling of my moods. But doppelgänger … “a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person” … I think Ansu (by Lori Manoogian). When I draw Ansu – which grows organically into curves, u-turns, sudden stops then starts in another direction – it resonates with me. What a lovely suggestion, Maria, to ponder the relationship between tangle and self! Thank you.

    Jan Brandt, CZT 12 on

  • I would have to say, without question, my Zentangle Doppelgänger is Crazy Huggins. I have loved this tangle since first setting eyes on it and it took me what seemed liked HOURS of frustration with many attempts and failures before the lightbulb finally clicked on and i “got” how to do it. I was also blessed to get several tips and tricks from fellow Mosaic members that helped as well. I LOVE that it is so easy to tangle-within-a-tangle with it as well. The embellishments you can add are limitless….. my reasons just go on and on. But bottom line is: it’s just ME. Crazy, a bit whacky and askew, and oh so beautiful!

    Rita Miller on

  • Depends upon the day, but my go to tangles are Well, because you can use it in a grid or let it wonderfully escape from the grid, Rick’s flux because I can meander along with is anywhere, diva dance, cause dancing! Who doesn’t need a little dancing in their life! Finally, Printemps because it just seems to fit in anywhere, and I love how varied it can be.

    1 Art Lady Kate (Ahrens) on

  • Three tangles that you’ll find in almost anything I do are Printemps, Tipple, and Black Pearlz. But those are go-to tangles, not doppelgangers. Naming my favorite tangle is like trying to nail jelly to the wall. My favorite tangles are constantly changing, and they aren’t doppelgangers either.
    What tangle is LIKE ME… hmmm…
    My mind is Fengle, way too much going on and constantly taking off in another direction. (I was just now able to see some beauty in that, rather than a frustrating annoyance.)
    My heart is like Zentangle itself, interested in other points of view.
    My eyesight, without my glasses, is OoF (Out of Focus).
    My drawing hand is Paradox; very controlled gets the best results.
    My house is Dust Bunny.

    Margaret Bremner on

  • so many choices..throwing a metaphorical dart…this time it lands on Paradox. It’s the magic that appears when drawing this one…can’t get any better than straight lines morphing into curves. Love ❤ it and it’s many variations, such as ginko leaves, footballs, spades, twisted columns. AND all those straight lines play together so nicely (or well)

    Judith Shamp on

  • Mine would be WellWellWell or Spoken interchangeably. The asymmetrical flow of curves, grace and elegance speaks to my creative sensibilities!

    Debbie Huntington CZT on

  • FLUX, Rick’s version. It is organic and able to take on any space, line or curve out there….

    Laura on

  • My doppelganger is a little schizophrenic, and changes on a daily, or maybe hourly basis…Narwhal, Crazy Huggins,Plum Lei and lately Toodle (thank you, thank you!) are my consistent favourite “starter” personalities when I don’t have a true direction planned or I’m just doodling. Zinger, hollibaugh and pokeroot seem to be my “finishers” — they seem to always poke their heads in some way in to every tangle coming out of my pen…whether they have been invited or not!

    Tamra B on

  • Printemps, definitely! It just seems to come out (almost) every time, everywhere. Lately, I have developed a crush on Munchin and Crazy Huggins. There are so many wonderful patterns and I discover new ones every day. If only I had more time to tangle! My biggest regret is that you are sooooooooooo far away and there’s no chance for me to enrol in your classes and become a CZT! But… who knows? Miracles happen. Happy tangling everyone!

    Monica Cotul on

  • An Ode to Printemps There once was a tangler named Jane Who set out, dear printemps, to tame. She would mash it and squeeze it, And try hard to please it, But it still would spring forth just the same!

    Norma Jane on

  • My Zentangle doppelganger is Bales. This tangle shows how versatile a grid can really be…I like that. JackieS CZTXIII

    Jackie on

  • I love molygon and Tripoli because of how versatile they are with reticula and fragments. They can be just beautiful all by themselves or look entirely different when filled. Either way is rewarding!

    Meg McIntire on

  • For me , it’s Betweed. It looks very sophisticated and complex on the surface, but underneath it all it’s quite simple to understand so it loves to be included in all tangles and is quite adaptable. However, I have been leaning a lot towards Dewd! Mainly because I love the way Maria pronounces it which makes me laugh! It also appreciates its friendships with all the Divas dancing around in the Zentangle community!

    Matt Wieczkowski (MattskiCZT) on

  • Different days—different Doppelgangers LOL! If it’s the tangle that shows up most, it would have to be Tipple and Printemps. Those 2 show up tucked away in so many tiles. If it’s the tangle I feel drawn to, then it’s going to be Crazy Huggins, at least at present! I just love how it fits in anywhere and no two are ever the same. You can start out with random dots and start connecting them, or if your not in the mood for that, do one motif in the area you want to feel and keep adding a couple of dots at a time allowing you to have a little more control…However you feel in the moment…Eclectic like me! and THEN you get to go back and shade it, or fill it with other tangles… and it always looks good :)

    Jeanie 'JJ' James on

  • For me, it’s Toodles. I love the leaf like shape and gentle curves of it.It can be a leading character as well as a supporting character. And it appeared in last Christmas , almost same time when I join in Zentangle would.

    Midori Furuhashi on

  • My favorite tangle so far is printemps because it is round and sassy. You can do so much with it as a fill in or as a monotangle. You can add sparkle or weight it or shade it with spice.

    Blythe Nicassio on

  • My Zentangle doppelganger would most certainly be Sandswirl. I love drawing it and how it curls up into itself like a cozy sleeping cat?

    Michele Wynne on

  • I think mine would have to be Diva Dance {for today :)}…I can just melt into it as I am drawing. Tomorrow, my answer might be different. I have set a personal challenge to work on all the ‘official’ tangle patterns until they are all ‘happy tangles’ for me.

    Lisa Anderson on

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