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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


  • This is such a cool conversation and concept! I would have to say “Flux”…Rick’s version is my Doppleganger! Ever since seminar I have loved this tangle…it definitely is my mac n’ cheese! Especially with the add on of tipple…the “accessory” to flux! As my mother taught me, “presentation is everything”…and that is flux and tipple in a nutshell…and me!!

    KIM VANZYLL czt 16 on

  • I’d probably come up with a different answer at different times, but today I’d say Tripoli. Because I really struggle to get on with it, to manage it, or like it when I can’t manage it. I lose control of it, or stay too tightly in control so that it lacks life. But… I’m never going to give up on it, because I think it could be quite wonderful one day. And that says a lot about me too!

    (Another great post – I love how you prod us to see how Zentangle can make us look at ourselves and our world anew! Never a dull moment… And I love the Marianess of Maria and the Rickness of Rick – you are a great double act!)

    Jem on

  • If I were a tangle

    I think Printemps I would be
    Round and comfortable, even cozy
    To any tile, it brings beauty
    It fits everywhere, without ado
    It’s simple, yet quite glamorous too!
    And what about the sparkle, isn’t that wow!
    Doesn’t that make it so special now!

    Yes i think all that is me too!
    What a lovely reflection Maria! Enjoyed this!

    Rohini Singh on

  • I would say there is no special Doppelgänger for me but tangles that come from Zentangle Inc. are always best choice for me. I can feel the “heart” inside of those tangles. There are so many others around where I can´t feel anything so I leave them beside. One tangle I use really often is TIPPLE. Easy to do and best tangle to build a connection between all the other tangles on a tile.

    Inge Frasch on

  • My doppelgänger is printemps for sure, whenever I don’t know what to do next, I throw in some printemps wich is swirling me around looking for openings to new tangles, I dAnce with printemps on the tipple of my tows, and it shows me the road I have to take finding the next tangle. I long for the printemps season, new sprouts, new flowers, the sun slowly warming up…. it is printemps for me …

    Diana Schreur on

  • Contd from last post…

    Hey did you see, I, Aishwarya Darbha got vanished and CrescentMoon kept narrating itself. Now, that’s why I love being Me(Any Me) !

    Aishwarya Darbha on

  • Well, I am presently in love with Crescent Moon. I just feel I can get into any beautiful space, and find myself fit it and shaded either with graphite or colours. I am comfortable even to be standing out, in my true form on a tile or Just rest in a small Island surrounded by my other cool tangle-friends….Hey, you see,

    Aishwarya Darbha on

  • Mooka! Always Mooka! Mooka for President! ?? My oppelanger is Mooka , no doubt. It took me some days to find it’s clear shape, I had to try it few times, and it didn’t happened with the rest of tangles I tried before. So I thought Mooka was an “alive tangle” and it has its own way and preferences to be drawn. And some days it doesn’t want to “go out” and it let you know!

    Maria Tovar (Spain) on

  • What an interesting psychological exploration! My Zentangle® Doppelgänger would be Bales. Bales is the first pattern I teach in my classes, it’s my favorite pattern and I love teaching, so it’s reflective of me! When new students tangle this pattern they realize they can create something beautiful. This always brings me joy. I like grid patterns and because Bales also has graceful curves it’s somewhat organic which makes it extra special. It’s also a versatile tangle with many variations — similar to me, a person who likes to explore a variety of art forms.

    Nancy CZT18 on

  • I so love this blog post!
    Hmmmm….what is my Zentangle Doppelganger? I could go with so many. Mooka definitely has a look in, Pokeroot too but I might go with Tipple!
    So simple yet can be intricate and full of interesting detail which can be overlooked.
    It is able to adjust and fit in with most things and is very forgiving. Its bubbly nature can spread to other tangles (tanglers) and often helps support them or just fill a little gap. Those Tipple orbs can be big and round and bouncy ( note to self…no more cake!) or small and compact (note to self….exercise and healthy eating!). Then of course a tipple is always nice to have (in the UK ‘having a Tipple’ means to have a little drink!)….and for me one with bubbles in always goes down well! ??

    Jo Quincey on

  • Orlique… I can relate to the gentle flows of this cheese cloth like tangle. Orlique, just like in life, can be created, straight as an arrow, wavy crazy, open & airy, and when it’s created kinda tight …I know things will turn out, just right!

    Lydz on

  • My doppelgänger is most definitely Printemps. It seems to find its way into a lot of my art. I share it in all my Basic classes. I love the way it can meander, and how easily it is layered. It makes me happy!!

    Lynn Noga, CZT8 on

  • Crazy huggins, would be my zentangle doppleganger..everyone needs a crazy side…

    Linda on

  • Diva Dance, rock-n-roll style is my doppelgänger! I love that with all the “bumps in the road” in my life, I can keep on going with this tangle by auraing around all those bumps.

    Heather Jackson, CZT 21 on

  • My doppelgänger is flux. Its form and flow work for me. They are very satisfying to draw and admire.

    Sandi Buchspics on

  • When thinking about my Zentangle doppelgänger, there is no contest. N’zeppel! This is a tangle that I return to again and again. I like the organization of the grid—and the organic flow of the ovals. My favorite part of this tangle, though, is that the finished pattern has a magic that draws all the disparate elements together into a beautiful whole.

    Laura Oldham on

  • Printemps would be my doppelgänger. My life sometimes seems to be swirling around, with some details closer to the surface and other details fading into the background.

    LInda JF on

  • Mooka would be mine. In my view it is difficult to master, but well worth the effort. It was the bane of my early Zentangle years, a perfect doppelgänger!

    Faith Cohen on

  • My Zentangle Doppelgänger would have to be Trelina. It’s very voluptuous – okay, love-handley, flowing, and fun. It makes me happy while I’m tangling – like I’m doing a self-portrait. Maybe I’ll take a picture of my in footie pjs and put it next to the tangle! ?

    Barb Mayo (BAM CZT) on

  • My Zentangle Doppelgänger would have to be Trelina. It’s very voluptuous – okay, love-handley, flowing, and fun. It makes me happy while I’m tangling – like I’m doing a self-portrait. Maybe I’ll take a picture of my in footie pjs and put it next to the tangle! ?

    Barb Mayo (BAM CZT) on

  • My Zentangle Doppelgänger is definitely Crazy Huggins! It’s a great expression of making your own rules, yet like life, you never know which way it’s going to lead you. The icing on the cake is all the wonderful different ways you can embellish it! Crazy love at first tangle!

    Amy WMK on

  • I’m going with Sanabelle. I love the gentle curves and graceful lines of this tangle. It cloaks me in a peaceful shawl of calm, and it always surprises me at the direction my pen takes when putting down the vertical lines.

    Tricia F on

  • No doubt about it – Rick’s Flux. This organic tangle just flows from my pen all by itself. I love it’s versatility. It fits any shape – open or closed. One can draw in any size – big or little or in between. Works as both a tangle and a string. Easy to shade. It makes me happy.

    Linda D on

  • You might think I’d say Mi2 because, after all, I named that tangle after myself. But, no, I must confess that I relate to Rixty! I love the way it travels across a tile (even an Opus tile) with a mind of its own. It can resemble an ancient botanical vine or tiny new sprouts. I also like the way it can loop and connect back on itself. It centers me.

    Mimi on

  • I have to go with auraknot, an intricate, complicated tangle that requires a lot of concentration, at least when I do it. It’s very beautiful when done well, but very easy for me to mess up and do sloppily if I’m tense or preoccupied. The starting shape makes such a difference in how it comes out, and I can never predict what will “work” and what won’t, and since I’m incapable of nice, orderly symmetry, my wonky starting shapes always leave me in suspense till I see the results. And yet I love auraknot. Oh, the parallels I see with my own personality!

    Pat Floerke on

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