According to the official Zentangle website, “the Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle Method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.”
Founders of the Zentangle method, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, believe that life is an art form and that the Zentangle Method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.
Some have said that Zentangle is “yoga for the brain”, which I consider a very appropriate description. When tangling, mindfully, on a Zentangle square, the brain focuses on the activity and can leave behind the stressors of day-to-day living, similar to the mindfulness effect of meditation. For those of us who always like to be doing something (raising hand here!), it’s a way to convert that energy into a mindful, relaxing activity.
When I first discovered Zentangle several years ago, I was immediately attracted to the process because of the resulting images. I have always been drawn to art, but never believed I had the “talent” or skill to make anything beautiful. Like so many children, my artistic efforts were squashed at an early age. As I began to practice the Zentangle method I learned that even I could make something pleasing to look at. Many people have found similar results and reconnected with their creative yearnings.
Initially I taught myself a few tangles, as the structured patterns are called, through information I could find online since there were no instructors in my area. But as time went on I decided that I wanted to become more serious in my study and enrolled in the Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) training program, which I completed in April 2015. I found that while I enjoy practicing Zentangle on my own, I loved the experience of working in a group during my classes. The opportunity to share and compare our completed tiles revealed how there isn’t one “right” way to do it, and there are countless roads to beauty.
Now that I’m an official CZT, I practice the method daily and look forward to sharing with you my tiles and lessons from the practice. And, as a teacher of the method, I look forward to teaching classes to others. You can find the list of scheduled classes on the “Find a Class” page of this site.
Finally, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that there are no mistakes, in Zentangle or in life. There’s always the opportunity to turn our mistakes into something surprisingly beautiful or, if that fails today, there’s always tomorrow. Tomorrow we may see our work in a different light and find that what we thought was a mistake is truly a lovely image when seen from a different angle in a new light. And each day there is the opportunity to create something new, since a daily practice in Zentangle can take as little as fifteen minutes, if that’s all you have available. You can see my constantly growing samples of Zentangles published as part of online challenges.
If you still aren’t convinced that Zentangle can be practiced by anyone, I hope you’ll see through my efforts that:
“Anything is Possible, One Stroke at a Time”