Have you heard of Zentangle?
“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 the world, across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.”
The Zentangle Method was created by American couple, Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. Maria is an accomplished calligrapher and illustrator and Rick, among other things spent 17 years living as a monk. They like to say that Rick is the “Zen” and Maria is the “Tangle”. They “discovered” Zentangle one day when Maria was working on an illuminated manuscript and was drawing the small intricate patterns inside the large letter. She was completely absorbed in what she was doing, unaware of where she was and free from any worries. They spoke later about this feeling of calm and effortless focus and Rick said that was how he felt when he meditated. They decided that this was something that they needed to share. And that was the beginning of Zentangle.
Some characteristics of Zentangle Art
Anyone can create beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is easy to learn and easy to do. And even though it is a specified series of steps, it results in a creative expression that transcends its own rules.
Fun and Relaxing
It provides a fun and light hearted way to relax and intentionally facilitate a shift in focus and perspective. It is unencumbered by dogma and cost which can weigh on other approaches. Nevertheless, it is sufficiently structured and organized so you can enjoy and benefit from an activity that otherwise might be considered whimsical.
We encourage you to not have a preconceived idea of your final result. Following this somewhat unusual approach, your creation is not restricted by your expectations.
Repetitive, simple steps are part of the Zentangle Method. These steps support relaxation, focus and inspiration. It can be a wonderful daily ritual.
Creating designs, manipulating symbols and putting pen to paper is part of our human heritage. In a time of keyboards, computer mice, and cell phones, the simple strokes that are part of the Zentangle Method automatically engage you in a comfort and familiarity of timeless, basic creativity.
Everything you need to create beautiful Zentangle art can fit in your pocket. This easy to learn method of relaxed focus can be done almost anywhere, alone or in groups, without any special abilities or costly equipment.
Zentangle tools and method are not limited by technology. Your creativity is not directed by how someone else wrote a particular program, nor does it need batteries or electricity. The Zentangle approach provides a counterbalance to our increasing use of computers, mice, screens and keyboards. It returns us to that fundamentally human behaviour of manipulating symbols and putting marks on paper. Nothing is pre-programmed. Your creativity is your only limit and this Zentangle method has a way of increasing and inspiring expression of your personal creativity.
It is an empowering and uplifting experience to learn that you can deliberately relax and intentionally direct your attention while creating beautiful works of art.
Some benefits and uses of the Zentangle Method
It is fascinating to learn how other people are using the Zentangle method. Here’s a list of benefits others enjoy from practicing the Zentangle Method. This list continues to grow as people apply the Zentangle Method in ways we never considered.
- Simple and quick access to mindfulness
- Non-verbal journaling
- Insomnia (improved sleep by creating Zentangle art before bedtime)
- Panic attacks (for fear of flying, creating Zentangle art during takeoff and landing)
- Modify behaviour
- Being part of a supportive and fun community
- Create beautiful works of art
- Nurture and develop creative abilities
- Relieve stress
- Improve eye/hand coordination
- Develop/rehabilitate fine motor skills
- Team building and group focus
- Anger management
- Addiction therapy tool
- Diet aide
- Early artist development and appreciation
- Increase attention span and ability to concentrate
- Home schooling
- Problem Solving
- Design inspiration
- Stretching and warm-up for artists
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