Have you heard of Zentangle? Do you know what it is? I bet if I showed you a picture you’d find it familiar. Here’s my most recent finished piece:
Isn’t it pretty? Zentangle is essentially doodling.
A few weeks ago my good friend Katherine posted this picture on Facebook:
She’d gotten a book for her birthday, and thus began her doodling. She posted picture after picture and each one got more intrigued. Not only is it very pretty, but it reminded me a little of the doodling I used to do way back when.
But there was obviously a different, so I googled it. I ended up on Zentangle.com, where I discovered that Zentangle, and it’s particular method, is actually copyrighted.
To do a “proper” Zentangle, it needs to be done in black and white, on a 3.5″ square tile, in tangles (patterns) that have no more than 1 or 2 strokes, and that don’t represent anything. You begin with four dots just inside the corners of your tile, you connect them to create a border, then you fill that border with your string. Your string is a faint pencil outline that you’ll fill in with different tangles. A true Zentangle doesn’t represent anything, or appear to be anything. It’s supposed to be ritualistic, and repetitive, and soothing. And it can be. But you don’t necessarily have to do a “proper” Zentangle.
All over the internet there are people doing ZIA – Zentangle Inspired Artwork. And most of what I do is officially ZIA. But it’s easier to call it Zentangle. As long as I don’t try and claim money from it, I think that’s okay.
As for the tangles themselves, there are hundreds and hundreds of them on the internet. Over 100 official ones from Rick and Maria – the Zentangle.com people, and loads more from people who just create them. I *think* I’ve created one, I just need to double check – so I’ll get back to you on that.
But I’m loving the artform. I do them in a small passport sized notebook, in a 5″ square notebook, in a big A4 sketchbook, on blank greetings cards, in teeny tiny notebooks, and most recently I’ve started one on a big piece of cardboard that was in the packet with a calendar I got for Christmas.
Aside from investing in a few decent pens, it’s the cheapest hobby I’ve ever had. And I do get a nice zen aspect from it. I find a lot of fun from researching the different tangles and learning the names – I even have little reference books I’m keeping my favourite tangles in.
There is some New Year’s news coming up about Zentangles, so keep your eyes peeled for a new post about that. In the meantime, here are some of my favourite ZIA pieces.
And some little pieces, from when I was practicing different tangles.