Wee Crafty Crow – Adventures In Art

Zentangle Magic Unveiled

A selection of Zentangle tiles drawn by Lisa Crow CZT, owner of Wee Crafty Crow. Lisa is a Certified Zentangle Teacher based in Glasgow.

As a Certified Zentangle® Teacher, I talk aboutZentangle a lot and I’m constantly asked what it actually is. So, what is it?

 

According to the founders, Rick Roberts and MariaThomas, “The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.”

 

While you’re drawing these wonderful patterns, also known as tangles, step by step, it’s a simple, enjoyable way to spend your time.

There are some misconceptions about Zentangle, though. One being that it is just doodling. Nope, it is so much more than that.

While people doodle, they are often doing something else – speaking on the phone or attending a meeting, for example.

 

It is a very mindful activity

When their attention isn’t entirely focused, the doodles are created without much care or attention. With Zentangle, on the other hand, there is very much a practice anda set of steps to follow. Click here for more information on The Zentangle Method. It is a very mindful activity.

 

People are also inclined to think that to do Zentangle you have to be “arty” or “talented”. This is as a result of some of the patterns looking quite intricate and complex.

 

However, if you can hold a pen to write your own name, you can do Zentangle. The patterns are built up drawing dots, lines, curves, s-curves and orbs, all of which are found in the letters i, c, s and o, the elemental strokes. That means it’s accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability.

 

Each tangle is broken down into component parts in a guide known as a step- out. There is no guess work about what your next mark should be or where it willgo, and this takes away from the apprehension some people might feel when considering doing an arty activity.

 

Benefits beyond the artwork

Image of micron pens, a Zentangle tile and a Zentangle booklet and pencil. Displayed on the Lessons page of the Wee Crafty Crow website

While many people enjoy tangling, as the activity is known as, for the fact it is a creative outlet, Zentangle provides benefits beyond the artwork itself. Studies have demonstrated that it decreases stress, alleviates anxiety and enhances overall wellbeing.

 

I discovered Zentangle back in 2017 almost by accident, as a video suggested to me by YouTube after I had been browsing for Spirograph content. I have never looked back since and tangle every single day. I even feel myself starting to unwind just from the simple action of sitting down and picking up my pen. It’s incredible and absolutely no exaggeration to say that it has changed my life – it’s even led to me setting up my own business, which is something I never thought I’d do.

 

Zentangle offers a bit of escape

If you’d like to try it for yourself, the great news is that it’s inexpensive to try out. All you need is a few basic supplies. Paper and a fineliner pen are the most basic tools you need – and you can get by on these alone – though I’d really recommend you also use a pencil and a blending stump for shading as this just brings a whole new dimension to your art and really makes it pop off the page!

 

These days, when we’re so often concerned with Wi-Fi, mobile phones and other modern technology, it can feel like we live chaotically. Zentangle offers a bit of escape from that, something you can do to switch off, reconnect with yourself and explore your creativity.

 

Are you a tangler? Let me know. I’d love to connect with you on social media. If you’re not a tangler already, you might be interested in downloading my eBook. It’s completely free. Want to get started on it right away? Click here to download it.

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