I can’t even really remember how I came across the concept of Zentangle online. But it was only 2 days ago and already I have a notebook full of about 6 zengtangle doodles! If you don’t know what it is- Zentangle is a very specific form of doodling illustration. It has set rules and a series of official patterns that mean that anyone and i mean ANYONE can produce the most beautiful abstract pattern illustrations in no time at all. The idea behind it is that it is form of meditation and my word does it suck you in and become seriously addictive! The official site for it and info is here: https://www.zentangle.com I’m actually a pretty creative person at heart. But i’m also a creative person without much in the way of artistic tallent. So Zentangle is just perfect for me.
Kudos to the creators of this for finding a way to market doodling as there is all manner of official books, pens and cardstock you can buy from them. And they actually make it a core part of the ‘zen’ side of the meditative philosophy to use only ‘quality items’. There is no reason though you couldn’t do this with just a piece of scrap pattern and a sharpie. I personally dug around my house and found a notebook with blank pages i’d been given as a gift many years ago and use an Artline fineline pen from from the grocery store. A pencil is also useful for shading which adds perspective. As for an alternative to buying the books or paying to attend a class (which i’m sure would actually be a pretty amazing experience if you can go to one), is to go online to learn the patterns. http://tanglepatterns.com is a great resource for this. And i’m getting the books for free through the library but even without that them there is plenty enough inspiration and pattern tutorials online. Even just do a google image search or instagram search of zentangle and you will bring up such an amazing collection of inspirational artwork.
There is one possible downside to getting into zentangle however. It is so very very addictive and will also completely change the way you see the world around you. Now i can’t go anywhere without noticing the patterns in the sidewalk or in the leaves of trees etc. It now feels like we are completely living in a zentangle! I also constantly want a fix, be it learning new patterns and adding to my sample collection that i’ve started at the back of my note book or doing entire zentangles themselves. I’m personally planning to do one a day for the meditative aspect of it, but it is difficult i find to stop at that. And it is not as though I actually have time to do more than that either, especially as a busy mum trying also to do study, have a social life, look after the housework and run a youtube channel. But like many addicts I have been known to ignore other more pressing tasks to get my next fix!
Anyway here is a few of my first attempts. If you are looking for an affordable activity that is very fulfilling and fun, then this might be something for you!