“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”
~ Erich Fromm

Last week, Eric and I went to Sedona for another 4 day getaway. We brought tons of art supplies with us and let our creative juices flow while we were there. I decided to do some watercolor painting and E painted his miniatures for a game called Warhammer.

When we got back on Monday, my creative bug was still going wild and that’s when I started looking into the Zentangle Method. E and I had seen a book about it a few weeks ago and I thought it looked really cool, but then I figured it was too complicated and that I wouldn’t be able to do it.

I’m happy to say that I didn’t stay buried beneath that insecurity/limiting belief, and this week I’ve spent some time learning about and practicing the Zentangle method! As I started to create, I noticed the little voice in my head telling me “that looks like something a child could do” or “can’t you draw a straight line?” and my favorite, “you still can’t color between the lines.”

Here is what I know for sure: I stopped drawing/sketching/doodling/whatever-you-want-to-call-it a long time ago because I would spend more time judging my work than creating it…it just wasn’t fun for me. Now that I’m finally heeding my desire to create art with my hands, I’m accepting my skills exactly where they are, and am continuing to learn with an open mind so I can improve my techniques at my own pace.

On the website, you can read about the various benefits of tangling – that’s the verb form of the Zentangle method. 😉 At first, I honestly thought it was silly that this method of creating art has turned into such a serious art form — you can train to become a CZT [Certified Zentangle Teacher]. O_O Ok, well I still think that’s funny, but who knows? Maybe I’ll become one. 🙂 Here are my favorite elements of the method, so far, taken directly from the website:

Deliberate Stroke: In our Zentangle way, you draw each stroke consciously and deliberately. We are always making “strokes” (thoughts, words, deeds) in our life. By practicing the Zentangle Method’s suggestion to make each stroke deliberate, you understand how those apparently small and insignificant “strokes” of our moment to moment lives contribute to an overall life pattern. This is another reason that we say that life is an artform and everyone is an artist. Indeed, everyone draws.

Deliberate Focus: As you make a deliberate pen stroke on your Zentangle tile without concerning yourself of what it will look like when you are done, that very act of putting your pen to paper focuses your attention in a special way. As your eye follows your pen strokes your attention shifts to a state that allows fresh thoughts, new perspectives, and creative insights to flow unhindered by anxiety or effort.

No Eraser: There is no eraser in life and there is no eraser in a Zentangle Kit. However, in creating Zentangle art (and in living life), you will discover that apparent mistakes can be foundations for new patterns and take you in unexpected and exciting new directions.

Inspirational: The Zentangle Method’s non-verbal language of patterns and proportions can open doors to insights which seemed locked before. Creating in a Zentangle way opens those doors, not because they were locked, but because those doors swing on non-verbal hinges. When you create in a Zentangle way you can enter a state of relaxed focus in which intuitive insights flow freely. Get inspirations, ideas and answers unhindered by expectations or worries.

So here I am, 28 years old and learning how to draw! Jumping headlong into what have become very uncomfortable waters for me…and I’m learning how to swim. 🙂

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve been working on:

x Nicole


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