It all started while browsing the craft books at my local library. Scanning the spines for something new, I noticed the title The Art of Zentangle. Covered in swirling black lines, paisley shapes and circles, the book went immediately to the top of my take-home pile.
After bringing the Art of Zentangle home then began a time that I knew of the word Zentangle® (which, I found out, is a trademarked word and the name of a company) but had no clue what it meant. Before me sat a book inspired by Zentangle art. Ooookay, so what is the original inspiration?! No matter, before I delved deeper into the secrets of the Zentangle world I grabbed sketchbook and pen and let the book inspire some meditative drawings. For as little as I knew, I did gather that drawing using the Zentangle method was about reaching a meditative state through simple pattern creation, also known as making tangles. It was fun taking time out of my day to copy some of the tangle patterns found in the book, in my environment, and in my head.
True to my nature, I wanted more information about the Zentangle method and began to feel as if I was glimpsing merely a pixel of a much larger picture. More books were found and more websites were visited and the world of Zentangle art became clearer.
The Zentangle method of art was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. According to their website zentangle.com, Maria was drawing a pattern and described having, "Feelings of timelessness, freedom and well-being and complete focus on what she was doing with no thought or worry about anything else." Rick informed Maria she was describing meditation and they decided to develop a method of drawing structured patterns as a creative and meditative practice.
According to Rick and Maria, you don't need much to draw a Zentangle. A 3.5" square paper tile on which you tangle, a pencil to draw a string and shade your drawing, a pen to draw tangles and sign your artwork, and some knowledge of different tangles to draw. I started out even simpler by purchasing a small sketchbook and marking off a 3.5" inch square on a page.
After a while I wanted the paper tile experience and bought a kit from the Zentangle website. It came with a stack of paper tiles, pencils, pens, a shading tortillon, a pattern legend, and a 20-sided die to help you figure out which of the patterns on the legend to draw next if you get stumped. I liked the legend and die idea so much, I made a few of my own legends with patterns I enjoy making.
If you want to learn more about the specific process of creating a piece of Zentangle art, you can check out zentangle.com and poke around or just Google the word Zentangle and you'll have no problem finding information--it's quite popular. I've found the website, Tangle Patterns, extremely informative and helpful. I am the Diva is an incredibly popular blog with daily challenges and tons of inspiration and information.
At the moment we only have one title pertaining to Zentangle available at our library. However, if you click here you can get a sneak peek at a whole treasure trove of titles that will be available shortly! You can even place holds on these titles.
If you just can't wait, Link+ has a few offerings to keep you busy:
Kaye & Malia