Adult colouring books were so last year! Okay, that’s a lie, in fact, I bought a new one last week, and I’m already half way through it. However, if colouring in someone else’s creation doesn’t float your ‘time-out’ boat, then may I suggest Zentangle?
Zen-what I hear you say. Stick with me, and I’ll reveal all. Over on my Motivational Blog, I dedicated an entire month to getting crafty. The posts were very popular, but my Art Attack post on Zentangles received the most hits. You can read it HERE.
The thing I love the most about Zentangling is the sheer lack of artistic skill required to enjoy this meditative tool. In the simplest terms, it’s doodling! We all love a good doodle, in fact, hands up who hasn’t got a smiley face, star, love heart, or row of eyes on the bottom of their current project, to-do list, or message pad!
I remember doodling on the inside cover of my maths book when I was at school. In hindsight, I probably should have been listening to my teacher more but hey, who needs maths these days, right!!
You may be wondering why you should bother with such a crafty task in your precious free time, well I’m glad you asked. As a writer, I find it imperative to my creative well, sanity, and emotional balance, to allow myself some meditative time. Meditation is a favourite habit of mine, but this normally involves soft music, a few candles, and having the lights dimmed. But what if I need to chill out, or access my inner creative, when my usual meditation techniques aren’t appropriate? This is where the doodles come in handy.
Any writer worth their weight in words will carry a notepad. We pour our ideas onto the pages, or overhead conversations, and plot twists, so why not also use a few pages to calm the mind, and ground yourself?
Still with me? Then allow me to explain what Zentangling is.
It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Maria was working on background patterns for a manuscript and mentioned to Rick what a feel-good experience it was and how she was able to focus without thought or worry as she worked. Rick realised she was describing the feeling you achieve during meditation. They put their heads together and hey presto!
For me, Zentangling has helped me overcome a few sleepless nights as well as learn to live more in the moment. It’s a fun, and beneficial way to spend half an hour in the evening. Once you get the hang of it, you could dedicate more time at the weekend and incorporate it into a project for your home or office.
How do you start?
- Tangles can be drawn on anything, but traditionally they are drawn on tiles (3 1/2” x 3 ½” smooth art paper square).
- Draw a dot in each corner with a pencil.
- Join the dots, don’t worry if your line is wobbly as this adds to the uniqueness.
- Draw a zigzag, a loop, or a swirl across the centre (see image).
- Using a fine liner pen (Micron are recommended) draw tangle patterns in each section. Be as creative with your doodles as you want.
- Simple as that!
I’ve tangled most things in my house, as you can see from the image. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable craft to try in your free time. I’ve also created a Tasty Tangles board on my Pinterest account which is where I save my favourite tangles, you can check it out HERE.
Have a go and let me know how you get on. If you want to learn more about Zentangling, visit Rick and Maria’s website.
N.B.: ‘Zentangle’, the red square, and ‘Anything is possible, one stroke at a time’ are registered trademarks of Zentangle Inc.