Updated on September 26, 2017
Have You Tried the Zen of Zentagle?
We’ve all been loving adult coloring for a long time now, but it is always fun to try something new. If you are looking for a different way to challenge or express your creativity while practicing a therapeutic activity, why don’t you try Zentangle?
What is Zentangle?
Zentangle is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and enjoyable way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.
More precisely, a Zentangle is a type of doodle, but one you create with intention. This doodle is not something you create while talking on the phone, or while distracting yourself in a meeting. Like coloring, you get the best results – both artistically and therapeutically – by giving it your full, undivided attention.
And also like coloring, Zentangle increases focus and creativity, can satisfy your yearning to be artistic and at the same time is an excellent way just to feel good! However, instead of filling in someone else’s images with color, you make the patterns using structured guidelines.
Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas are the founders of the Zentangle Method. It all came about when one day Maria explained to Rick what she experienced as she drew “doodled” on a document she was creating. She described her sense of timelessness, leisure, well-being and focus on what she was doing with no thought or worry about anything else. “You’re describing meditation,” Rick said.
Rick and Maria went on to create the method that has become incredibly popular the world over.
“But I’m not an artist,” you say…
Don’t let the fact that there’s drawing scare you. Zentangles are made up of repetitive patterns and are meant to be abstract. And making them encourages mindfulness, intuitive thinking, and empowerment by proving that you, too, can make something beautiful, just like coloring.
And for people who are afraid of blank pieces of paper – like me – Zentangles are not intimidating: they are usually structured and small, so not overwhelming. Typically, you will make Zentangles on small, blank squares or circles that have guiding lines; you then draw patterns within the spaces.
You are probably already using Zentangle!
Have a look at one of your coloring books full of mandalas or patterns – many of these are full of Zentangle-like creations. Some of my favorites:
|Creative Haven Entangled Coloring Book||ColorIt Relaxing Zentangle Flowers and Patterns||Grown Up Coloring Book: 48 Mandala||Kaleidoscope Wonders|
If you enjoy coloring in these designs, you will probably enjoy creating designs on your own.
How to start
You don’t need a whole new set of supplies to start Zentangle. In fact, to give it a go, start with a simple coloring book, such as Easy Coloring Book For Adults: An Adult Coloring Book of 40 Basic, Simple and Bold Mandalas, Bold and Easy Coloring Pages 1, or Easy Mandalas.
Instead of filling in the spaces in the designs in these with color, create repetitive patterns in the spaces using fine and ultra-fine black and dark grey markers. Here are some ideas for inspiration:
Did you enjoy that? Then you are ready to get Zentangling! You will want learn more and get a few basic supplies:
And check out the full Zentangle story at Zentangle.com
Have you tried Zentangle? Share with us in the comments below what you thought of it, and feel free to share your completed Zentangles – colored-in or not – on our Facebook page!