Some of you may have seen or heard about this type of art. I would simply define zentangle as mixing and repeating patterns on any media. I can proudly say that I’m one of those many people who do zentangle a lot! I’ve done dozens of zen-arts since 2014, you could check them on my Instagram (it’s currently deactivated, but you could always check it later if you want!). Now let’s talk further about it, get your pens ready!
What is Zentangle?
I quoted some lines from zentangle.com:
Zentangle is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.
Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. Zentangle is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.
As far as I know, zentangle has become a thing in some fields, like stress reduction, education, therapy, and even motivational training. I started doing zentangle when I tried to seek self-relaxation; I came across an article about art-therapy, then one article led to another and I found out about this. I tried it once, twice, until I became addicted.
How to do it?
There are a lot of books that can help you to get started, by showing some designs as examples and numerous patterns to practice. Or you can just simply google it and I’m sure you will easily find step-by-step instructions and inspirations for your own zentangle! A lot of artists share their works too; they’re my inspirations and a motivation to get better, by thinking “I want to be as good as them” 😀
(Maybe it will be fun to share my favorite patterns and my inspirations on my next posts, will link it here if I do!)
For the materials, basically, you can use any media like pen or pencil or whatever you like, but most people use fineliners or drawing pens (my favorites are Sharpie, Snowman, or Sakura Microns). For a start, you can learn drawing some patterns, like ANY patterns. I’ll tell you one thing: don’t hesitate, just draw!
Note: I don’t have a clear image of the finished version of my drawings when I start a piece. I don’t sketch, so I can’t never figure out how my works will turn out until it’s done. I just draw one part at a time until I fulfilled one full page.
What benefits can I get?
Believe me, there are a lot of positive things you will get by zentangling. Let me list what I feel after years doing it:
- It’s relaxing and it’s a way to relieve stress. No doubt.
- It’s simple. You can do it anywhere and anytime, it only requires you a pen and a paper.
- It leads you to endless creativity. You can make hundreds of zen-arts by simply mixing and repeating a few patterns.
- It improves your fine-motor skills. My hands are shaky and not steady at all but it’s not an excuse. Trust me, it helps me a lot with my tremor.
- It makes me feel good about myself. I feel greatly satisfied after I finished a piece, I just can’t get enough of that feeling.
- I feel pleased when people enjoy my works as much as I do. (Yes, I do share my artworks on Instagram, and TRUST ME I’M NOT FLEXING.)
As for me, zentangle is a form of mindfulness and aimlessness. Zentangle teaches me not to rush and to take good care of ourselves in the present moment. I love doing zentangles and I hope more people do too!
So what are you waiting for? Get a paper and a pen, start now! 😀
(This post is a modified version of my writing years ago. It feels great to rewrite this again.)