When I first saw the book about Zentangle, I thought it is a common book for how to draw pictures. So I asked the publisher, “This is a book for drawing pictures, right? Tracing the lines or something? Do you need special tools?” Their reply was surprising for me. “No, it’s not! Don’t you know Zentangle?!” So I replied “No, never heard of it.” They seem to be surprised with my reply. Zentangle is so famous and popular things in US that they thought I knew for of course. But no one knew the word “Zentangle” in Japan at that time. They explained what the Zentangle is, and I became so excited. This is so fun! I should let Japanese people know about Zentangle! This sure will become very popular in Japan!
Just follow the few simple steps and you will be amazed by the finished project. Am I getting good at art??
You don’t need anything special to create Zentangle. Just need a black pen, a white paper, and a pencil. So anyone can start Zentangle casually and can start anywhere wherever you want. It looks very complicated and difficult, but it is just combining the patterns as a matter of fact. You can draw very beautiful Zentangle by just following the process of Zentangle methods in the book. It is easier than you can imagine. Even I now can draw Zentangle, although I have no talent for drawings. I also like the phrase that Zentangle is saying: “There is no right or wrong.” This makes me feel better.
Zentangle method is created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Rick used to be a monk and he was practicing meditation and other spiritual exercises. Maria was working as a botanical art illustrator and a lettering artist. When Maria was creating repetitive strokes inside a letter, Rick noticed that she was focusing on what she was doing and forgot about herself. This is how Zentangle came into the world. I skipped the detail, but please read a book or visit Zentangle, Inc. for more information.
Zentangle is said that it has a great effect to reduce stress and increase creativity, so that it is now on the work to use at hospital. It seems very strange for people who don’t know about Zentangle, but I was feeling the same thing with Maria when I was tangling Zentangle. I was concentrating so much on tangling, and the time has passed before I knew. When I finished tangling, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I think you’ll know about this phenomenon soon after you start tangling, and will also know it’s not surprising to use at hospitals as a part of therapy.
The word “Zen”, we write “禅” in Chinese characters and also pronounce “Zen” in Japan. Semantically, meditation method of Yoga in ancient India, a part of mental concentration of it was taken in into Buddhism, more cultivated in China and Japan after that, and expanded as an original thought. So I’m glad to know as a Japanese that our word “Zen” is used in the name although Zentangle was invented in US.
The book is so easy to understand, 167 patterns are introduced in this book.
Just combining the patterns will make the Zentangle very beautiful, so you might feel you’ve mastered Zentangle so easily.
However, there is more to learn and know about Zentangle: there are classes held by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas several times in a year at Rhode Island, US; you can say you’ve mastered Zentangle only after you took the course. They will give you a license called CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher), and then you can teach Zentangle to others officially. Now there are more than 500 CZTs in the world, so of course you can contact them and take a class from those. If you want to know more about Zentangle or if you want to be CZT, please visit Zentangle, Inc. for more information.
Here are beautiful Zentangle artworks tangled by CZTs.
Here is a movie from Susan McNeil, one of the authors of “joy of zentangle”.
I hope Zentangle will be known to your countries as well.
Posted by Yoh on November 28, 2013