Zentangle Your Life, Readers

By April 12, 2017Arty

All of us- students, teachers, readers, writers, artists have one important thing in common- the need to focus. Today, it seems difficult to calm the nerves when we are bogged down under piles of reading, deadlines to meet, or examination pressure. And let’s not even mention the lack of time and enthusiasm for any leisurely creative activity.

One can meditate, but it does not seem to be everybody’s cup of tea. You can sing or dance, but may be you have two left feet. You might want to take up a sport or painting or a musical instrument but that requires quite a bit of financial investment.

So is there any activity that can help us focus as well as relax while stimulating our creative cells at the same time?

There is indeed.

Take a dive into Zentangle Art. Sounds like some sort of new yoga, right? It isn’t.

Zentangle is a self-help art therapy practice to enhance relaxation and focus. Developed by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, Zentangle is an art where you create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. In the simplest terms, a Zentangle is a structured, contained doodle. Doodling is definitely not new to us readers and writers, is it? Well, now all we need to do is doodle certain patterns with black pen on a 3.5 inch square paper tile. The paper is called a tile because completed tiles can be arranged together in a beautiful mosaic.

Rulers, straight edges, or other mechanical aids are not used in Zentangle. It’s just you and your pen. But in Zentangle, you don’t doodle aimlessly. There is a foundation and a process.

Zentangle itself may be relatively new, but the basic principles involved are as old as the history of art. It includes ritual and mirrors the symbols, designs and patterns of numerous cultures from ancient through present times. A Zentangle is not intended to be a representation of something. Both, the tangles used, and the resulting completed tile are intended to be unplanned, abstract, non-objective creations that grow organically as you make each deliberate stroke.
The core concept in this is to use a ‘string’ which defines an area. This is generally done in pencil. Then, that area is filled in with repetitive patterns chosen from an existing list of patterns called ‘tangles’.

So why begin Zentangling?

Proponents of this method note that it has multiple benefits apart from helping you relax and increasing focus.

First, one need not be a born artist to be able to create these patterns. A Zentangle is not a picture of something, so don’t worry even if you can’t draw a face, or a cat. You will always succeed in creating a Zentangle.

Secondly, the no investment needed concept is encouraging. You would not need to spend on any sophisticated instruments for Zentangling. A paper and pen will do just fine. But if you are really into it, you may buy the Zentangle kit that will provide you the appropriate pens and the required sized paper.
The creativity options and pattern combinations are boundless. And the best part- A Zentangle has no up or down. It can be created as well as appreciated in any direction.

It is timeless. Creating designs, manipulating symbols and putting pen to paper is part of our human heritage. In a time of keyboards and cell phones, the simple strokes that are part of the Zentangle method automatically engage you in a comfort and familiarity of timeless, basic creativity.
It is a portable art form. Everything you need to create beautiful Zentangle art can fit in your pocket. This easy to learn method of relaxed focus can be done almost anywhere.

It is said that Zentangling before bed results in better sleep. People having a fear of flying can indulge in this art before or after take-off to reduce panic attacks. It improves hand-eye coordination and can also be used as an addiction therapy tool.

Zentangling aids concentration and increases attention span. This is highly beneficial, especially among children. And as kids love to sketch, getting them hooked to Zentangling may not be too tough a task.

So it’s time for Zentangle art frames, tshirts and whatever else you would love to incorporate this beautiful form into.

Zentangle is the way to go!

Stephen King’s Stranger Love Songs by Artist Butcher Billy

By | Arty, Culture | No Comments
Sometimes in life you stumble upon something that makes you want to cry with the utter genius of it.

This is one of those times.

Butcher Billy is a designer and illustrator from Brazil, with a penchant for bold and expressive mash-ups of musical artists and literature… Just take a look at his Stephen King collection below!

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Eerie Book Cover Artwork by John Holmes

By | Arty, Literature | No Comments
British artist John Holmes was born in London where he lived all his life except for time he spent in the Royal Air Force. In 1965 John saw a notice about further education for working men which, supported by a bursary from Royal Society of Arts, led him to gain a place at the London College of Printing. His work was at first abstract and he gained an exhibition place at the Raille Gallery; later, possibly inspired by an accident involving his daughter where she was badly scalded, his work involved more figurative shapes and images. It was at this point he was commissioned to produce art for album covers, book covers, and illustrations for various publications. The 1970s saw him produce some of his most famous works for the literary scene: Germaine Greer absolutely loved his artwork for The Female Eunuch, and his styling certainly fit well with the horror and disturbing imagination of H.P. Lovecraft, and Fontana’s Horror Series.

We collated a selection of our favourite covers from this period… But beware, they are rather disturbing for sensitive souls… Don’t get nightmares…

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Simon Callow Reads from The Canterbury Tales

By | Arty, Video | No Comments
Simon Callow is best known as an actor, on screen and in theatres; many of you will recognise him from his role as Charles Dickens in Doctor Who (2005 and 2011), or as the voice of Grasshopper in the 1996 film adaptation of James and the Giant Peach.

I adore his silky smooth voice, and wonderfully English manner, so I was thrilled when I came across his reading of an excerpt of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

The Folio Society provides such lusciously illustrated versions of popular books: The Canterbury Tales was wonderfully crafted by illustrator Eric Gill, and boasts many sumptuous designs to feast our eyes upon. The price tag is quite steep at nearly £400, but other versions are available (see links under the video).

We can see the stunning, unique collector’s edition, read by Simon Callow, in the video below.

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Zentangle Your Life, Readers

By | Arty | No Comments
All of us- students, teachers, readers, writers, artists have one important thing in common- the need to focus. Today, it seems difficult to calm the nerves when we are bogged down under piles of reading, deadlines to meet, or examination pressure. And let’s not even mention the lack of time and enthusiasm for any leisurely creative activity.

One can meditate, but it does not seem to be everybody’s cup of tea. You can sing or dance, but may be you have two left feet. You might want to take up a sport or painting or a musical instrument but that requires quite a bit of financial investment. Read More

Make Your Own Gifts for Book Lovers

By | Arty, Video | No Comments
If you love reading, and you love being a bit crafty then making your own bookish goodies and gifts can be fun and rewarding. Hand made gifts are always treasured, add in a literary twist and what more could you want?

This selection of little gits and arts you can make yourself is lovely. It was originally uploaded for Christmas but with Easter on the way, some of these are pretty simple and effective, particularly if you’re giving books for gifts too! Read More



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