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!

Betty Pepper Proves There Is Life After Death For Damaged Books

By | Arty, Inspired by Literature | No Comments
Meet Betty Pepper, saviour of discarded and damaged books.

Jill Ashton graduated in 2004 from The University of Central England with a First Class BA Hons in Jewellery and Silversmithing. Now, as Betty Pepper the artist based in the South East of England, she spends a lot of time making each unique piece of art and jewellery. Betty’s literary-inspired art is created from silver wire and fabric fragments, and any orphaned books she finds while out on a ‘rummage’. She gives life to old and ruined books once more by fashioning quirky and whimsical pieces from their pages.

Betty’s work is displayed and sold across Europe from Glasgow to Paris, with collections and commissions also available via MadeByHandOnline. The artwork can also be found at worldwide exhibitions- most recently in the UK (Suffolk, and Leeds) and Munich, Germany. 

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Study Suggests Adult Colouring Books May Improve Mental Health

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Colouring books for adults have become hugely popular of late and many adults have been sharpening their colouring pencils and doing their best to stay within the lines. Not only is colouring a relaxing way to pass the time, a recent study from New Zealand has found that colouring could help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Psychology researchers from the University of Otago, New Zealand have found that doing some colouring-in for as little as ten minutes a day can see a notable increase in an individual’s mental health. The study was published in the Creativity Research Journal and has shown that a bit of colouring-in can be a cheap but effective way to help boost one’s mental health. Read More

If Fiction Genres Had Physical Forms…

By | Arty, Inspired by Literature | No Comments
Our imaginations were sparked off by a recent meme describing a book as “A movie on paper that plays pictures in your head”. We decided to come up with a selection of physical descriptions of fiction genres.

Just imagine your favourite genre was created in the world it describes… What would it look like? What would it be made out of, and who or what created it? What ingredients would make up the ink, paper, and binding? Each fiction genre contains a variety of elements that could create a unique book… See what we came up with below and let us know if you have any more ideas!

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How To Make The Most Of Unloved Cookery Books

By | Arty, Inspired by Literature | No Comments
Nearly everyone has them: those cookery books that never get used. Sometimes we receive a recipe book from a well-meaning relative, or purchase one because our Great British Bake-Off obsession got the better of us… However those poor lost books usually get one flick through, some empty promises of bakes-to-come, and then nothing but dust and grease from sitting on a kitchen shelf.

The clever people at Tastemade have come up with a video how-to to show us the best way to utilise those cookery books we always meant to use. I am on the fence about this idea- it seems clever enough but… I am not sure.

See for yourself below and let us know what you think!

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Check Out This Harry Potter Monopoly Board!

By | Arty, Inspired by Literature | No Comments
Jenna, a blogger for Bored Panda and now the creator of Harry Potter Monopoly, is probably one of the best friends a person can have.

When her Potterhead friend lamented about the lack of Harry Potter Monopoly Board, Jenna decided to take it upon herself to create one. In addiction to a brilliant, creative mind the project took over 80 hours of work. In her blog Jenna takes us through each step of the process from creating the board layout to spray painting Disney pieces for the hotels and houses.  Since she wanted an authentic Potter look, she used Knuts, Sickles, and Galleons instead of Monopoly money. Inspired! It is such a wonderful idea, and would prove to be so popular due to Pottermania that Monopoly would be mad not to jump on board!

Check out the fantastic gift below, and visit Jenna’s blog to see how she did it!

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Talented Artist Takes Classic Book Quotes and Turns Them into Beautiful Posters

By | Arty, Inspired by Literature, Quotations | No Comments

Stunning Posters are Available to Buy too!

Are you looking for some awesome literary themed posters to liven up your home? Maybe there’s a special bibliophile in your life who has a birthday coming up? Either way, check out these gorgeous posters created by Wisdom Supply Co, which take quotes from classic literature such as Moby Dick and Frankenstein and puts them with fantastic artwork in the form of a poster that will look great on your wall. Read More

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