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!
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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See for yourself below and let us know what you think!
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Check out the fantastic gift below, and visit Jenna’s blog to see how she did it!
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