Another exotic name in our language. Zentangle is a combination of creative activities and tranquility. Something for the soul, something for the body. What is zentangle and how to start doing it?
The word zen has been around for a long time and is clearly associated with balance, peace and serenity. Literally, zen means sitting quietly, meditation. Tangle is a word derived from English, which can be translated as tangle, disorder, confusion. Zentangle means to draw somewhat chaotic forms in concentration.
Many people have the reflex to grab a pen and more or less involuntarily draw on paper while listening to a lecture, sitting in a meeting at work, or talking on the phone. This practice was the starting point for the developers of the zentangle method. In this technique, there is no rigid framework. The most important thing is to draw!
A pencil and a sheet of paper. This is the absolute minimum, which we must have at hand to start the adventure with zentangle. Optionally, pencil, crayons to fill in the pattern or coloured pencils. We start with an outline. Whether it will be a realistic outline of some shape or figure, or total abstraction depends only on ourselves. When we have the outline ready we start the best fun – filling! The main principle of zentangle is that there are no rules when filling the template. We draw any shapes, stencils and patterns we want. If you don’t have an idea yourself, you can be inspired by works from the internet
Drawing is not a common skill. Many people, despite their creative bent, don’t have the manual skills developed enough to freely draw a stencil of, say, a horse. Zentangle does not require such skills. We can start by drawing on the plan of a square or circle. You do not need great artistic talent to fill the space in the middle, either – just be inspired by the patterns of mandalas, or recall the basic stencils from kindergarten. For more artistically advanced zentangle will be an opportunity to practice shading, drawing precise and complicated patterns. Undoubtedly, everyone will find a place for themselves in this artistic space and will not be bored.
Where is zen in all this? Actually, in every step. The zentangle school talks about taking a moment to practice gratitude before starting to draw. Appreciate the fact that you have a moment to yourself and the objects that make it possible for you to devote yourself to the art of drawing. The drawing itself should be done with concentration, and at the end of the drawing we should take a moment to appreciate the work of our hands. Regardless of whether we approach zentangle with full devotion or it is just entertainment to kill time, it undoubtedly has many advantages. Among them, the most important seems to be the space for relaxation. Stressful conversation on the phone? Drawing a zentangle at the same time will help you get through it more calmly and relieve tension. Need a moment of creative relaxation at home with a mug of hot tea? Why not grab a thin pen and create your own zentangle from scratch.
Zentangle is a very versatile activity, which does not require any resources to start. It can be treated therapeutically – as a higher form of relaxation and meditation, or as creative entertainment. Ideal for children and adults, for the stressed and for the bored. It is worth trying for yourself!