Growing up, I never had a single drawing or sketch turn out the way they were “supposed to” and I always, always got my art teacher into a frenzy because I would always get some technique or other wrong 😛
Deflated, I never really thought of myself as an artist or that I was creative in any way. After years of struggling through the school system failing art, this mindset was rather set in stone until recently.
I discovered, through Swap-bot, the Zentangle method.
Zentangles feature abstract, repetitive patterns to form a work of art. I was motivated to try it out for myself after reading that it was “fail proof” and that imperfections were fine and erasing “mistakes” was discouraged.
I was skeptical at first too, because tangling was claimed to be calming and meditative, but even I could see why from the first few attempts.
I was further lured in by the fact that there are TONS of free material online, shared by a passionate community. Two such great resources that I have found indispensable, is the TanglePatterns website and The Bright Owl (home to the Zendala Dare). The massive compendium of tangles, strings and templates make for endless combinations. No two attempts ever come out the same.
Essentially, all you need to begin is a good ink pen (some people prefer pencil, but with penciling comes the urge to erase every mistake…) and some paper. I basically dug up all my old stationery items and made use of some of the journals that were given to me over the years as gifts. I started out using a regular gel pen but found my old Copics (one of my current copics is from my diploma days!! Which makes it about 14 years old, zomg! And it’s still ‘alive’ XD) and bought a pair of Sakura Microns, the 05 and 01.
I am probably not the first to note that many of these tangles resemble the Asian batik paintings and henna art, but I was surprised at how easily it was to immerse oneself in such a short time, even if one had never tried tangling, batik painting or henna art.
I am going to pause my gushing here and present to you my humble attempts at the Zentangle artform 🙂