Mona: Did you hear about meditation?
Sona: Who doesn’t know it? It is something I have tried and failed
Mona: Did you hear about doodling? That is the only thing I do in classes.
Sona: How can I not know about it?
Mona: How about combining those both?
Mona: Yeah, you heard it right. It becomes meditative drawing.
Sona: But how does that increase my happiness?
What are zentangles?
Zentangle is the process of creating beautiful art from a repeated structured pattern. It is different from doodling because you have to concentrate only on the drawing and not be doing it while doing some other work. When I initially came across this art, I didn’t know it was named as zentangle. I thought it was just a normal art with patterns. But zentangle has a few standards. Any size of drawing or using any pen or structure is not called a zentangle.
A standard zentangle is done using micron black pen on a standard zentangle tile which measures 8.9cm*8.9cm. The tile paper is royal enough to make you feel the smoothness of the paper that you want to take the drawing seriously.
How is it done?
With a pencil, divide the plane into multiple parts as shown in the figure below. There are no rules on how many parts the paper has to be divided into. Or how big or small the blocks can be created. Just let the hand move and create its own art.
Now you can start filling each part with a different design repeating the design inside the part.
How is it useful?
De-stresses your mind:
When I feel stressed because of a decision I am unable to take or when I am sad, I start doing this. It not only diverts my mind, but also gives an immediate relief.
Improves your sleep:
A relaxed mind sleeps better. Doing this art calms your mind and puts you to sleep.
Increases your creativity:
Since it is about making patterns, after drawing a few standard patterns you will start creating your own patterns. When you see some object, you will start imagining which zentangle design will look good on it.
Improves your hand movement:
When I was a kid, my drawing teacher told me to do free hand drawing to make my hand movement free. I never did that then. Now I understand the use of it.
Teaches you that mistakes done can’t be erased:
Zentangles are drawn with a pen. While filling a pattern, if you make some mistake in the shape you are drawing, it becomes a new shape. Even in life, we make mistakes all the time. And those mistakes can’t be erased. We need to learn to make new opportunities from those mistakes.
Tells you that everything big starts with small steps:
Zentangle is done one stroke at a time. Each block filled with the same pattern. The each sub-element of the pattern might look ordinary. But when put together they look enchanting. Same is life. All we need to do is take one step at a time. All the steps put together makes us achieve our goal which looks beautiful like our piece of zentangle.
How to do it?
Usually, people don’t pursue art because it is expensive. Zentangle is also a little expensive when I checked the prices online. I was not sure if I was ready to spend so much on it. But you can always break the rules to make it feasible for yourself. So I just bought a sketchbook and a few gel pens to have variety instead of the traditional black.
Step1: Get comfortable with holding the pen on the paper. You can create some abstract art on the first page to try the feel of it.
Step 2: Start trying a few zentangle patterns.
Step 3: Fill letters with zentangles.
Step 3: Fill letters with zentangles.
Step 4: Once you feel confident with the drawing, go for colouring the patterns.
Step 5: Move from flat to 3 D
Step 6: Start filling normal sketches with zentangle patterns
Step 7: Try fabric zentangling. You can try this art on a plain handkerchief or T-shirt.
Step 8: You can experiment this on a glass or clay.
“Artists are born and not made”. Prove these people wrong with your art. Just experiment. Discover what suits you and experience the meditative drawing.
Happy zentangling !