What is Zentangle?

Zentangle is so many things to many people.  To me, it’s a way to relax while doing something creative.  There are so many benefits, including better hand-eye coordination, stress relief, creativity, trying something new.

But I can’t draw!

Neither can I.. well, I couldn’t when I started.  Many people are drawn (pun intended!) to Zentangle who have no art background at all!  If you can draw a C curve, an S curve, a dot, an O, a straight-ish line, then you can tangle.  The tangle patterns are broken down into easy-to-follow steps.  It really is a meditational art-form many people find fun, relaxing and easy to do.

Here is a video of me doing what looks like a complex tangle:  Paradox!

Why was Zentangle so appealing to me? Because..

Zentangle made it easy for me to try art. Being from an IT background, I never thought I could draw.  It’s pretty common for people who have never had any art experience to feel this way.  The Zentangle method made it simple for me to follow easy steps, without any pressure on what the end result would look like.  And totally unintentionally, my art skills have improved.

Unlike doodling, Zentangle is based on being mindful.  When following the Zentangle method, each pen-stroke is deliberate and mindfully drawn, without any expectations of the outcome or planning the next stroke.  Zentangle really brought me back to the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class I took, and is another way to help cultivate my Zen.

Where did Zentangle come from?

The story of Zentangle is cool.  Maria Thomas is a life-long calligrapher and artist, and Rick Roberts has done many cool things in his life, including being a Buddhist monk.  They realized one day that Maria’s drawing put her into what Rick recognized as a state of meditation.  Together they created a way to make art relaxing, enjoyable and accessible to almost everyone, no matter skill level level.  To learn about Zentangle, visit Zentangle.com.


Please note that all mentions of Zentangle, the Zentangle Method etc trademarks of Rick Roberts, Maria Thomas and/or Zentangle Inc.