Latest form of Doodling –  Zentangle.   

I was browsing through Google recently and came across a derivative of simple doodling called Zentangle which is relatively new, but the basic principles involved are as old as the history of art.  Like “doodling” it is based on a human behaviour in which one refrains from planning and allows lines and shapes to unintentionally emerge.  I thought I would try some Zentangle squares and here is the result.


Some of the benefits of doodling and Zentangle are:

It’s Self-Soothing. Repetitive creative work, in and of itself, can be calming and self-soothing just accept the process as one with no expected outcome other than the enjoyment of putting the pen to paper and staying open to whatever emerges.  This  was definitely true, it is very relaxing and allows one mind to travel to other places

Zentangle art only requires a black pen and paper; you can do it just about anywhere.

Make you own your Mistakes. Using a pen on paper requires that you risk making mistakes; in fact, most tangle art has at least some misplaced lines which cannot be erased. Tangling teaches you how to incorporate what seem like “mistakes” into the overall pattern of the design. It’s a great allegory for everyday life—nothing is ever perfect, it is how you adjust to imperfections in life is what really matters.  Adjusting mistakes to fit into the overall scheme was na interesting exercise, and actually was a bit of fun, simply going over and adapting my mistakes.

It encourages Aimlessness.  Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh observes that we need to cultivate aimlessness in life rather than continually striving to be “number one.”  If we simply enjoy the creative process, we can enjoy every single moment of it and that is ultimately what any creative expression offers us. Zentangle teaches us not to rush and to take good care of ourselves in the present moment—after all, the present moment is all there is.

A Zentangle is an abstract drawing created using repetitive patterns according to the trademarked Zentangle Method. True Zentangles are always created on 3.5 inch (8.9 cm) square tiles, and they are always done in black ink on white paper. The invention of the Zentangle® was intended to make the act of drawing pleasurable, meditative and accessible to all.

Try a little Zentangle yourself:

Here are a few characteristics of a Zentangle:

The tile should not have an “up” or a “down” – it is without orientation.

It should not be representative of any certain recognizable object; rather, it should be abstract.

The drawing should be completed in black ink on white paper.

A Zentangle is meant to be portable, so that it can be created at any time the mood strikes.

A Zentangle is timeless. No technology or special tools are used. .

Understand the difference between a Zentangle and a doodle. Many people create doodles – sometimes beautiful ones – in the margins of notebooks and on scrap paper. Doodles are usually created during times when the person making them is having trouble paying attention to something else that’s going on, like a lecture or a phone call. Though the best doodles can look similar to Zentangles, they’re actually very different.

Here’s how:

The Zentangle Method requires utmost focus. Unlike doodling, the person creating a Zentangle is giving it his or her full, undivided attention. A Zentangle cannot be created while on the phone or listening to a lecture, because focus is an inherent part of this art form.

The Zentangle Method is a ceremony, since a Zentangle deserves the artist’s utmost attention. It should be create in a quiet place where focus and reverence can be achieved. The paper and pens used should be of highest quality, since a Zentangle is a work of art that can be enjoyed for a long time to come.

So try a little Zentangle yourself.  I would be interested to see examples of your work. Email them in and I will put them up on my blog for everyone to see.

Learn about the founding artists. The Zentangle Method was invented by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, when they discovered that the act of drawing abstract patterns with the constraint of a few basic rules was extremely meditative. 

Information sourced from Wiki How