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One Zentangle a Day

One Zentangle a Day

Titel: One Zentangle a Day
Autoren: Beckah Krahula
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    Origins of Zentangle
    The creators of Zentangle are Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. He is the
and she is the
. Rick has had many diverse vocations, such as cabdriver, high-tech sales and distribution positions, financial analyst, investor, Native American–style flute designer and creator, writer, recording artist, and for many years, monk. Maria is a renowned lettering artist and entrepreneur, owner of Pendragon Ink, a custom stationery and design company based in Massachusetts.
    Zentangle is the combination of Maria’s art background and Rick’s meditation background. While watching Maria work one day, Rick noticed that her state of concentration kept her completely focused on her work. Through discussion they realized what Maria experienced while creating was what Rick experienced while meditating. Together they worked to create a series of steps that allow anyone to achieve a relaxed focus while they create beautiful images using repetitive patterns. By using repetitive patterns with deliberate strokes, one becomes engrossed in each stroke and a shift of focus—i.e., a heightened awareness in which your mind, instincts, and knowledge all work together quickly, effortlessly, and accurately—can occur. They call this a
meditational art form.
    What Rick and Maria call a meditational art form many artists or athletes would describe as
being in
; a Yoga instructor would call this creating a
sacred space
; others would refer to it as having a
relaxed focus
. Not only is Zentangle a way of creating beautiful pieces of art, but it has added benefits to help us through the hectic pace of today’s lifestyle. Studies show that this type of activity increases mental retention, stimulates creativity, improves one’s mood, can be calming during stressful situations, and can be used as a tool for anger management. For individuals who deal with complex information, practicing Zentangle resets the brain—as if you had a nap and woke refreshed. Zentangle teaches self-confidence through creating marks, designs, and freehand drawing and the eye-hand coordination needed for drawing.
    These are quite a number of benefits when you consider a Zentangle takes only thirty minutes a day. In addition, you do not need to know how to draw because Zentangle will teach you. It does not require a lot of equipment, space, or technical ability. It can be brought everywhere and done anywhere, by anyone. No previous artistic ability is needed. Zentangle works for everyone.

    IN 2008, I WAS A TOURING ARTIST scheduled to teach in a different city over forty-seven weeks. The first show of the year, I was teaching at a national wholesale art convention. This show is always nerve-racking because of large class numbers and limited time to get everyone through the project.
    I was limited in movement as I was tethered to the front of the room by a ten-foot microphone cord attached to the wall at one end, the other fed up the back of my jumper and attached at the front. I could barely reach the front row. As I stood, trapped, waiting for the class to start, I noticed Patty Euler, the owner of Queen’s Ink, drawing on her instruction sheet. Her drawing was beautiful, and I told her that I did not know that she could draw so well. She replied, “This is Zentangle. My customers love it.” She gave me a demo and promised to show me more when I came to teach at her store in a few months. The class went well, the rest of the week was very busy, and Zentangle fell to the back of my mind.
    Fast-forward two months later. I woke up in a hospital recovery room. I learned that a life-threatening illness had returned. I put my busy career on hold as I began treatment. As I had been through this illness before, I knew what to expect, and that made my nerves harder to control.
    I lay in the hospital bed attached to tubes that prevented me from moving. Feeling trapped, I remembered the convention, Patty, and her drawing, which I thought would be a great project to keep my hands busy. I wouldn’t need many supplies, and it would work in my limited space. Because the drawings were small, my attention span short, and my movement restricted, it seemed the perfect answer. At first I could not remember the name, but it did not take my friends and family long to retrieve it for me—Zentangle. They printed all they found about it on the Internet and brought it to me with pens and a sketchbook.
    See page 81 for
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