My first Zentangle.
I have always been a "doodler". I doodle when I'm on the phone, in meetings, in the waiting room at the doctor's office..pretty much anytime there's a pen in my hand and something to write on. I sometimes even doodle while I'm watching t.v. Seems my hands always have to be busy doing something creative. When I was in high school, doodling during a lecture helped me to keep my mind from wandering and also kept me from getting bored or zoning out.
So what is Zentangle? Zentangle is really just a fancy, contained doodle. This fun art form is a method to make beautiful images using repetitive patterns. It's easy to learn, simple, relaxing, and very addicting!! I often make Zentangles when I don't have the time or the resources to paint. All you need is a pen (I use a Uniball Vision Elite black gel pen, but any fine point gel pen or marker will work nicely) and a piece of paper.
After doing a little research, I learned that the reason daydreaming is so distracting is that it requires a lot of the brain's processing power. Studies have shown that doodling requires very little thinking, but uses just enough cognitive effort to keep your mind focused and keep it from daydreaming, but not so much that you can't pay attention, during a meeting for example.
The art of Zentangle has been described as deeply relaxing, and even meditative, and I must say I was surprised at how completely relaxed and calm I was after working on my first Zentangle. From that point on I was hooked and I just can't get enough of it!
Zentangle in progress.
Zentangles can be incorporated into your artwork, or your art journal pages, but after doing a couple of them, I decided to make a separate art journal just for my Zentangles. To learn more you can visit the Zentangle website at