Locar: Fact or Fantasy?

Frustration with the Zentangle pattern Locar took me to the Internet and YouTube again today. Apparently, I am not the only one frustrated with Locar. And since the “official library” on the official Zentangle site no longer maintains its images there, there is no way to determine which of the sites in Google or Pinterest are the basic pattern and which are embellishments. As you know, I have been following One Zentangle a Day. Two of the three patterns introduced today are more difficult than anything I have tried to date. Although there are tons of postings for most tangle patterns, there are too few postings on the pattern Locar to figure out how it should be  drawn “officially.” The simplest form is easy enough to do, especially following what appears to be the only Locar video on YouTube. The rest appear to be tangleations on the simple pattern. One site, labeled “official,” may or may not be the actual pattern. How is one to know? 

Here is what today’s attempts at three patterns looks like:

Granted, I didn’t use the smoother and finer-nibbled Micron pen in my attempt to draw Yincut, Locar, and Verdigogh; but the fact that there was not enough guidance in the book for the latter two–and that no two posted pictures of Locar look the same–makes me wonder about how “official” any Zentangle pattern is. I am feeling like, since the patterns no longer live on the official site, the original developers (proponents?) of the whole meditative idea of Zentangle have tired of it and given up. Has Zentangling morphed and gone off on its own? Even though there were training seminars scheduled for this month??? 

Here is what the only YouTube video of Locar looks like. Below is a photo of what is in my book. In Pinterest, you can see this page more clearly, as the photo is probably the publisher’s image. 

Even the two views could easily be different patterns, they are so different. The Pinterest picture labeled “official” can be found here, and is probably the right one, with a second pattern echoing off to one side. It is, to me, the nicest version–nicer and easier to step up to than the version in the Z a Day book. 

So what is a novice to do? And which version is a novice to believe? For whatever reason the originators decided to take the patterns off their web site, I hope they are happy that there are all us novices out there who are simply throwing up our hands, saying “This is ridiculous!” And either moving to a book that is much easier to deal with, or giving up on the whole idea of tangling all together.

What I am going to do is use a different series. I had downloaded a three-book series by Olivia Summers from Amazon called Zendoodle: The Mastery Series. (I still haven’t figured out how to copy an Amazon link on my iPad; sorry about that.)  This may not be an “official  book,” but it is simple to follow how to draw the patterns, and doesn’t pretend, as I am learning something new and getting frustrated, that I am meditating. Maybe, too, the founders of Zentangle need to stop pushing the “there are no mistakes in Zentangle” line–of course learners will perceive errors and attempt to correct them. I know several true artists, and they all make and try to correct what they perceive as errors (even when I can’t see anything wrong). For many of us, it is part of our nature to self-critique. If we didn’t, we would never grow. Creativity, including creating tangleations on tangle patterns, means we need a ruler against which to measure our base-line and learning efforts. When no “ideal” is available for us to check against, what is the point, and why pursue a philosophy or named art form? 

Sorry. I have been wondering for days whether Zentangle is a real philosophy of meditation or just a marketing gimmick. I definitely think the pattern Locar is a fantasy, since there appear to be no two “exemplars” of the pattern anywhere. And I do not think it is “unartistic” to expect to see what the basic pattern actually looks like; I don’t see how anyone can judge creativity if no two base-line patterns are the same to begin with–are not “factual” as a base-line. 

Locar has become a fantasy to me. I don’t think anyone knows any more what it is supposed to look like. I also think the whole idea of Zentangle as a form of meditation is a fantasy; either that, or it has morphed into a “non-idealistic” state and out of the developers’ control or original ideas. Maybe the originators have split up and are arguing about who owns which portion of the concept. I don’t know. But I will continue to learn from artists their ideas of doodles–yeah, yeah; tangles–so that I can use or embellish the patterns as I choose while creating art that is meaningful to me. 

Later today, I will decide what Locar is to me, and use it as part of a tile. Right now, because its name sounds so Nordic and Viking-like that the simplest form, as shown in the Locar YouTube video (see link above), is the one I will choose. At least I can draw it without getting frustrated and feeling very un-meditative. 

May all your tangling be bright!

P.S. If the links don’t work, blame it on the iPad, which has its limitations in WordPress and many other sites. Or blame it on my inability to learn simple things. Either way, a good search engine will get you to all the links. 😀


About DrEMiller

Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Home: Sint Maarten. K-12 teacher for 13 years (Special Education for 10 years); Post-secondary educator since 2002; Education consulting since 1995. When teaching, held teaching certificates in K-12 special education, reading specialist; and secondary social studies. Doctorate: Educational Psychology Programmer/analyst for 10 years, including project management and training of corporate execs.
This entry was posted in Art, meditation, Zentangle and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Locar: Fact or Fantasy?

  1. DrEMiller says:

    Hi, Vickie. Thank you for your comments.
    There is no such thing as a “correct” way to draw a pattern, I discovered. It’s all subject to interpretation, and it’s the individual CZT’s interpretation you get on YouTube and in classes. You, in turn, add your own interpretation as you strive to mimic the pattern. But it should be your interpretation, based on your understanding of the stepouts or videos. No two tanglers will ever draw a pattern exactly alike.
    That took me a long time to understand, and it was Maria who cleared it up for me.

  2. Vickie Stamper says:

    The originators of the Zentangle method are so good it truly is a meditation for them. As someone trying to learn new tangles I agree that it is not meditative for me and I get very frustrated when I can’t find a “correct” example of a pattern. Most of the tangles have been created apart from the actual Zentangle organization. And some are so much alike I don’t see the need for 2, such as verdigogh and Locar. I have really thought every word of your post myself in frustration. I think the difference is some of us are actually drawing to see the results (vs. the Zentangle method which is just to draw and be surprised by the result.)

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