Some of you have been following this blog for reasons other than blogging. Some of you seem to enjoy the posts involving the art and meditation (and sometimes critique) of Zentangle®. For the tanglers among you, I would like to direct you to my new Zentangle Only blog site called TangleSXM. I will continue to occasionally blog on the similarities of tangling and the writing process, but blogs strictly Zentangle will no longer be posted here. This site, as the name implies, is about moving through the process of writing. TangleSXM, on the otherhad, is devoted solely to moving through the meditative art and developmental process of the Zentangle Method®.
Not for the first time, I am drawn to the growth processes involved in both writing and tangling. In both processes, the more we practice our art, the more we self-evaluate and adapt our work, the more we experiment, the more we allow others to express their thoughts on our work and ever-changing style…well, as we do these, we grow closer to becoming master artists of our chosen form, and to finding our true expressive voice.
Neither writing nor Zentangles can be produced in a vacuum, solely for the purpose of our own entertainment or our hoarding of self. Few of us want to keep our work to ourselves, as we enjoy sharing pieces of our expressions regarding how we perceive the world around us. Each of us knows that there are people out there who are waiting to tear our views apart. But we also know that their numbers are far, far fewer than those who share our vision, or who enjoy our expressions, or who truly value our expressions. It is for the greater numbers–even if these include individuals who are neutral or indifferent to our mode of expression (after all, they may still be listening, observing)–that we continue our art, even if we swear that we write or draw for ourselves.
Art, whether written or visual expression, is never static. The more we learn, the more experiences we weave into our work; the more we grow; and the stronger our self-expression becomes. For whatever reason you write, for whatever reason you draw or tangle, part of continuing is for the sheer joy of sharing your thinking, your very essence, your soul. These elements of ourselves also change over time, and for the same reasons: we experience, we learn, we absorb and incorporate, we grow, we develop and change in small ways and large. As artists, we are continually in the process of Becoming. We stop Becoming only when we cease to be. Or maybe not… perhaps our spirits continue Becoming…But that’s too metaphysical for me.
Please visit my blog at TangleSXM.com, as I prepare for spreading Zentangle® and the Zentangle Method® to the tiny island of St. Martin on the outskirts of the Caribbean Sea. In April, I will attend a Zentangle Seminar to prepare to be a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT)®, the first on the island. I want to spread the meditative aspect of art through drawing, especially to those who are convinced they have no artistic ability. Hey, I have no inate artistic talents, yet even I can produce tiny masterpieces. To produce a small and unique piece of art when one is convinced s/he has no talent at all– well, there are few personal experiences that can bring on such pride in accomplishment and feelings of self worth.
That this unique art form is both meditative and creative, and that it can be accomplished virtually anywhere and at any time (because of the small size of very few materials leading to exceptional portability) makes Zentangling the method of choice for millions of individuals around the world. (All Zentangle materials–artist tile or notebook, pencil, Micron® pen, perhaps a small tortillion/blending stick–easily fit into a small purse or pocket. I keep my “portable kit” in a Ziplock® sandwich baggie.) To produce something in the grocery check-out lane that reduces the boredom and anxiety of waiting in line, to whip out pencil and small “canvas” while waiting for a waiter to bring a meal order (and yes, you can tangle on a cocktail napkin or beverage coaster if you like), to have something productive to do while waiting for sleepiness to engulf us, to have the ability to draw something to calm us after a trying experience–these and more are the “why’s” of pursuing the art of Zentangle®. But they are merely “starter reasons.” From these humble and personally calming intentions can develop a confidence in artistic ability that grows and changes us–that helps us Become.
Even as I wrote the paragraph above, I couldn’t help thinking about how many of us write for the same reasons and, at times, under similar circumstances. I will mediate on how many expressive arts–crafts included–derive from the same needs and desires.
Until next time, Write On! And Happy Tangling!