Last Friday I found myself looking through graphic design books at McNally Robinson (a fantastic Winnipeg bookstore). In this section I came across a few books on the subject of the “Zentangle.” I love the look of art done with pen and ink, so I pulled a 6 week primer off the shelf, and after flipping through it (while sipping my coffee) I unhesitantly wandered to the check out and took it home with me.
It has been a busy few days here, so I have only just begun to enter the world of the Zentangle, but for me it is one of those things where I will not look back.
What is it?
Well, it is a very approachable meditative visual-art exercise. As you can see, each tangle is made on a small square of paper. One draws a “string” which gives boundaries to the tangle and inside the spaces of the sting one puts pen and innk patterns. One can then shade these patterns. The over all effect is a tangled, pen and ink abstract illustration. That is what it is. But what it does, or better yet, why is it, is another thing entirely.
The brain child of a monk and graphic designer, the Zentangle is a way for visual artists to focus. Or another way of thinking about it is as a mindfulness practice for the visual artist. If this in trigues you you can read more about it at the blog of the author of the book I have bought: http://thedailytangler.com/ You can also go to http://www.zentangle.com/ for the site by the original artists.