Emily Suess

Author. Certified Zentangle Teacher. Brain cancer haver.

My Zentangle Art

Drawing is a beautiful distraction. See my doodle art and learn how to draw Zentangles with me.

My Memoir

Who You Gonna Believe is a webserial memoir better than reality TV. I’m spilling tea for free until May 31!

My Blog

Writing, Zentangling, chemo, insurance, moving, and disability—I blog about it all.

About My Channel

Draw with Me on YouTube

After a brain cancer diagnosis, brain surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, I needed a new hobby to help me relax, avoid existential angst, and flex what was left of my creative muscle. That’s when I found Zentangling. I do my best to post Zentangle videos regularly on my YouTube channel, but sometimes my cat Izzy and chronic illness get in the way.

Videos

Subscribers

patterns

needy cat

YOUTUBE

Zentangle Playlists

Open One Zentangle playlist on YouTube

One Zentangle a Day

Following the Book

My videos aren’t a replacement for Beckah Krahula’s wonderful book, but they do give you a preview of its contents and a place to start. This is how I started Zentangling.

Open 9 Easy Zentangle Patterns  playlist on YouTube

9 Easy Zentangle Patterns

Ongoing Series

In this video series I’m curating easy-to-draw Zentangle pattern sets. The first three pattern sets include organics and botanicals, lines and orbs, and hearts drawn on official Bijou tiles.

Open Tangled Talk playlist on YouTube

Tangled Talk

let’s hang out

Tangled Talk episodes are a tutorial-vlog hybrid where I fill you in on what’s happening with me. WARNING: Personal opinions included.

Who You Gonna Believe Cover

Who You Gonna Believe

WYGB is a monthly webserial memoir supported by Patrons. I didn’t know it at the time, but being married to a compulsive liar for four years taught me a survival skill that would later save my life.

Emily’s Disability GoFundMe

My mom is having her basement updated so that we can live with her and be closer to my brother and sister-in-law. It is exciting, but it is also very expensive because many of the renovations I need will have to be ADA accessible. Please share this fundraiser or consider making a small donation.

RECENT

Blog Posts

Text: Moving Right Along; Image: Cardboard moving boxes and houseplants stacked on an appliance dolly

Moving Right Along

Less than three weeks to the big move, and I have so much to do I can't think straight. So, naturally, I picked today to start making some minor updates to this website. And even more naturally, I found out that somewhere along the way, I totally...
Text: skipping baggage claim; background image: suitcase on on a conveyor at an airport

Skipping Baggage Claim

Barring anything unforeseen, today I had my last appointment with my oncologist here in Urbana. My emotions are mixed. The move is an exciting thing I'm looking forward to. But if you've been reading my blog, you know that I have some medical...
Vestibular Neuritis on background image of a microscopic picture of a neuron

Vesitbular Neuritis and Stuff

I am having a day. Actually, a couple of days. I've been wanting to say I feel like my nerves are inflamed for a while now, but it sounded a little ridiculous to me. So I finally Googled whether or not nerves can be inflamed, and I'll be damned if...
CZT TRAINING DAY 4

CZT Training Day 4

I'm a CZT (certified Zentangle teacher) now! The past four days were harder than four years of college in perceived effort. I'm not complaining---just the opposite. I'm pretty damn proud of myself. Saturday (Day 3) was the hardest day. The second...
CZT training day 3

CZT Training Day 3

Much tired. So weather. Words hurting. Pics only.
POPULAR

Featured Posts

Inktober 2020 Zentangle Tutorials

Inktober 2020 has come and gone, but you can complete my unofficial prompt list at any time and at any pace you like.

100 Things About Me

Many, many years ago the “100 Things About Me” post was was an absolute must for bloggers. I’ve updated mine in case it, like bell bottoms, makes a comeback.

Tangled Talk Video Index

A complete index of my Tangled Talk videos, with detail pages that include human-generated transcripts and a list of the supplies I’ve used in the video.

One Zentangle a Day Video Index

A complete index of my One Zentangle a Day videos, listing the Zentangle patterns covered for each day.

INTERVIEWS

On Living with Chronic Illness

Figuring Out the Future When Illness is Your New Normal (Podcast)

Before anyone knew what was really wrong with me, when doctors had misdiagnosed me with fibromyalgia, I did an interview for WHYY’s The Pulse podcast. In hindsight, I’ve come to loathe the phrase “new normal.”

Brain Cancer Diaries: Jumping Cancer Hurdles with Emily Suess (Video)

Rudy, the host of Brain Cancer Diaries, and I are practically diagnostic twinsies. Both diagnosed with grade 2 astrocytomas, we chat about brain cancer, health care costs, and the vultures of the disability insurance industry.

No End in Sight: Episode 72 - Emily (Podcast)

I had a chance to talk with Brianne Benness for No End in Sight, a podcast on chronic illness. We discussed brain cancer, misdiagnosis, and finding community online with other patients when we don’t fit neatly into diagnostic categories.
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Bankruptcy the Norm for American Cancer Patients (Article)

In an interview with Hub News contributor Laurie Garlington, I discuss my experiences with health and disability insurance in the United States as the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) considers changes to its publicly funded model.

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No Patient Left Behind (Article)

I was interviewed by Jeffrey Billman for a feature on No Patient Left Behind. We discussed how the healthcare system in the United States added an extra layer of financial traumaeven though I was insuredon top of the day-to-day challenges of living a life with brain cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Zentangle?
Zentangle is a method of drawing developed by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. It’s a relaxing and enjoyable kind of art built on learning basic patterns that I find highly therapeutic. I recommend you visit the official site at Zentangle.com to learn more.
Are you a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT)?

Yes! I became a CZT on September 19, 2022. I’m a huge fan of Zentangle who likes to share what I’ve learned and connect with other tanglers.

When were you diagnosed with brain cancer?
I was diagnosed with a diffuse astrocytoma on my brain stem in 2017. That diagnosis came after a years-long struggle with progressive disability. (I was originally misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014.)
What did you do BEFORE?
Before the brain tumor got in the way of everything, I was a professional writer. I wrote technical copy for a software company and had a freelance writing business on the side. I earned a B.A. in English from IUPUI.

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