Addressing Zentangle Criticism

I’ve come across a fair amount of Zentangle criticism since I started tangling, and I’d like to address some of it.

Bold Zentangle featuring drama tangles on s Zentangle string created by HQ for CZT training

Sometimes people who’d like to give it a try are discouraged from exploration when they see others’ misgivings. I’m compelled to offer my perspective and a few rebuttals in the event anyone cares what I think.

Some people genuinely don’t like Zentangle, and that’s absolutely fair. If everyone liked the same things, what would even be the point? I’ve not met every CZT on the planet, but the ones I do know are perfectly fine not force-feeding people patterns and making everyone draw.

Different strokes (pun intended) and all.

Zentangle Patterns are just things I doodled in high school.

Yes, that is almost entirely the point. If Zentangle Patterns were overly complicated people might give up, the practice wouldn’t be enjoyable, and CZTs would throw up their hands in exasperation and be like, “Screw this. I’m out.”

Those who want a Lamborghini don’t tend to find them at Ford dealerships. People who want an advanced art class will probably have to look elsewhere.

Zentangle is accessible for kids, adults, and seniors. Heck maybe your cat can do it too. Enjoy Zentangle. Or don’t. It’s your decision, and we all want you to find something you enjoy (if for no reason than you might be distracted and leave us alone.)

Zentangle Pattern Molygon from CZT training day 3

I don’t like that CZT.

When I first started making YouTube videos, I criticized Trump and got blowback from a Trumper in the comments. A few people also leave cranky-pants feedback because I don’t make content tailored specifically to their preferences, without knowing at all how hard it is for me to make a video while simultaneously drawing and brain tumoring.

Seriously. Internet strangers have had problems with me since 1995, and I don’t anticipate that changing. Ever.

But however personable I am (or am not) and whatever my politics, I want everyone to know loathing me is not a sound reason to refuse to explore something as enjoyable as Zentangling.

Passing on Zentangle because a specific CZT turns you off is like not eating because you don’t like broccoli. In Zentangle, as in life, find your people.

Supplies cost too much.

I’m no stranger to the unaffordable, but I try to think about it like this: small businesses need to turn a profit to pay themselves and employees. If that means I can’t afford it, I can’t. It’s not a personal insult when something is out of my price range or feels like an unjustifiable splurge.

I mean, I think people who spend $50 to get their nails done when they could be buying a Project Pack are missing out on a bargain. That’s just me, though. You do you.

Zentangle Pattern Tripoli on White Zentangle Tile

The Zentangle Method feels religious.

Confession time. I don’t always take time out to do the gratitude thing when I Zentangle. If it makes you squirm, skip the part of the video that feels like woo to you. Zone out if you’re in a class at the library. Or decide that Zentangle isn’t your thing. As long as you’re not stealing someone else’s moment of Zen, we all just want you to be happy.

Bottom line is if you want to try it, I hope you will. Despite any criticism. Decide for yourself if you like it or you don’t.

9 Easy Zentangle Patterns

Free Brain Images for Brain Tumor Awareness Month

Free Brain Images for Brain Tumor Awareness Month

Seeing how I already donated some brain tumor cells to researchers back in 2017, there probably isn’t much more I can contribute to Brain Tumor Awareness Month this year than giving you permission to use these copyright free brain images on your website, blog, or social media profiles.

Change them up however you like. You can give attribution if you want, but it’s not necessary. You can also use them anytime—not just in May.

Common Brain Tumor Symptoms

It’s important you know how to recognize the symptoms in yourself and recognize them in others. Symptoms vary by tumor location, but these are the most common:

  • Headaches that are persistent or severe
  • Abnormal gait or awkward coordination that make it difficult to walk
  • Muscle weakness
  • Imbalance
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pins and needles or numbness
  • Inability to speak or understand language
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Dfficulty speaking or slurred speech
  • Personality or mood changes
  • Seizures

About My Brain Tumor

i was diagnosed with a diffuse astrocytoma on my brain stem in 2017 and have done radiation once, and chemotherapy a few times—both temozolomide and gleostine.

Treatment reduced the size of my tumor, but it’s in a spot that neurosurgeons consider inoperable, and I still live with it. It’s classified as grade II, and is relatively slow-growing. I was initially treated at Barnes-Jewish hospital in St. Louis, and have since received care from fantastic doctors at Carle in Champaign-Urbana, IL and Cancer Care Specialists of Illinois in O’Fallon, IL.

if you use any of these free brain images this May for Brain Tumor Awareness Month and want me to know, leave me a comment and drop a link so I can follow you.

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