Hey! Keep your nose off of that! Despite Izzy’s best efforts to stop me, I’m gonna be drawing the Zentangle pattern Henna Drum today. So I’m gonna be doing things a little bit different today. I’m adding a voiceover track to this whole video. If that’s not your thing, though, feel free to mute me. I promise it won’t hurt my feelings. So where to even start… This is not my first attempt at creating a video on Henna Drum.
The first attempt went horribly wrong. I got a new camera last week, and I’m still learning how to use it. So you know, I’ve got that hurdle to jump. But then it came with this video editing software that when I first looked at it, I thought it was going to be amazing. But it turned out to be a total bust, so I went back to using Shotcut for editing, which is, you know, nice and free but it’s also very unstable and it crashed and literally the only thing that autosaved was the name of the project file.
So I walked away last night and, you know, I didn’t look at thing again until this morning. And at that point I just decided to scrap the footage I had and start over.
I found Henna Drum while browsing TanglePatterns.com. I’ll drop a link to the step-by-step instructions for drawing it in the description if you want to check those out because I will say that I am not drawing it exactly as instructed and a lot of the time, you know, if something’s not working for me, I’ll alter it until I’m happy. So I kind of put it in the spiral pattern because I seem to be able to make those things work to my advantage a little more. So I’m just going to keep going with this pattern until I reach the end of my spiral.
For those of you who are really just here to see Izzy, stick around. She’ll make an appearance again later on in the video. I don’t know what’s changed. She never bothered me for most of the One Zentangle a Day videos, but lately it’s like she wants me to know that my desk is really her space and she’s just kind enough to let me use it sometimes. Oh yeah, a side note: Another reason the first Henna Drum Zentangle I tried didn’t work. I was trying to talk as I drew and it didn’t work out for a couple of reasons.
First, the brain tumor. Doing two things at once is extremely difficult for me, but also most of the audio track was just me swearing at Izzy to get off the desk. “Izzy!”
Yeah, I’m bleeping the four-letter words here on my channel. If you know me, you know that’s not something I do in real life, but well, I find swearing really therapeutic. But I’m trying to keep the Zen in Zentangle for everyone else.
Where was I? Oh yeah. I was going to say that lately I’ve started listening to music while I Zentangle. I listen to a lot of thing. There’s a channel on here called Stories that has some really nice tunes. It’s various artists covering various artists. I recommend looking up Monica Martin’s cover of Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right”, Jenna Bell’s version of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” – it’s amazing. And George Krikes, if I’m saying that right, cover of Paul Simon’s “Duncan.”
The Stories channel is worth a subscribe, honestly. I mean, yeah, some of the covers are kind of meh, but it’s worth digging through the lineup for the really good stuff. Do you guys listen to anything while you Zentangle? Do you tend to go for stuff that’s relaxing or upbeat?
I don’t just listen to mellow stuff. Like, a few days ago I set Pandora to play eighties pop music for a while because I fight fatigue a lot and notice that upbeat music peps me up a little. Sure, “Raspberry Beret” might not be the best or the first song you think of pairing with your daily Zentangle practice, but it works for me. I’m also not into new-age ambient music myself, though sometimes I feel like that’s what people are expecting.
I’m not really into doing things just because that’s what other people expect of me either. So yeah. One thing I feel like I should maybe explain is that this whole voiceover thing is experimental. I wanted to give it a try because I thought maybe it would help set my channel apart, you know. Give me something different to experience…I mean give people something different to experience than my usual time-lapse set to whatever royalty-free music I can find.
I also though it would help me to talk. One of the things that brain cancer has done to me is make it harder for me to speak. The tumor itself is taking up space on the pons of my brain, and one of the things the pons does is control breathing. So I find that when I talk my voice tends to fade out toward the end. It’s because I’m running out of breath before I finish a sentence or thought.
Before cancer, my body just knew how big a breath I needed to take to say something. You know, I never had to think about it. That’s not true for me anymore. It’s like I have to consider the words I’m gonna say, calculate the amount of air it will take to get them out, and remember what I want to say all at the same time, you know. An chemo fog has just broken the part of me that can instantly turn thoughts into speech. It’s frustrating.
I’ve always hated talking on the phone, but now… My cell phone company calculates how much I use the phone for phone calls and last month I used 23 minutes and a solid third of that time was honestly me listening to the hold music for Dick Van Dyke’s Appliance World. But I’m getting off track…
What I’m trying to say is that I’m experimenting with the voiceover component because I think it might be more engaging but also I think it might help me to talk more. I would get to practice speaking, maybe rewire my brain to make those connections a little better but with the ability to edit the heck out of something if I don’t like it. So, you know, I’m giving it a try because I’ll be honest I feel like losing the power of breath behind my voice makes me sound a little shaky and weak, and honestly I [censored] hate it.
Oops. Bleep that in post. Back to the Zentangle. I’ve really enjoyed thinking this Zentangle, putting the pattern on a spiral gave me something to work with. The first couple of times I tried Henna Drum as taught on the creator’s blog—with the little extra flourishes and lots of space between the flower shapes—I couldn’t get anything to look balanced and being frustrated about not being balanced was taking the Zen out of everything. But these on the spiral, they just seemed to kind of flow for me.
For the shading I used a 2B graphite pencil around the outside and a B for shading those parts inside. The difference is pretty subtle, if it’s noticeable at all, but I have this set of graphite pencils that ranges from 5H to 6B, and I’m trying them out here and there to see if I can teach myself to use them more effectively.
A final thing I want to accomplish with this voiceover is promote my other stuff on the web. I’m working on a few different projects at the same time that you may or may not find interesting. But I don’t want to just assume that if you’re watching these videos you’re not also interesting those other things. First is my website EmilySuess.com. Everything that I’ve blogged for the last couple of years is published there. There’s a lot of health-related stuff there including the couple of years leading up to doctors finding my brain tumor where I was misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia. It’s not what you call light-hearted reading, but I do think my story resonates with a lot of patients—particularly women—who’ve had to fight really freaking hard to get doctors to listen to them.
Most of that story you’ll find under the topics “fibromyalgia” and “brain tumor.” I’m also writing a serial memoir titled Who You Gonna Believe. My narcissistic ex-husband thinks it’s about him but really it’s about how being married to a compulsive liar taught me not to put up with [censored] and how applying that take no [censored] philosophy to medical appointments probably saved my life.
At the moment, it’s only available to my Patreon supporters, but a one-dollar pledge gets you access. Also, every once in a while I run promos where I make all of the existing chapters of Who You Gonna Believe available to the public for a limited time. I’ll probably do…probably be doing one around my birthday in March if money’s tight for you or if you just want to see what’s it’s like before becoming a Patron.
And then last I just want to plug my Twitter and Instagram. Maybe tied with my blog, I’d say that Twitter is where you’ll find or where you’ll get the most complete picture of who I am. I don’t edit myself there much and I tweet about whatever I feel like—some health stuff, some political stuff. On Instagram it’s mostly pets and Zentangles. So you know, find me on both of those platforms and say hi so I can be sure to follow you back.
OK. And as you can see, I’ve attempted a little water coloring on this tile. I know next to nothing about watercolor except that I like the way it looks when other people do it. The tile I’m using here is one from a bundle I got on Amazon, and it say it’s good for dry and wet media including watercolors, but it really doesn’t take long for water to start chewing up this paper. So I don’t recommend it for that. It is excellent for Micron ink though. It’s fine-toothed and the pen glides across the tile for smoother lines as opposed to more textured tiles.
And now we’re reaching the portion of the program where my camera batteries die, so I’m going to put the tile on this cute bear and say thanks for coming to my Tangled Talk. Izzy has graciously volunteered to lead us in the benediction.