What is Zentangle? Exploring Meditative Art for Everyone

So what is Zentangle anyway? I’m so glad you asked! “Zen” has roots in Japanese Buddhism which emphasizes the benefits of meditation and reflection. “Tangles” are the simple patterns made from the four basic drawing strokes. So, simply put, it’s a form of meditative art.

Free brain image in Zentangle style, black and white digital
A Zentangle-inspired brain

Who are Rick and Maria?

Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas are the founders of Zentangle. Through seminars they have taught countless CZTs their vision and the 8-step Zentangle Method.

How do I draw ‘Tangles?

To be unintentionally frank, however you want. There are as many ways to draw as there are people who draw, and your style takes on a uniqueness that is as identifiable as your own signature.

However, if you’re looking for a little more direction, the practice starts with a graphite border, an impromptu (or planned, if that’s your thing) string, and a few Zentangle patterns. If you’re actually looking for patterns to draw right now, visit my page One Zentangle a Day or watch any of the pattern videos on my YouTube channel.

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

Where do I find new patterns?

You can search Google, check out books like One Zentangle a Day, watch YouTube videos, participate in online classes, take classes at your local library, or even join a group at the cancer center. I also recommend Pinterest for inspiration.

Where do I buy supplies?

Pretty much anywhere art supplies are sold. You can buy paper tiles (and more) directly from Zentangle HQ, too.

By the way, I highly recommend participating in a Project Pack video series if you have the opportunity. (Sign up on the Zentangle website for the official newsletter and you will be in the know when the next Project Pack happens.)

What are the rules?

There’s no crying in baseball, and there are no mistakes in tangling. The point is that you enjoy what you’re doing and you are able to relax doing it. For some people that means no erasing. For others that means methodically plotting out what to draw, which supplies to use, and how long to spend on the project. You call the shots.

Zentangle pattern art on a Zentangle tile with a zentangle gem in the center.
A Zen gem on a white tile

Zentangle in a nutshell

So basically Zentangle is a form of art therapy. The therapy part comes in as you focus on the process of drawing.

Zentangles are easy to draw because they are not large works. (Though you may enjoy it so much you find yourself creating larger and more complex works of meditative art.)

They make art easy for kids and adults, regardless of ability or skill. And they’re an opportunity to explore your creative side without setting aside large blocks of time. I hope you’ll give it a try.

Start Zentangling Now!

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