ARC Blog

Instructor Shares Benefits of Zentangle

Zentangle art by Cindy Bowles, Instructor

I’ve been dabbling in Zentangle for a few years and in June of 2014 I received my training from the creators of this fun drawing method and became a Certified Zentangle Teacher. I am so excited to be able to share this fun and relaxing way to create some lovely art.

Because I really want all of you to join me, I thought I’d tell you a little about Zentangle and why I teach it, in hopes that it will encourage you to try it (at least once).

When I discovered Zentangle about 3 years ago, I really enjoyed it, but it wasn’t until I took the training to become a teacher that I really understood why it’s so great! It’s one of the few art activities, that I know of, that truly doesn’t require any art experience! If you can write the letters of the alphabet you CAN tangle. Really! There are NO expectations, NO mistakes and NO pressure to draw something realistic. We just draw patterns that you are free to interpret any way you want. I will give you step by step instructions on how to do each pattern in my class and then you make them your own. Even if the final product looks complicated, it’s not, when you do it ‘One Stroke At A Time’. That’s the Zentangle motto and a pretty good motto for life, in my experience.

If you’re still feeling hesitant to try this, please don’t let the ‘A’ word scare you away. Zentangle is art for EVERYONE. Rick and Maria, the founders of Zentangle, deliberately set out to develop a way to create beautiful art that’s relaxing and removes the intimidating elements of other art forms. While they have certainly accomplished this, the expanding benefits of Zentangle continue to surprise them. People practicing Zentangle have found that it has increased self-confidence, relieved stress and anxiety, improved eye-hand coordination, nurtured and developed creativity and the list goes on. For more information and stories from people who’ve been doing Zentangle for a while visit and click on What is it? and Story Booth. I think you’ll be amazed.

I also wanted you to know a little bit about my story. I grew up surrounded by art. My whole family was artistic. I felt like I had no choice but to do something artistic. I tried many things through the years but I never felt particularly successful at any of them. Besides being artistic, my parents were also perfectionists and perfectionism, in my family, included a lot of pressure to live up to certain expectations. For me, perfectionism caused a level of anxiety that held me back from doing art (and other things) because I felt I could never do them, ‘good enough’. Zentangle has been a way for me to express myself without that pressure. I love sharing that freedom with others.

Yes, I’m still a recovering perfectionist but because of that, I never want to put pressure on the people who come to my classes. I want everyone who comes to a Zentangle class to walk out saying “That was fun!”. One of the delightful things that often happens is people come into a class saying, “I could never do that!” and walk out saying, “I can’t believe I did that!” or “This was way more fun than I thought it would be!” I love that! I hope you’ll see for yourself how much fun it can be and maybe discover a little freedom of your own.


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