On Friday, May 8, Darla Williamson brings “Beginning Zentangle” to The Gardens from 5:30-9 p.m. She has offered a guest blog post to The Gardens Blog to talk more about this unique educational opportunity. To register for “Beginning Zentangle” online, visit www.bbgardens.org.classes.
“Honey, I love your mother, but what am I supposed to do with this Zentangle® stuff?” That is the question I asked my husband when my Zentangle kit arrived in the mail from my mother-in-law in late 2010! Little did I know how much impact a little box would have on my life!
First of all, what is Zentangle®?
Zentangle is an easy to learn, fun and relaxing method of creating beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts created the Zentangle Method about 10 years ago to share the relaxation and focus you feel as you create a Zentangle. It is a very mindful activity – a great way to relax and be in the moment. It is liberating – no rulers, no erasers, just a pen, pencil, tile and room to explore. It is worldwide – there are currently about 1,500 Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZTs) in 25 countries around the world! (I was certified in October, 2011.) It is very now – in Shutterstock’s Creative Trends for 2015 report, they used video clips, music tracks and 47 million images to look at which searches and styles were on the rise to predict creative trends for 2015. Zentangle was named as one of the Top 5 Design Trends.
What I love about Zentangle®
There are no mistakes! – Zentangle is not about trying to be perfect or make an exact replica. There is way more beauty in imperfection anyway! Zentangle is about being in the moment, enjoying the moment, and the bonus is you have a little piece of art as a result of your time. I think one of my favorite things about Zentangle is that you can take it and make it what you like. If we are working on a tangle (pattern) and you are inspired to embellish it your own way – that’s ok. Creativity – it really opens Pandora’s Box! Not only for me, but students frequently tell me stories about how Zentangle has helped them realize they are creative and they try lots of new things they never imagined they could do, and people who already work in another art form tell me how it helps them take a fresh approach to their art! Anyone can do it! – it really is true – almost anyone can do it. I’ve taught Zentangle to almost 1,500 people since March 2012, from all walks of life – doctors, lawyers, teachers, housewives (aka domestic goddesses), artists, bee keepers, yoga instructors, fitness experts, nurses, corporate types (from executives to entry level), clowns (seriously!), students, small business owners, in a homeless shelter trying to get their lives back on track, and everything in between, Age 5 to Age 90, recovering from strokes, With OCD, ADD, Autism and Depression. Relaxation – I get so relaxed doing Zentangle I lose track of time, ask my husband 🙂
Walking a new Path
I’ve always been creative and have dabbled in many things – interior design, homemade bath products, wire art, travel tags, and I took a pottery class 20+ years ago that I loved. When I received the kit in late 2010, I had been in the corporate world over 15 years, in banking 12, and in Birmingham 10 years. For many years I loved my bank job in distribution planning (figuring out how many branches a market should have, where they should be, managing projects). I could look for creative solutions to problems, I loved working with people all across the southeast and I loved the sense of accomplishment. But I had reached a point where the stress level was no longer cyclical, it was pretty much nonstop, and I knew I wanted to do something different, but had no idea what. So I opened my little box, pulled out the pens and got to work! I loved it. I woke up one morning with an overwhelming voice in my head saying “Teach Zentangle!” It took six months for me to get into a certification class, but in October 2011 I became a Certified Zentangle Teacher and I quit my job on January 31, 2012! Teaching Zentangle has blessed me in more ways than I ever imagined. I’ve met wonderful people and I get to share my love of art with them. I also get to be creative every day – I also do pottery, mixed media, and fiber art!