PREPARATION TO TANGLE
By Joanna Campbell Slan
FYI–I participate in an Amazon affiliates program. The links in this article put small change in my pocket. I only recomment items I use and like. By clicking on the links and making a purchase, you’re helping to buy me a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Just sayin’!
What is Zentangle? I define it as an art form and a type of meditation. The tangles (patterns) are able to be repeated, and thus, it is not aimless. Instead, the zen comes from the focus on your pen strokes. It’s the brainchild of Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. (And the term is copyrighted, but I can’t get my blog to cooperate and make a “c” in circle.)
Who can Zentangle? If you can write your name, you can do Zentangle.
What special equipment is necessary? At the most basic level, you need something to draw/mark with and something to draw/mark on.
What do I need for this class?
- Paper (If possible, mark off a 3.5-by-3.5-inch square with your pen. Better yet, cut that square out.)
Really? Yup. However, if you want to get technical, here’s the deluxe version of the supplies:
- #2 pencil (soft lead)
- Sakura Ink Pen–I like the Micron 01 but I love the Micron .05 — Since you are just starting, I recommend this pack because it has a variety of sizes in it. You’re sure to find a size you like: https://amzn.to/2XIPv96
- A tile — a piece of high-quality paper approximately 3.5″ by 3.5″ — I suggest these: https://amzn.to/2XFrIXu These are NOT Zentangle quality tiles. However, they are the right size, and you get a lot of them for the money. Plus, you can use both sides of them. Regulation Zentangle tiles (https://amzn.to/3ks33PP) are more expensive, a higher quality of paper (so there’s less “bleed” with the ink), used on one side only, and have the official Zentangle info on the back.
At this point, you’re probably thinking…why? Why a square of paper? There are at least three reasons: 1.) You should be able to finish a tile in 30 minutes to an hour. The size keeps the project manageable. 2.) You can rotate that square as you tangle, and that’s very helpful. Most of us “draw” better when we are drawing on paper in the same position as when we were taught to write. By rotating the paper, you get a more consistent stroke. 3.) Tiles are easy to carry around so you can tangle anywhere and anytime.
And you’re also wondering…what about an eraser? Well, part of the Zentangle philosophy is that there are no mistakes, just creative opportunities. It’s like life. You can’t go back and erase the past. (Personally, I use an eraser. I cheat. As far as I’m concerned when I’m crafting I need all the help I can get.)
You might also wonder…what about colors? It’s a bit like Coke Classic and Diet Coke. Classic Zentangle is done in black or sepia ink on white or cream tiles. But I think a little color is fun! So if the spirit moves you, color!
And what do I do with these, um, tiles when I’m done? You could wallpaper your bathroom or…anything you want! I like to save my tiles two ways: 1.) in a ring binder with plastic sheets that have pockets in them and 2.) bound together by a ring or ribbon or string. (I’ll show you both of these options later on.)
But right now, I’m assuming you don’t have any tiles. So let’s get started.
Okay…Ready to go?
On to LESSON ONE!!!