Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Brain Yoga

I've been trying to find some simple things to work on to get in some drawing practice. If you follow me on Pinterest you're probably aware that a lot of these 'things' have been in the form of zentangles. What are zentangles? Well, according to their own definition, the "zetangle method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It increases focus and creativity, and provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well-being." There's a whole 'method' and a kit you can buy, and, I guess, a way that you're supposed to do it. But why would you spend money when there is an infinite amount of inspiration online for free?

So anyway, if you make a 'traditional zentangle' (which is funny that it's traditional because it's only been a thing for about ten years) you're supposed to start with a tile (a small square of paper) and draw all over it. I wanted something bigger and more cohesive, so I traced a bunch of interlocking circles and filled the spaces in with different patterns (if planning was a skill of mine I'd have traced circles to the outer edges of the paper).

Exercises like this give you great practice at pen control and tip-size use, and also work your neurons to come up with different patterns for each section.

I worked on this piece for a few evenings, and it felt just as soothing as my yoga classes to my brain. The practice is so repetitive but can be fairly precise and intricate, forcing you to focus on what you're doing (just like when I'm in my actual yoga class and just trying to concentrate on not tipping over).

Although I am a wicked color fiend, I do love the stark black and white contrast, and the high impact that no color can have, visually.

I've been trying to get in more practice drawing things that are actual things, and I've turned out a few bits that aren't terrible, but I do find that this repetitive line-work is my favorite (right now).

My cousin sent me a message on Instagram to tell me that she thought this would be a great print for a handbag. I don't know if that was a hint or a compliment, hahaha, but wouldn't that be fun, to have fabric designs to your name? A girl can dream. And practice. One must practice, I suppose, when art in any form is not something that comes naturally. My take is that I've worked thousands and thousands of stitches, for what must be thousands of hours, to get to a point where I feel confident in my skills with knit, crochet, and sewing. So I guess a similar investment must be made here. At this rate I'll be famous after I'm dead. Which, I guess, is better than never.


  1. That is really cool! The closest I've come to this sort of drawing was when I was doing some floral letters recently, but it really was absorbing and calming.
    Having a fabric line would be a lot of fun! A lot of work too, I think. Maybe it would be fun to try one of the many places that sells custom-printed fabrics though. Or even doodle straight on fabric!

  2. I took a zentangle workshop, once. It was a fundraiser for a charity, that a friend was hosting. The instructor was the most stressed out person. She kept having to step out and have a cigarette. Keep doing your own thing and enjoy. The "right" way seems way too stressful!



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