One of the many things I love about the Zentangle® Method is that it's great for all ages. Tangling with kids is exciting because they're often eager to try something new and are less afraid of making mistakes. Why is it that we lose some of that enthusiasm and replace it with nervousness as we get older? Does the world give us too many messages that squash our creativity or our ability to take chances? Sure, I'm less likely to jump on a crazy roller coaster than when I was a teen, but I understand gravity and pain more now and can weigh the benefits vs. risks of doing something.
Do adults see the whole world as a big roller coaster that might be scary or might have danger associated with it? Where is the risk in trying something new? Where is the risk in playing? As I've asked before, what's the worst that can happen?
I taught a Basics lesson at a home party last night with ten participants. Most of the new tanglers were 7-17 along with a few adults. It was fantastic to have five boys in the mix too!
I always love watching how each person approaches a pattern or learning how to tangle, but this class was even more exciting to watch. Of course adults and tanglers with art backgrounds can bring other experiences into their Zentangle practice. What I didn't expect, however, was what interesting experiences the young boys would bring to their new practice. They enjoyed the logic and puzzle-like aspect of tangling. As I started to describe a pattern we were about to cover, they enjoyed looking for the end result on the sample art I had on the table. It became a fun game to discover the pattern before I drew it.
Fearlessly, the kids also jumped ahead of me and kept exploring their own designs, which adults are sometimes a little hesitant to do. The enthusiasm was infectious!
I think everyone had a great time, and several of the boys made a point of coming up to me after to thank me and to tell me they had fun. I'm sure the chocolate didn't hurt either. :-)
This was a very memorable and wonderful class for me! I hope I've inspired the group to continue tangling. I always think this is a wonderful parent/child activity to share!
Check out the beautiful tiles they created: