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Friday, January 31, 2014

The "D" Word

Thank you to the seven tanglers who joined me for a class in North Chelmsford last night!  We had a fun group ages 11 to adult.

Didn't they do an amazing job on their first tile?  I love how each person interprets patterns differently with his or her scale, vision, and shading.  This art is individual and personal.  It's what you want to make of it and where the artistic journey takes you.  

The "D" word came up last night, as it often does in class.  I don't think of "doodling" as a bad word.  Bad words are the ones that I don't want my daughter using.  In the Zentangle® world, we use terms like "tangling" or "Zentangle® Method" to describe the process of using deliberate and intentional strokes to create beautiful and relaxing art.

Check out this interesting Zentangle® blog post with all of the comments about Zentangle® and Doodling.

I think of doodling as mindless or random scribbles.  If you like doodling, go for it!  There's nothing wrong with doodling at all.  One of the many things I love about the Zentangle® Method is the sense of relaxed focus that I achieve by the intentional strokes and structured patterns that I draw.  When I tangle, my brain tunes out the stresses and dialogue that readily occupy my mind.  I love that I can stop the whirling chaos that often permeates my mind when I'm not paying attention.  I don't get this same sense or this meditative grounding with general doodling.

I have known many people, like the very talented artist in class, who have considered themselves long-time doodlers.  This artist showed me her gorgeous artwork including free-flowing, bold, organic designs.  Each line she drew was clearly intentional.  She wasn't mindlessly letting her pen dictate her next stroke; she let her art inspire her purposefully with each twist and curl of her pattern formation.  While her art did not have the structured patterns that we use with the Zentangle® Method, it was intentional, creative, and certainly beautiful.  Her method could be called doodling if that's the term she likes, but her process was deliberate and not mindless.

I think it's important to find something that you love to do regardless of what you call it.  It is important to nourish your passions.  As an artist, I prefer to focus on the art rather than stress about what it's called.  Sure, as a CZT, Certified Zentangle® Teacher, I follow the official recommendations and wording from Zentangle's founders, Rick and Maria, because I believe in this method.  I also believe that there are many other art forms or artistic methods that bring people joy.  If you love it, please stick with it!

A rose by any other name....