Check out the amazing first tiles my two new students created:
When I was packing for my class, I had about eight people signed up to attend with a few maybes. I'm always excited to teach no matter what size the class, although it can be exciting to think about introducing the Zentangle® method to a larger group. There's just something about the energy and excitement that builds with a larger audience.
Then we were hit by plagues. Email after email announced illnesses or family emergencies leaving me unsure if anyone would be able to attend. I encouraged everyone to get well and to join in another class when they were able. There's always time to explore and to learn this amazing art form. It's far more relaxing and enjoyable when people are at their best.
I went to my class unsure if anyone would show, but I tried to remain encouraged. I set up my display and teaching materials and was then greeted by two of the friendliest faces! Two lovely ladies came to my class filled with enthusiasm. We had a wonderful evening which turned out to exceed any expectations I could have had.
One of the women had seen some Zentangle art, was inspired, and even purchased some books. She knew that she had to take a class and encouraged her sister to join her. Both were creative and crafty but had not tried the Zentangle method previously. Within minutes, I think both were hooked!
At the end, one of the attendees said that the class "exceeded her expectations." Both thought this technique was just what they needed and were eager to do more (and signed up for another class!).
I had the most amazing evening with these ladies. The class was intimate and allowed for an exploration of any questions or ideas that were raised along the way. I enjoyed deviating from my lesson plan as we talked about different topics related to tangling. I felt artistically invigorated and didn't want the night to end! I always love teaching, and I never cease to be surprised by the fact that each and every class is different and brings its own unique attributes. I learn something new every time and am always grateful.
Since I wasn't sure I'd have attendees, my expectations were definitely exceeded. Even better, I got to enjoy a relaxing and creative night with two lovely people. It was a joy to share my passion with them and to watch them explore the Zentangle method for the first time.
I even learned some things about myself. I mentioned how I constantly see patterns in the world around me. One of the students said that my daughter will benefit from my tangled view of the world. I know that the sense of relaxed focus that I achieve from my tangling benefits me and my family, but I never realized that my creativity and world outlook had changed so much.
My students taught me that my excitement about the world around me--and the patterns that make it up--is something that I will share with my daughter. Learning something so profound about myself as an artist, a person, and a mother certainly exceeded my expectations of the night I'd spend.
When I got home after class, my daughter asked me where I was. I told her that I taught a Zentangle class. She snuggled up close to me and asked if I would teach her how to do it when she was bigger. I can't wait until she's able to hold a pen for long enough to tangle! I look forward to a lifetime of tangling together and admiring shapes in the clouds, finding patterns in nature, and picking out shapes all around us. She made me feel happy knowing that I have something special to share with her. I didn't realize that I'm already sharing my passion with her in so many ways even before she's able to focus and hold her pen.
Take a chance today. You never know when something might exceed your expectations.