When I began this post, I had a completely different direction in mind, but the more I wrote, the more it morphed into what it is. I want to share with you something encouraging to me. In the Facebook groups centering around the Zentangle® Art form, there is always a pivotal moment when new artists finally start to post their art publicly that requires a courageous first step to overcome the fear of artistic rejection. Art is intensely personal and this type of rejection can hurt the soul. This is a much discussed topic and comes up over and over in these groups. I’ve been in Eni Oken’s Art Club about 5 months. I’ve been posting about Art Club here on thetirelesstangler.com for awhile and this weekend, when I posted my latest lesson art on Facebook in the Art Club dedicated group, it occurred to me to compare my first published tiles and the ones A.E. (After Eni) 😁 The next few images are my art from a year ago right after I started blogging. This was about 3 months after I began drawing in hopes of doing something productive to break depression.
I was a beginner. It’s not awful, but as if I were in middle school! Though the kids could probably outdraw me! Move forward about 7 months March – May, 2017 still just before I added Art Club. At this time, I purchased the Zentangle ® Primer, volume 1. Everything changed for me with that book. I finally understood the point of Zentangle isn’t the art but the meditative state you reach with pattern practice of each unhurried stroke. Beautiful art is simply a wonderful by-product I started this blog a year ago after being fundamentally changed by The Zentangle ® Method, created and nurtured by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Find the answers you are seeking at Zentangle.com! (I sound like I drank the kool-aid…and perhaps I have!) My point is, I began posting my art in a public blog, not in our caring, safe online groups! This is why my tagline is “Creativity takes Courage” by Henri Matisse. It took so much courage for me to take that step and post my very crude beginning art. It will be a year and a half since I picked up my yellowed sketch book from 1976. Then I did what many of us did, used TanglePatterns.com and Pinterest.com and pattern-collections.com shamelessly for their wonderful free resources and practiced (and practiced and…), finally discovering the peace and mental and physical Zen in the drawing of these “tangles”.
I see great improvement! I’m pretty happy with my progress. Honestly, I should have done this comparison long ago because I’m really encouraged! Here are some of my better tries since joining Art Club and here’s where I am learning be brave and say “I’m an artist!” The picture captions tell which of Eni’s lessons I was working on while drawing each piece of art (I can’t believe I just called them art!).
Let me just say Eni Oken has no idea I’m doing this post, I am simply passionate about Art Club and it’s my blog! I’m allowed to gush if I want! I think her lessons have greatly changed my artistic understanding and growth!
My message to myself and to all who read this is not to worry about being perfect, best or comparing your work! Trust the process! Stop worrying about perfection and the level of others’s art. This is impossible but we are works in progress as well! Adele Bruno says she’s a reformed perfectionist and I love that description! I’m attending perfectionists’ anonymous right now in an attempt to get help! Thanks Adele! I frequently get meaningful bits of personal growth from your blog Tickledtotangle.com! The Zentangle ® Primer volume 1 changed the game for me. It’s described as CZT training in a beautiful book! I agree completely (but my dream is still to be a CZT myself. Physical barriers and financial obligations may not allow that dream but this book is a great substitute!) Honestly, I wish I’d bought the primer first but when the pennies count we do what we must. There are hundreds of amazing books out there, but if I did it again the primer would be my first purchase (after the new sketchpad and Pigma Micron of course!). Look at what practice, a few basic supplies, and some zen can do in a year and a half! I wonder how relaxed and satisfied I’ll be in another year? To quote little Bijou, “breathe, slow down, gratitude and appreciation!” Smart Snail! (Bijou’s fan-page is found at Zentangle.com!)
If anyone is interested in sharing your art progressions please email me at Thetirelesstangler@gmail.com. I’d love to post them here. I’m proof you can be an artist, even when you don’t believe it yourself! Thank you for your visit and check back soon for the new Artist Focus!