“Hi, my name is Anica and I’m very happy to be the featured artist on thetirelesstangler.com.
I am a 42 year old living in Croatia. If you asked at least 90% of my friends and acquaintances to describe me, they would tell you that I’m a wife and a mother to a teenage girl, that we own a beloved Maltese dog. They would also know that I’ve been working in the financial industry for 15 years, taking the CFO roles for the past 12. My husband’s and my love for music and traveling has brought us to many cities, countries and a few continents, seeing dozens of concerts of our favorite rock bands and getting to know fellow concert goers with which we share our passion.
Then there is also that precious area of my life that I tend not to disclose to everybody. My nearest friends know just how passionate I am about arts and crafts, as well as those fellow artists that know me from some craft forums, closed Facebook groups or other social network outlets.
As a kid I loved to draw but my professional life took me into other directions so I doodled on every little paper at hand, while keeping my nose stuck mostly in spreadsheets or specific software I used for work. After I gave birth to my daughter, who will soon turn 16, I got the sudden urge to make something with my hands. I purchased some beads and wires and made a set of Christmas ornaments that I use to this day. Later I decided to develop the wire working skills and started making jewelry. I connected to a group of Croatian crafters through an internet forum and spent hours making intricate jewelry pieces. At that time I stumbled upon Eni Oken’s web page and invested in her stunning tutorials. After I decided that it is a shame to waste so much time on craft materials, I started purchasing silver supplies and gemstones and finally decided to take a formal class so I now own a title of a Contemporary Jewelry Designer that accompany my Master of Economics title. I was smitten with jewelry making for a few years, but my daily job started to occupy me more and more, which led to less and less jewelry making.
Fast forward a couple of years and two years ago I came across Eni Oken again, only this time it was to find out that she switched from silver and pliers to pens and pencils!!! You can imagine my excitement when I found out that there is this structured doodle art form called Zentangle! I was immediately hooked, started an online search and tried to get my hands on as many books and art supplies as possible. I discovered many talented and supporting artists which inspire me on daily basis. So here I am today, with an album full of drawings, drawers full of supplies and a brain full of ideas.
I started from the old-school white tiles with black pen for line drawing and graphite pencil for shading. Then I discovered tan and grey tiles and fell in love with the use of white pens and pencils. Getting good quality art supplies can be a challenge in Croatia so on a trip to the US I purchased a big set of Prismacolor pencils. They sat on the shelf and challenged me to try them out for some time, before I finally grabbed them and fell in love with using them for coloring and shading tiles. It is so important to be curious and fearlessly try different directions. I find that my interest in art making is helping me face challenging life decision that not only affect my hobbies. I’ll try to explain why that is so and what Zentangle means to me.
There are many things that I love about Zentangle. Not being a patient artist who works on the same piece for days, weeks or months, I appreciate the small format with a standard 9×9 cm tile size. It is so comforting for me to see a small blank paper tile, as opposed to a big white canvas. You can have only a few fairly cheap supplies, carry them in a purse and draw almost everywhere. You can pick and choose among working on an intricate piece or a simple drawing that can end up being as impressive, or even more so. And even if you opt for a complex piece, you can finish it at one take, right after getting back from work. I tried meditation as a means to relax and recharge but I find my mind wandering and obstructing the process. With Zentangle I suddenly find myself breathing calmly, focusing on one line at a time and everything seems to be so peaceful and simple, just as life should be. My alias that I use on social media sites is Zen Linea (linea is a Latin word for a line) and I believe that those two words are the nucleus of Zentangle art form. There is a lot to learn from mindfulness practices, and Zentangle is a perfect choice for those who tend to express themselves through art. There are many who believe that they can’t draw even a straight line and change their mind while using Zentangle method, getting self-assured and taking back the power, not only to tackle paper and pen, but also other life challenges. That is the power which Zentangle represents to me.
My goal is to keep exploring, try new techniques and art forms and never stop being a curious child with a passion for making things. There is nothing more rewarding than taking something raw and simple, being that a pen and a paper, a piece of wire, an acrylic paint tube, some modeling clay, a piece of fabric or a wire, and turning it into something new, giving it a new life. That’s what everything is about and I’m confident that it pays off to pursue this passion and share it with others.
I have an Instagram account (instagram.com/zen.linea) and a Facebook page (facebook.com/zen.linea) so you can check and see what I’m up to. I am not a traditional artist by profession but I’ll be delighted if my work sparks someone’s inspiration for creating. I am so grateful to many great artists I stumbled upon through all the past years that led me to what I am and what I’m yet to become.”