Recently I wrote briefly about artist and CZT, Eni Oken and her new Art Club. In this post I want to highlight Art Club, show the amazing lessons offered and share the art I’ve produced since practicing Eni’s wonderful techniques. Eni is a talented artist with a real gift for teaching. My favorite part of this post, however, is the opportunity to learn more about Eni and what brought her to Zentangle. Thanks Eni, for sharing some of your personal history as well as your teaching methods. I’m just an amateur artist but I’m quite pleased with how my art has progressed since starting Art Club. My journey started with Eni’s ebook 3D Tangles: Shading Fearlessly.
Then I went through her ebook 3D Tangle: Overlapping Zentangle®.
Upon finishing these books, I drew this tangled flower inspired by CZT Helen Williams’ Ribbon Petals. With shading and Overlapping techniques from Eni’s books, I felt I was finally making some progress artistically with these techniques. There is always room for improvement of course!
I was dying to try more of Eni’s lessons but to purchase them all separately would be expensive and take time. Eni’s art has fascinated me since I started tangling and I think I was just waiting for her to start Art Club. The Art Club experience starts with her most recent book or video then everything new she publishes thereafter. I started with her video on Mooka 3D and Dingbatz.
I loved it! Since then, her Mooka 3D has shown up in my art over and over becoming one of my “go-to” patterns to draw. Here’s an example of Mooka 3D in a Dingbatz.
Next I did Twisted Ropes which I loved as well! It’s not a big secret that I love them all! I was absolutely addicted to Twisted Ropes, and drew it over and over until the next lesson was released! This twisted rope mess is so busy it loses the eye but I had such fun embellishing the ropes I just enjoyed the process and didn’t worry about the composition. I love tangling on cardboard! Recycling at it’s best!
Ribbon Showgirl is one of my favorites! I’m using the ribbon techniques everywhere! Plus there’s a companion ebook that goes with the video lesson!
The next lesson was a different way to tackle the very difficult pattern, Peanuckle (by Molly Hollibaugh). At least, it was tough for me! After the Peanuckle video lesson, it’s another go-to pattern for me.
It took a lot of practice but now I can do Peanuckle all day! There are more lessons but these were the most successful for me. Even more important, these lessons got me drawing again and that was the biggest job of all!
The most recent to video to date is on Tangled words. It’s my favorite, of course!
This was a great lesson and though I struggled to draw the letters small enough to fit on a standard tile, I loved how this project turned out! These will make great gifts for the holidays!
I’m always interested to know how such talented people come to the Zentangle ® Method. Eni was kind enough to share some of her personal history with me for this article. It constantly amazes me how so many people come to the Zentangle ® Method through illness, tragedy or trauma. Let me share a bit about Eni Oken in her own words.
I was born in Brazil, but came for the first time to the US at only 6 weeks of age while my parents attended school in Berkeley. After returning to Brazil, my mother and my grandmother were incredibly encouraging of my inclination to arts and crafts. My first memory of being thinking of myself as an artist was at the early age of 8 years old. My grandmother was especially dedicated in teaching me all types of arts and crafts, knitting, drawing, lace-making, embroidery, you name it.
For some bizarre twist, I ended up getting a degree in Architecture, but that was never my first desire. I continued to work with anything and everything that was related to the design and arts, illustration, window dressing, model making, computer graphics, video game design, jewelry design, costume design, dollmaking, fashion, sculpting, so many I can’t even remember.
About 22 years ago, I came back to the US to live and was one of the early adopters of using online environment to work as a self employed artist. I worked creating fantasy environments for video games, and won a number of awards during that time.
Teaching art always came naturally to me, it was almost as if creating art wasn’t complete without the teaching component. I explore art and then have this incredible need to teach what I learned to others. I started teaching art very soon after college and have continued to teach in one way or another throughout my entire career.
Eventually I switched from the grueling schedule of computer graphics to jewelry design, and I developed a very successful educational website called jewelrylessons.com. My path was suddenly interrupted by discovering stage 4 cancer in 2010. During the years of treatment, I could hardly work, could not teach or even produce art.
At the recommendation of my oncologist, I started to draw again while in bed — a collection of works called “muddyglasses”, depicting aspects of the treatment. These were gruesome and weird, my oncologist then encouraged me to find some happier themes 🙂 and that’s when I found Zentangle.”
I got to the end of this post and realized I sound like an advertisement for Eni! This post was my idea as I intend to share more of my art using Eni’s techniques as I move forward. The truth is that I am thriving artistically on these lessons and I just can’t say enough about them. Eni has a dedicated Facebook group just for Art Club members where we can share our trials and finished projects, ask for help in the group, and best get feedback from Eni Oken real-time! I’m looking forward to seeing what is coming up next. I know there is a tangled letter lesson and one on making distressed tiles. 😊 I can’t wait!