How Creating Zentangles Can Promote Mindfulness & Mental Wellness | With Examples
Hey friends, it’s Sarah from @essjay_florals and today I wanted to share something a little different with you all. First, I wanted to touch on my own mental health, I am someone that struggles greatly with anxiety. Personally, I go to therapy and take medication to help with it, but another thing that has helped my mental health greatly has been art! In particular I noticed when I’m creating a piece that involves repetitive motions it really helps me to get lost in the drawing and get out of my head. So I decided to look into Zentangles, and I decided to do what I always do and research what a Zentangle actually is and share some ideas for you guys to “Zen” out while creating.
So first up a brief overview of what a Zentangle is. The idea behind Zentangles is that they are a combination of meditation and art that is the perfect drawing style for anyone of any skill level. For simplicity you draw the patterns on 9cm x 9cm “tiles” to keep it easy and reduce the complexity. It’s all about simple shapes and the repetition of drawing them over and over, focusing on just that, creating and the process of creating it, not with a final goal but simply drawing for the process.
So of course, I gave it a shot and totally found it calming and helpful to get out of my head, it also helped me with my fear of creating something that isn’t perfect.
Firstly in the above image you can see I compiled the example ideas to make one Zentangle with a mix of doodles. I had so much fun creating this and can see myself creating more of these in the future, they are definitely calming to create and it is fun to create something simply for the process of creating.
So without further ado, let’s get into some ideas for creating some Zentangles. First up to create this page of ideas and the page with the full Zentangle illustration, I used:
- Archer & Olive B5 Notepad
- Pencil & Eraser (to draw guides, but not actually necessary)
- Sakura of America Pigma Micron in size 05 (any pen will do though)
- Archer & Olive x Pypah Collab Sketchbook
Remember you can use my affiliate code SARAH10 to get a discount on your Acrylographs, Notebooks or any other Archer and Olive products (excluding bundles).
As you can see, I have created some simple tiles and some more complex ones. I decided to add the time it took me to complete each one to help you with choosing a pattern or a variation of a tile to get started.
I figured adding this information could be helpful if you only have a few minutes and would like to create a pattern that you’d be able to create a decent chunk of or if you’d like to take your time on a more complex pattern.
- I’ve created quite a few botanical inspired designs, because that’s what I enjoy drawing. If there is something in particular you like to draw, why not try a simplified version for your pattern.
- Keep it simple, use dots, straight lines and curves to create something fun.
- It’s all about the process, don’t get hung up on the way it’s coming together and if it doesn’t look perfect, just keep going through the motions.
- Feel free to mix aspects of each of these ideas together to come up with your own unique Zentangle that works for you.
- Whilst some of my ideas may not be strictly Zentangles in the traditional sense I am a believer of better done than perfect, if you want to try, but aren’t sure if its right, I think the intention is definitely most important here.
To see a quick video of me creating the tiles, check out this video:
If you want a template with a few shape suggestions for your tiles, download the free printable to help with Getting Zen with Zentangles.
I hope you have enjoyed these Zentangle ideas and I hope you’ll give some a shot. Don’t forget to tag myself at @essjay_florals & @archerandolive if you’d like to share.
I am a Certified Zentangle Teacher. I am pleased to see you have discovered Tangling and it’s benefits. All the best!
Thank you for sharing.
As a one time Zentangler, I had huge fun using botanical motifs . . . and wondered why I haven’t seen them before.
A brilliant idea.
Tangling is definitely one of the things I want in this year’s bujo. Just haven’t had the time. I need to add a daily. The times underneath the designs are a great idea! Thanks for a great article!
Great post/idea Sarah. As a fellow anxiety sufferer, I’m definitely going to try my hand at Zentangles! I love to craft and draw, but my fear of a project not coming out as I had envisioned and not being “prefect” stops me from even starting a project. Hopefully Zentangles will help me achieve Zen!!