Bijou Be Well 2024

Zentangle Bijou Be Well 10 Art Tile Mosaic

Bijou Be Well 2024

Zentangle created the Bijou Be Well event to celebrate their mascot, Bijou and to raise awareness for Mental Health Awareness Month. I decided to participate this year in the hopes of finding my inner Bijou and slowing down a little. Between building my catalog of music, keeping up with my students, and general life stuff, I stopped taking time for myself.

Ten days in to this event and I’ve discovered several things.

Making art is fun.

I mean. I knew that already. Taking a thing you love to do and making a business around it creates a big challenge. You start doing the thing you love because you have to not because you want to. This spring, I put my live classes on hiatus for this very reason. I loved working with my students, and I meet a lot of really cool people of all ages. Watching how they take an idea and spin it into something wonderful and unique to them truly inspires me.

But I also became burned out.

I made art because I had to create the next class. I stopped making art for fun. Bijou Be Well reminded me that this stuff is really fun and I look forward to each day’s video.

Keep it simple.

If you purchase a Bijou Be Well 2024 kit, you end up with a handful of pens and a bunch of 3Z tiles. The kit allows you to explore with a limited toolset – the elegance of limitations. If you spend time on the Socials and look at Zentangle art, you know there are a million different ways to create something. Many of us who have been doing this for awhile have accumulated a lot of supplies! The kit asks us to pare down what we use.

I did not buy a kit. I am one of those artists who has cabinets full of tiles, pens, and paints. In fact, I look forward to opportunities to break out some of the tools that I don’t use very often. So I failed in the limited toolset, but I am sticking to the 3Z tiles. As I select my tools for the day, I go with my first instinct and I don’t second guess it. If another idea pops into my head after I choose, I file it away for another time.

These tiles are smaller than the standard tile, but big enough to create a lovely monotangle – an exploration of one pattern. Each tile in Bijou Be Well starts with the same string border. Once my tools are selected, I don’t need to think. I just draw.

The world doesn’t end if you take time for yourself.

My plate is very full. It always is. It’s something that I am working on because I know it’s too much. I forget to come up for air.

Bijou Be Well reminds me to take a break and be creative for the sake of being creative. I look forward to each day’s email with the video link. In fact, I will be really sad when this event is over at the end of the month. Bijou is forcing me to rethink my days and how I can carve out little pockets to take little breaks and recharge. Ten days into this event, and the world has not stopped because I stopped for a little bit.

Here are the first ten days of the challenge. If you want to watch it with a little music that I wrote, check it out over on Instagram.