Recharge Your Batteries With Creativity
Recharge Your Batteries With Creativity

Recharge Your Batteries With Creativity

I am a musician first and an artist second. Unlike many of my artistic friends who seem to be able to draw/paint/sculpt anything, I have a narrow lane that I feel comfortable in but it has plenty of intersections and scenic overlooks. Over the last decade, Zentangle showed me that I can make beautiful things and it gave me an excuse to learn more than a few techniques that I probably would have overlooked otherwise. Most importantly, I found a way to recharge m batteries with creativity. During the pandemic, I became a Certified Zentangle Teacher® (CZT) and began my journey of sharing the art form.

Zentangle teaches so much more than repeated pattern drawing, though. That’s just the start. I carry many of its lessons with me outside of my studio.

But first, my beliefs…

Table top with Zentangle cards, pens, pencils, tortillons. Recharge your batteries with creativity.

We all need to create.

Everyone of us. Humans are creative creatures. If you don’t believe yourself to be creative because you feel like you can’t make art or can’t sing or whatever, I invite you to think about an activity that you can get lost in. Do you like gardening? Cooking or baking? Restoring an old car? Building something? You’re creating.

We all need to make time for ourselves.

I don’t need to talk about how packed in our days can be. We all live with it, and carving out a small pocket of time for ourselves seems impossible.

But it’s a necessity if we want to keep going.

When I don’t make time to create – art or music, in my case – I feel it. I’m burned out. Uninspired. Unmotivated. Creating something factors into my daily routine. During this time, I am not thinking about whether this song will be something useful for a project or if this piece of art will end up in a class. In that moment, I am just creating. For me. Even if I only managed to spend fifteen minutes doing it, my batteries feel recharged and ready to tackle what’s next.

We all let our inner critic have too much say.

Who doesn’t have that nagging voice in their back of their heads? Sometimes, that voice is really hard to ignore. And sometimes, that voice actively holds us back.

I am a recovering perfectionist so I’m very familiar with my inner critic’s ideas about how things should be done.

We all need a little appreciation.

Sometimes, we go days without hearing that we did a good job which just drains our batteries faster.

Why Zentangle®?

I doubt anything I’ve said to this point is radical or new. At least, I hope it isn’t, but I think we need to be reminded every so often. (I know I do!) Zentangle wraps up these lessons with a fun and creative bow.

Anyone can draw.

Yes, even you. Zentangle patterns are created with simple lines, curves, and dots. Some of the patterns look complex — and they may require a little concentration to draw them — but they still only use very simple pen strokes.

Bite-sized art.

If you spend time on the Zentangle social media groups, you’ll inevitably see wonderful designs that took days to create, but Zentangle doesn’t have to be big. In fact, traditionally, it uses a small square card as its canvas. Not only is the card extremely portable, it can be completed in about an hour!

There are no mistakes in Zentangle.

I love this saying except I like to extend it. There are no mistakes in Zentangle – just opportunities to be creative. So what if that line isn’t exactly where I originally envisioned it? I’ll find a way to work it into the pattern anyways. Over the years, I hear myself saying this about others things in my life more and more.

Often times, our inner critic wants us to believe that something is a disaster. Perhaps it didn’t go as planned, but can you make it work anyways?

Wow! Look at that!

When I first ventured into the Zentangle world, I took several classes with a local CZT. When we finished our tangles, she instructed us to hold our card at arm’s length and say, “Wow! Look at that!” In the moment, it forced us to appreciate what we accomplished and ignore our inner critic who was hopping mad that we didn’t get that pattern just right.

After we appreciated our own work, we brought our cards up to the table in front and created a tile mosaic with all of them. Then we gathered around the table and took them all in, noticing how we each approached the patterns and appreciating the personal touches and styles that we all literally brought to the table. Before we could take our cards back to our workstations, we clapped and told each other that we did a good job.

Zentangle builds appreciation right into its process – how cool is that?

New year, new you?

If you find that your batteries continually feel low, I invite you to find some time to create. Join me online for a Zentangle class or revisit a hobby or activity that you love but can’t seem to find time to do. Even a few minutes a day makes a huge difference!