Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In response to a comment...

Laura from Saskatoon left a comment and I didn't feel I could answer it in a sentence or two, so I'm answering it here, in a post. Also, I've received emails along similar lines, so I figured there might be others wondering the same thing.

Laura said:  Hi there, I've just bookmarked your blog! I am totally addicted to zentangle, like crazy.
I was wondering if I might be able to pick your brain about Zentangle certification, and what your experience was.

I was introduced to Zentangle by a friend just before Christmas this year, and quite frankly, i haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I ordered my Zentangle kit Christmas Day. Then, the day after commenting to a friend that i'd love to be able to teach Zentangle, i received the newsletter from Rick and Maria with the dates for Certification.

One of my resolutions this year is to pay attention to 'coincidences' in my life, and to be more creative daily. This seemed to fit together all too nicely.

i guess i was just wondering if you've been doing workshops and how that's been working for you. And also to get a first hand account of what the certification seminar is like. All my gut feelings are pulling me towards this, but the logic in me needs to hear it from someone.

I appreciate your time, and any help you might like to pass along.

I reply:  Wow Laura! Welcome to the addicting world of Zentangle!! I too followed a path of coincidences and doors opening one after another. But it was a year between my discovering Zentangle, and attending the certification workshop. I LOVED the workshop. I loved being in a room with 50 people who all were as excited as I was. I loved seeing Maria's studio - what an inspiration. The workshop is 4 days of learning tons of patterns, "how to teach a workshop", and networking like crazy. I had not planned to teach when I took the workshop - I just wanted to know more. I do teach, because I am so passionate about this subject. There are quite a few CZTs now and by next year there will be over 200! In New England there is a bit of a glut and it can be hard to deal with the competition. Quite a few people go to the certification because they see this as a chance to make a lot of money... like a franchise. That sucks because it hurts all of us who are just really passionate about Zentangle. I spoke at the second certification workshop and I have a hard time NOT sharing all my great ideas ;-) so I was shocked and a bit hurt to later see an attendee teaching a class based on art from my private sketchbook. (With no credit given). And someone else is teaching at an art retreat using material from my CPS Magazine article - some of the patterns are in her sample images as well. It's life. Imitation is supposed to be flattering and all that. But it still sucks. Ah well.

I love teaching Zentangle because there is a look students get when they realize they can DRAW! They can create. I am an illustrator and I have taught all different kinds of art classes, but this one really makes people happy and excited. I am worried about how easy it is to get certified and the "borrowing" of ideas, but I keep going because I really believe this is a good thing overall. A very important thing to keep in mind though - and this is a problem in any area really - if you turn your Zentangle passion into a business, it no longer relaxes you in the same way. I am always thinking of things to teach, or an article, etc. I need a new way to relax now! :-)


  1. Wow! Thanks for all the information! it's been very helpful and informative, and quite honestly - has added fuel to the fire! :D

    Now to get to Whitinsville!

  2. I'm new to Zentangle, saw it and took it my own direction and style and love it. I don't know why certification is needed? Can't anyone teach another without certification? If it is a matter of gathering and sharing information, make it a workshop. I just don't understand certification needs. Thanks for clearing it up for me. :D

  3. Yes! You can teach Zentangle without being certified. The point of the workshop is to learn all the foundations, the basics, the tips and mistakes to avoid... all that, from the originators. You learn the process of how it came about and the point of it all. If you do want to teach it, it really does help to learn this stuff. I mentioned in an older post that any one can do Zentangle inspired artwork and make it their own. But "Zentangle", the method or process, was designed with particular steps to accomplish a particular goal - and for that, you need instruction of some kind. Does that make sense?

  4. just wanted to say thank you for exposing me to zentangle...i have the alpha tangle book and have been thrilled to add these techniques to my personal journaling...zentangle is very relaxing and really adds a quirky element to all things creative... ;)

  5. Ah that line between art making and making bucks with your art making...not always and easy one to straddle. Keeping your heart and joy in it is the key, I think, right, Sandy ? You obviously do that ! ;)
    I am thinking about a get together for my NH/Ma friends from Squam again soon - will let you know !
    Happy New Year !

  6. I love the Alpha Tangle book I just received! Thanks so much!!! What an inspiration!!! I did link to your blog from my blog as I posted a small 'bleep' about your book! Thanks so much!!!

  7. I am hoping to become the first CZT in my state (there aren't any yet!), and will be attending the conference in October. I have been addicted to doodling since high school (many years ago) and I found the Zentangle site last year - a true inspiration. I shared the technique with the art teachers I work with, and the results from the students have been truly amazing.



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