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! :-)