31 Days – 31 Tiles : Develop a Daily Zentangle Practice

What do you do each day to find your calm, focus, or inner peace? A Daily Zentangle® Practice can take as little as 15 minutes and it holds the power to change your life in surprising ways!

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Yesterday was the last day of January, the first month of 2019. Weren’t we just toasting the New Year like yesterday?! Time ticks on. For many January was pretty sucky with the Winter Vortex bringing crazy cold temps. Sorry, I wish I could change that for you! Here in Sunny Arizona, January 2019 was cold. It snowed about every other day for a week. And then it rained. Now, don’t get me wrong, I never complain about water, in whatever form it comes. It is so precious here in the desert. I will say that it made for some yucky weather, by Arizona standards!

Enough about the weather! How was your January? What are you most pleased with? What are you going to try to be better at next month? Don’t you just love that each day brings us a new opportunity?! I do!

Imperfection

I’ve been a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) for a year and a half. I still have so much to learn and I want to focus on developing my own art this year. I’m not sure where this journey will take me, but I will tell you that my Zentangle practice is my foundation. I try and create a Daily Zentangle Practice tile. I call them DZP tiles. Just like me, my Zentangle practice is not perfect. I don’t always get to draw a tile every day. That’s OK with me.

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I’ve participated in challenges from Facebook groups or Zentangle artists’ websites that prompt you to draw every day. They stress me out! I feel pressure to keep up, and I always fall behind. Then I get stressed. And of course, this is all created by me! There are no FB or website police making sure that I do something every day. So, I give myself permission to be imperfect. And it’s a good thing because perfection does not exist. At least not in nature and not in us! The fantastic thing about imperfection is that it is so much more interesting that perfection!

Some of us perfectionists just take longer to embrace imperfection. As a recovering perfectionist myself, I can tell you that it’s life-changing when you do! I have Zentangle to thank for this transformation. There are “No Mistakes” in Zentangle, only opportunities. Just one of the ways that Zentangle is a metaphor for life. I do believe that there are no mistakes in life. Everything happens for a reason. We don’t always get to know what the reason is, but there is one. At least this is what I believe. Even if you have different beliefs on everything happening for a reason, the metaphor still applies on a daily level. If Perfection is unachievable, then being a perfectionist is a losing battle. Stop fighting!

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Although I know I’m not perfect, and that daily challenges stress me out, I still managed to draw a DZP tile every day in January! I would be fine if I had missed a day. I do find it curious that without the stress of a challenge, I was able to draw every day. I still like challenges. I’ll continue to try them. I don’t promise to keep up or even finish, but I’m going to keep doing them because I always learn so much more when I push myself. I’m just OK with my imperfection!

As you look at my DZP tiles for January 2019 you may notice some common threads; I discovered that I can get a cool look by simply using aura lines to fill sections of the string when I’m not feeling any other tangle. You see it on several tiles this month.

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January's Featured Tangles

And here are this month’s featured tangles. If there is a number after the tangle name then I used it that many times in January. Note that if there is no credit given for deconstructing a given tangle, then it is one of Zentangle HQ’s tangles:

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Do I love them all? No, of course not. Do I hate any of them? Actually no. There are always tiles that I’m not crazy about, but I never hate them. I always learn something with every tile. Practice does make perfect as they say.

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Favorites

There are always tiles that I like better than others. Remember it is the process and "every tile is a practice tile!" My fellow CZT Amanda Clifford taught me that. It was difficult to narrow down my favorites to 3 tiles for this month. I did succeed! And now for my top 3 favs for January:

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Tips for Developing a Daily Zentangle Practice

And here are my tips for today:

If you are concerned about how much time a daily Zentangle practice will require, know that you can set a timer and if 15 minutes is all the time you can spare, then simply tangle for 15 minutes. Maybe it takes a few days to finish a tile. Another option is to use a smaller tile. The Bijou tiles are 2 inches square and you could fill it in less time than the standard 3 1/2 inch tiles.

Allow yourself to really practice a technique, or a tangle, or use a different tool and focus on it during your daily practice for a week, or a month. You will be amazed at how quickly you will get to know the technique, tangle, or tool with a little focus.

Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed by all the tangles out there. I let myself get overwhelmed at first. Overwhelmed = stressed so, it’s got to go! Learn a few basic or foundational tangles (e.g. Crescent Moon, Hollibaugh), then learn a few tangles you like and practice them, a LOT! They will become your “go to” tangles. You’ll want to have these in your bag of tricks so that you can draw a tile with only the tools you get in the basic kit; pen, pencil, tortillion, tiles. And remember, “Anything is possible, one stroke at a time!”

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my DZP tiles for January. If you are not practicing the Zentangle Method already then consider giving it a try! Look for a CZT near you and if you cannot find one then I hope you hang out here with me! I’ll try and help guide you on your Zentangle journey. If you are practicing the Zentangle Method then I’m so happy that you found it, like I did! I hope you will let me be at least a little part of your journey.

Do you practice the Zentangle Method daily? Or at least try to? Become part of our tribe or circle and comment below. Let us know about your practice. Do you have tips to share? What are your “go to” tangles? We want to know!

Til next time; Be You, and Be Happy!

Siggy

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