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Zentangles: Doodling as a Form of Art

by Stacey Libbert, Running Monologue

Photo provided by Mommy Labs

I am a life-long doodler.  I doodled in my notebooks as a child.  I doodled on the phone book as I sat and talked on the telephone.  I doodled in the margins of my notes in college and in staff meetings.  Even now, I doodle on my church bulletin or my calendar or my journals.  Some teachers thought I wasn’t listening if I was doodling, but nothing could have been further from the truth.  If anything, when I was doodling, I was listening more intently and deeply than if I’d been sitting with my hands folded neatly on the desk in front of me.

Doodling brings a clarity and focus to my hearing, my processing and my learning.  It’s one of the greatest tools I ever used as a student, writer and artist because doodling opens up creative pathways in my brain where my best ideas find their way to the page. 

Doodling is a form of prayer at times.  It is a form of creative thinking.  

I have become a huge fan of art journaling, sometimes filling as many art journal pages as written pages, and one of my favorite forms of art in those journals is something called a Zentangle. 

Simply put, Zentangles are repeated patterns, often in black and white, that are put together in creative designs to create a piece of art.  They are intuitive, imaginative, and beautiful, and best of all, anyone can do them.  Children also find them very appealing and accessible.  

Zentangles are super easy because they don’t require a lot of material.  All you need is paper and a black gel pen or fine-point Sharpie and a willingness to let your imagination flow.  

Because I am a dedicated journal keeper, I began a Zentangle journal.  I carry it with me in my purse and pull it out when I am bored or have some free time or if I’m in a long meeting.  I’ve even taken to cutting my patterns out and pasting them onto painted pages in other journals. 

I also pull it out and work in it with my children at the dining room table.  We put on some music, chat about our day, and let our hands doodle all over the page.  The result is always interesting.   My daughter likes to add lots of vibrant colors to hers while my son’s are big and dramatic.  Either way, each zentangle is as unique as its creator, and it serves as a wonderful way to wind down at the end of a long day, to breathe deeply, to not think too much.  They are, quite simply, one of the best meditations around.  

If you’re interested in learning more about Zentangles, you can visit the official website .  There are also some great books available as well as hundreds of images on the Internet to get your creative juices flowing.  One of my favorites can be found at Mommy Labs.  Rashmie has great examples and thoughts on the process of zentangling.  Check it out.

Stacey Libbert is a writer, artist and mom in the mountains of North Carolina.  She spends her days writing, exploring the world, and doodling in the margins of her papers as often as possible.  Stop by to say hello and visit her at Running Monologue.


Reader Comments (3)

nice to see that doodling makes you happy, doodle away
Aug 19, 2013 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterCanadian Pharmacy
I can suggest to you bamboo products. You can check that. You'll get a great looks on your home.
Apr 24, 2015 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJose Barajas

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