Ah, how I love my crafty friends, always turning me on to something new. My friend Eva of Grand River Beads was telling me about Zentangle.com, and how she wants to apply the idea to bead embroidery.
So here’s the gist of it: I think it’s kind of like a mandala: you make a squiggle and then fill in the open areas with a motif. I’m not sure what the technique is because they want you to buy a kit for $50.00 to learn how to doodle.
The site talks about how therapeutic it is, and how you’ll get hooked, and how it promotes insight, and how it’s a form of therapy. Hmmm. Color me a bit skeptical. If it’s therapeutic, why not describe the technique? Why make someone pay the green for a kit that includes pen and paper and the how-to DVD?
So I like the idea, but just not the commercialism. My recommendation: Try a mandala first.
A mandala is a piece of art made in a circle. (Mandala means “circle” in Sanskrit.) Take a piece of paper, draw or trace a circle, and fill it in. With what? Whatever. Doodle, make images. Use pen or pencils or crayons or watercolors or pastels or markers. Just start doing. And finish when it seems done. (Or when you run out of space. Then you can fill the outside, too!)
Carl Jung used mandalas in his psychotherapy practice, feeling that the mandala art form was “representation of the unconscious self.” What I like about them is that it’s completely free-form, and you can analyze it later. Or not. You can also just let it be what it is.
They can be symmetrical, like the ones the Buddhists make, or free-form. See? No rules, just right! (Or write. Or draw. Whatever.)
Personally, being the musical Craftista that I am, I like to paint on drums. Instant mandalas!
Try it yourself. For free. Skip the $50.00 kit- for now!
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