Book Review: One Zentangle A Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration and Fun by Beckah Krahula

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(Click here to place a hold on this book)

I’m not one to stick with extended-length projects. And this book didn’t change that for me. Rather than providing me with a 6-week long course, it gave me a nice, little week-long adventure of zentangles. A month ago, I didn’t even know what a zentangle was. It was only through a patron’s query that I discovered them and gained an interest in learning how to draw them. Tangles, as they are often called, are unplanned drawings using a pencil, a black pen and a 3.5″ square piece of paper. Meant to be a form of meditation, there is no right or wrong way to draw a tangle.

My initial plan was to get through the book in a few weeks’ time. I thought I could last at least that long. Unfortunately, one week later, life took over and my zentangles went right out the door. But here’s what I gathered in that one week:

1. Zentangles are fun. There is no right or wrong way to draw them, despite the steps that the book walks you through.

2. Zentangles, do, in fact provide a brief retreat away from life. The 15-20 minutes that are spent creating a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants drawing are all-consuming.

3. There is something fulfilling about completing a drawing and I have been pleased with every single one. They are all beautiful.

My only gripe lies not within zentangles themselves, but within the inherently contradictory nature of a book that tries to encapsulate a free-flowing art form. The author points out at the beginning, “There are no expectations or planned goals of accomplishment to worry about attaining or disappointments stemming from unattainable expectations”. Yet, despite the loads of instruction that disagree with the whimsical nature of the art form, the book gave me some amazing tools to create unique tangles, which, without, I would not have known where to begin.

Here are a few of the tangles I created:

my tangles

If you’re looking for a new way to relax and de-stress from the day, zentangle might be for you. Or, if like me, you can’t draw a thing, but want to create something unique then this art form might provide the artistic release you seek.
Check out some of our Zentangle titles and click the links to place a hold.

– SRJ

The Beauty of Zentangle: inspirational examples from 137 tangle artists worldwide by Suzanne McNeill

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Joy of Zentangle: drawing your way to increased creativity, focus, and well-being

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The Zentangle Untangled Workbook: a tangle-a-day to draw your stress away by Kass Hall

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Zentangle Untangled: inspiration and prompts for meditative drawing by Kass Hall

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