A Zentangling workshop helps focus your energies, while you create art
You could call it a doodle or a piece of miniature art. But Zentangling—creating structured designs by drawing patterns—is growing in popularity as a handy tool to relieve stress, improve sleep patterns, develop motor skills and nurture creativity. While it’s been around in the West for 10 years now—the trademarked method was created by Rick Roberts, a monk, and Mary Thomas, a calligrapher, in Rhode Island, Providence—it only arrived on our shores a year ago. “I became a teacher after experiencing firsthand how the meditative art form helped settle my mind,” says Sandhya Manne, a US-certified Zentangle teacher, one of two in the country (the other resides in Bangalore).
Putting pen to paper
The simplest thing about the art is that it involves two basic tools—a pen and small three-and-a-half-inch paper tiles. “While doing these ink pen drawings, we focus on the process and the present. Each stroke is deliberate, you are present in every line that you draw. It encourages you to let go of trying to figure out a logical end because, just like in life, you make mistakes and make things up as you go. In this digital age, it also improves hand-eye coordination, especially in children,” explains Manne, adding that you don’t need to know how to draw to take up Zentangling. “If you can draw a line and write your name, you can tangle,” she laughs.
While research is ongoing in the US about its applications in stress reduction, education, therapy and motivational training, Manne informs that, “I’ve had people who’ve told me how their sleep patterns have improved since they started tangling 15 minutes before they went to bed. People have also reported how their blood pressure has gone down significantly, how they’ve stopped stressing about life. A student of mine who works with behaviourally-challenged kids in the US saw a marked difference in their behaviour—a child who couldn’t sit still for two minutes, would tangle for half an hour,” she says, adding that, “I used to be so uptight. Now I trust that things will resolve themselves.”
A self-taught artist by profession—she works with oils—Manne says that the by product of this simple therapeutic technique is some amazing abstract art. “Once you create the art, it is up to you as to where you take it. We’ve had artists who’ve taken Zentangling into a whole different level—into quilts, jewellery, etc,” says the M Com graduate. In fact, she will be teaming up with Tina Katwal of The Square Inch to show how you can convert your art into cushion covers and bags.
At The Square Inch, on July 19 and August 2, from 10.30 am to 1.30 pm. The three-hour workshop is `1,000, including supplies. Manne also conducts private classes (Rs. 1,800). Details: 9042072639
—Surya Praphulla Kumar