Lisa’s A Certified Zentangle Teacher — At Long Last!

Lisa's certificates for Zentangling

Regular readers may have seen my previous blogs on Zentangle®. The artform of mindful drawing has had a profound impact on my life. That’s why I was excited recently to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). It felt like a long time coming, but five years after discovering a world of tangles and patterns, I can finally call myself a CZT.

Conventionally drawn on 3.5-inch square tiles, Zentangle patterns are brilliant for distracting us from our problems. As the Zentangle philosophy goes, “Anything is possible… one stroke at a time.”

When people look at a tangled drawing, they often think it looks complicated and beyond their capability. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you can draw a fullstop, a dash, and the letters C, S and O, you can tangle!

When you break things down and take them stroke by stroke, it is very simple, and the repetition of drawing a pattern is a very soothing and relaxing activity. It keeps you focused on the present moment all while creating a lovely image! It encourages you to just slow right down and concentrate on what you are doing with your pen.

There are now more than 3,000 CZTs in 64 different countries — and I am now one of them. In fact, I am one of only seven CZTs in Scotland!

I attended the 39th Zentangle Teacher Training Program online. With the in-person training being held in the States, it was much easier — not to mention cheaper! — to attend the seminar virtually.

It was such an amazing experience

Lisa's A Certified Zentangle Teacher - At Long Last!

Photograph by Lisa Crow.

I stocked up on snacks, looked out my comfiest cushion and prepared to tangle over four wonderful days.

It was such an amazing experience and very indulgent. As a mum to a two-year-old, I don’t often get time to myself so this was a real luxury!

While you may think attending the seminar virtually would take away from the community aspect of attending in person, I actually did feel like I was part of something much bigger.

More than 300 people attended from places including Curacao, Australia, Spain, Tibet and, of course, the UK. Among the attendees of people wanting to become Certified Zentangle Teachers there was a surprising range of professions. We had accountants, an architect, a Benedictine nun, someone from the FBI and a museum curator. It was lovely thinking about all these people across several time zones tangling together. And all wanting to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher.

The event was hosted in Massachusetts, America, so we were five hours ahead in the UK. This meant that I didn’t finish for the day until midnight – not an hour I’m used to seeing these days unless our toddler has decided to have a bad night’s sleep!

I have to say, though, that it was so lovely to end a day of tangling by chatting to some of the fellow attendees on Zoom and hearing about where they are from and how they discovered Zentangle.

A group of us from the UK have even decided to stay in touch with one another. In fact, we’re having a catch-up this week, which I’m looking forward to. It’ll be nice to hear how everyone is getting on, as some of us the group have already held classes to teach Zentangle. We’re planning to tangle while we chat, too.

Zentangle has had such a positive impact

Lisa's A Certified Zentangle Teacher - At Long Last!

Photograph by Lisa Crow.

So what now? What was the point in doing the seminar? Well, partly it was great to be able to just have a bit of “me time” after almost three years of chasing a toddler. Plenty of people who attended the seminar don’t plan to teach Zentangle and just wanted to indulge themselves.

However, I actually want to do some teaching. During a time of great stress, Zentangle was the one thing in my life that actually helped me to unwind and relax a little bit. Other benefits of the artform include pain relief, physical and emotional therapies, focus and fine motor skill improvement. Zentangle has had such a positive impact on my life that I want to show other people how it can help them as well.

Maybe I’ll do it voluntarily. Perhaps it’ll just be the odd lesson here or there for a bit of “pocket money”. Whatever the future holds, I’m just thrilled that five years after first hearing about Zentangle, I can now proudly call myself a Certified Zentangle Teacher.

Zentangle HQ always say that either the artform attracts the best people or it brings out the best in them. And it’s so true. Everyone in the tangling community so far has been incredibly supportive of one another and I look forward to making even more friends through Zentangle.

Click here for more from the “Friend” team.