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Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA): Taking Tangles Beyond Paper and Into Mixed Media

In the fast-paced world we live in, finding moments of tranquility and artistic expression can be a rare treasure. Enter Zentangles – an art form that has captured the hearts of countless enthusiasts worldwide. Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas created Zentangles in the early 2000s, which are structured patterns formed within a small space. There’s no pre-planning or sketching required by the Artists. We just create aesthetically pleasing patterns. Additionally, they serve as a mindfulness practice that enhances focus relieves stress, and nurtures a sense of relaxation.

What is Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA)?

Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA) takes the meditative essence of Zentangles and elevates it to new heights of creativity. ZIA builds upon traditional Zentangle patterns to create larger and more intricate compositions. It celebrates artistic freedom while retaining the spirit of mindfulness, resulting in expressive pieces that reflect the artist’s unique style and vision. You can check out some guides on the official website: Creating Art and Products – Zentangle

How to Create ZIA with mixed media?

ZIA provides a captivating basis for artistry. Adding mixed media can enhance these creations. Artists can use Zentangle patterns and various materials to add depth and texture to their ZIA pieces. Here are some exciting ways to incorporate mixed media into Zentangle-Inspired Art:

  1. Watercolors and Inks: Use watercolors or alcohol inks to add a burst of color to your Zentangle patterns. Experiment with blending techniques, washes, and gradients to create captivating backgrounds or accentuate specific elements within the ZIA.

  2. Collage Elements: Integrate collage elements such as torn paper, vintage book pages, or ephemera to add layers and visual interest to your Zentangle art. Zentangle patterns can seamlessly with collages to create fascinating juxtapositions. You can even add pressed flowers, and feathers for a touch of nature.

  3. Acrylics and Gouache: Embrace the vibrancy and versatility of acrylic paints or gouache to create bold and expressive highlights or backgrounds in your ZIA. From splatters and drips to opaque layers, acrylics can enhance the overall aesthetic of your piece.

  4. Stencils and Texture Paste: Introduce stencils and texture paste to add dimensional aspects to your Zentangle patterns. Use stencils to create unique backgrounds, and apply texture paste to specific areas to create raised effects and tactile surfaces.

  5. Markers and Pens: Combine different pens and markers with your Zentangle patterns to introduce contrasting line weights, shades, and textures. White gel pens can be particularly effective in adding highlights and details to your artwork.

  6. Embellishments: Incorporate small embellishments such as beads, sequins, or metal accents to add a touch of whimsy and dimension to your ZIA. These details can make your artwork truly stand out and become a conversation piece.

  7. Texture Tools: Explore unconventional texture tools like bubble wrap, sponge, or fabric to imprint unique textures onto your Zentangle patterns or background.

Remember, when incorporating mixed media into your ZIA, it’s essential to strike a balance between the Zentangle patterns and the added elements. Allow the Zentangle art to remain the focal point while using mixed media to complement and enhance its beauty.

The beauty of ZIA lies in its boundless possibilities.

Here are some inspiring ideas:

  1. Nature’s Wonders: Use ZIA to depict intricate flora and fauna, exploring the mesmerizing patterns found in the natural world.

  2. Surreal Landscapes: Create dreamlike landscapes that blend reality with imagination, where Zentangle patterns form mountains, rivers, and celestial bodies.

  3. Portraits with a Twist: Explore ZIA in portraiture, weaving patterns into hair, clothing, or even as a mesmerizing backdrop.

  4. Storytelling Art: Use ZIA to illustrate narratives, retell ancient myths, or craft original tales through intricate patterns.

  5. Mandalas and Beyond: Experiment with ZIA in mandalas, dreamcatchers, or other circular designs, embracing the meditative nature of these shapes.

Popular artists who create ZIA

ZIA has garnered a devoted following from artists who have mastered the art form and created their distinctive styles. Some well-known ZIA artists include:

  1. Joanne Fink: A pioneer in the ZIA community, Joanne’s art showcases her unique blend of lettering and patterns, offering a fresh perspective on this art form.

  2. CZT Laura Harms: As a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), Laura’s ZIA pieces exude a sense of harmony and joy, inspiring artists to embrace their own creative journeys.

  3. Eni Oken: Known for her innovative ZIA tutorials, Eni’s art is both intricate and captivating, inviting artists to delve deeper into the world of Zentangle Inspired Art.

If you’re looking for some inspiring artists, you can check my book Around the World in 80 Tangles which features some amazing tangles and artists.

Zentangle Inspired Art is a powerful blend of creativity, mindfulness, and expression that captivates both artists and viewers alike. As you immerse yourself in this meditative practice, allow the intricate patterns to guide you on a journey of self-discovery and artistic growth.

I am a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Find my tangles and books here:

Check out my courses and free resources on my website:

Home – MZ Creates

Have fun tangling!

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