Hello 2020!

It’s hard to believe we’re in a new year and a new decade! Time flies by faster every day it seems.

I’m not super into Resolutions, but I usually like to take the first few weeks of the new year to reflect on the things I want to continue doing in the new year, or things I want to improve on. However, this year I am kind of hitting the ground running so I don’t have as much leisure to take my time!

I have multiple classes coming up here in the Madison, WI area. The first is at Revel DIY Craft Bar, which I am super excited about! These ladies have been killing it and are really doing something successfully that I had thought about doing a few years ago – creating a place that people can go to do a little crafting in a chill environment. Their projects are totally accessible and not terribly expensive. I’ll be teaching an introductory level class there in mid-January…and hopefully it’ll be successful enough that we can add more workshops in the future! If you’d like to sign up click here

I am also going to be teaching at Madison Area Technical College in February! We’re starting off with a 3-week series of Discover Zentangle®. We’ll go through all the foundational areas of Zentangle and create a really nice base understanding and hopefully create some new Zentangle enthusiasts! You can sign up here

But, back to resolutions, or the lack thereof. Because I don’t have a lot of time to reflect and plan this January, I’m starting to feel just a touch overwhelmed. I have a lot going on between preparing for classes, normal work responsibilities, and chores and whatnot that need to be done at home. Not to mention having fun and creating art for the sake of creating and having fun!

A zendala I did with my mom over the Christmas break. We followed along the Zentangle 12 Days series on YouTube

What I’ve found that works for me, and maybe it will work for you too, is to focus on one or two things that I can actually control. They can be small things, or big things, but make sure they’re manageable. Last year, I started to focus on what I was eating and making sure to get out and go for a little walk every day. That turned into some amazing changes for me! I started feeling better, getting more active, and my confidence went up – all super helpful things when I also decided to get back into my degree field and find a new job.

This year, there are so many things in the air! With the loss of my Skillshare platform I am really starting to feel the anxiety from that, but I am also really excited about teaching the aforementioned “brick-and-mortar” classes. I’ll also be taking on new responsibilities at work. AND, I have my Patreon now which is a lot of work especially in the beginning stages where I need to plan AND produce content fairly quickly! I feel like my mind looks a lot like the Zendala up there!

A couple of commission pieces I did for a friend. A little out of my comfort zone, but fun to create and I am really happy with them!

So, what are some things that I can focus on to maintain a little control when life is crazy? I’m not sure yet! I know one thing I want to do is to do more meal prep. Eating healthy is great and mostly easy to do, except it’s a lot of work when you have a million other things to do. So once or twice a month I will do a big meal prep session so I can focus on other things the rest of the time.

I also want to do one creative focus this year. I think I will start participating in one or two challenges per month so that I am not too overwhelmed, but also making sure that I am keeping up my own art practice!

The great thing about my un-resolutions is that I can adjust them! If they’re not working or they’re not meeting my needs in any way, I can change! There’s no failure here, no mistakes, just a redirection. A tangleation, you might say 🙂

So you’ve made it this far and I appreciate you reading all my ramblings. I hope you’ll try out so un-resolutions. If you need a creative outlet, please consider my Zentangle classes – if you’re not in Madison I have my Patreon that will be a great resource!

So, here’s to 2020 and letting small changes have big impacts…. or something motivational like that 🙂 And if all else fails, just put your pen to paper and get your tangle on!

Cheers!

Sarah

Returning to my tangled roots

It’s been almost 9 years since my first experience with Zentangle®.

It’s hard to believe it’s been that many years, especially when I look back and realize I had no idea how profound an impact that experience would have on my life.

*The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. “Zentangle” is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.

Learn more at zentangle.com.

I was a recent college graduate, working in my first “real” job (I’ve since learned that all jobs are real!), and floundering a bit in my personal life. I needed a hobby, an outlet. Something creative. I liked to color in coloring books, but was starting to feel it just wasn’t enough. But, I didn’t know how to draw or knit or build anything.

My mom mentioned one day that we should try this Zentangle thing. What the heck is it? Doodling? Drawing? I didn’t really understand, and I was really quite skeptical. But, mom offered to pay, so hey why not? (Also, I love my mom and love spending time with her, so this was just an added bonus).

Leading up to that first class I did very little research, I had seen some “Zentangle” things and was already feeling overwhelmed. I even had a co-worker, who was wonderfully artistic, show me her “Zentangle” art she created just from looking at pictures on the internet. What the heck! I’ll never be able to do that! That’s so complicated. So, I started to worry.

Fast forward to the day of class. We got to the stamp shop it was taking place in. Mom’s friend joined us (someone I consider a friend myself now too!). Class started and something flickered inside me. As class went on I was more and more amazed! This is so fun! This is so simple! I wish I had this all my life! I found out the CZT was teaching another “intermediate” class that afternoon, so I signed up for that too! By the end of the day I had 6 hours of class time under my belt, a bag of supplies to take home, and a fire burning brighter than I’d felt in a long time. A Tangler Was Born!

My very first tangle! I’ve saved it all these years and love showing people where I started.

Looking back, it really is amazing. I had no idea that this little thing would turn into such a huge part of my life. I’ve obviously since become a Certified Zentangle Teacher myself. But I also now consider myself an artist. I’ve tried different mediums, I even took a Drawing 101 class at the community college and drew actual things! I still prefer abstract – more for the flow process, it’s easier to relax when I’m not trying to perfectly capture the shadows in a still life picture.

More than anything is that Zentangle has brought so many wonderful people into my life. I’ve been able to share this love of mine with people all over the world through social media. But I’ve also taught classes in-person, attended workshops, and joined communities that gather around this silly little thing called Zentangle.

So this week, when one of the handful of ways I share my classes and inspires other just dissolved before my eyes, I was heartbroken. But, I cannot dwell, I have to move forward. So I’ve decided to go the route of Patreon. I had considered this platform months ago but decided to stick with what I knew – oh how life has its own plans! This platform allows me to set up several options to be accessible to students, both financially but also personally! I want to watch my students grow and be able to communicate with them regularly and offer more content than just Zentangle, but more Zentangle-inspired things like drawing spirals or mandalas, or using watercolors. I have a lot of content lined up, on top of re-packaging and sharing the content that I had shared on Skillshare. I also plan to have some Sip and Tangle live video sessions, too. It’s great to be able to do everything within one platform!

So, I know I’ve posted a lot this week, and you’re probably tired of all my ramblings : ) But, I hope you’ll come check things out on Patreon and continue on this Tangled Adventure with me!

My first tile – revisited!

All new Patrons in December will receive a 30 minute Tangle Intro video where I revisit that very first tile I created in my first Zentangle class. I’ll muse about my experience but also show you step by step the Zentangle method and how to create the tile as well!

Until next time!

Cheers! – Sarah