Searching for that “it” factor

It’s that time of year again when I realize I am truly awful at regularly blogging! What can I say? I prefer drawing to writing and other responsibilities!

Mental Health day from work turned into drawing a lot, a lot, a lot of lines!

I’ve spent this year trying to identify my creative aesthetic. What do I love doing most? What do I love most about others’ work? What pushes my creative buttons, inspires me to continue on? What makes me go “Oh, I love that!” or “How can I do that myself?”

A lot of this introspection and observation also reminded me of my Dynamics of Psychology in my undergrad program. While the first half of the class had me scratching my head and questioning everything I had learned about psychology thus far, I’ve realized years later that what I didn’t seem to learn in that class left an impression on me. Without getting too sciencey and breaking my own brain trying to explain, I’ll explain a little about what I absorbed from that class.

Fractals are everywhere. Repeating endlessly to eternity, forming the fabric of the existence of everything physically tangible. How it relates to psychology? I dont quite remember, but they’re pretty! And they consist of repeated lines and patterns. Sound familiar?

Fractals in kale!

And, humans and other living creatures will continue to behave a certain way until they approach an event or stimulus that causes them to change their actions or way of thinking, even if minutely. That small factor can completely change their lives both immediately and forever. Kind of like the butterfly effect, but not really. Again. Repeated behaviors, linear until they’re not.

Hmmm… brain broken yet? Mine is a little!

So how does this relate to my art and Zentangle practice? Let’s go back to my journey to discover that “it” factor.

It comes down to auras. Repeated lines. Echos. Halos. Vibrations. Rings from drops of water in a puddle. The steam rising from a pot of boiling water. Rays of light emanating from the sun and the moon and the stars.

So what if I just draw a line and aura it over and over? What if my pen gets bumped and now that line is no longer perfectly straight? Aura that new silhouette, that’s what!

And so, I set about to intentionally focus on auras in my work. Sometimes a border, sometimes wiggly lines over and over and over.

So now, a technique introduced to me by the Zentangle Method has woven itself into my life and my creative work in a way that I can only explain as revolutionary.

Am I being dramatic about a silly little concept? Probably. But for me, this epiphany and exploration has been really grounding and a great wellspring of creativity for me.

A 9x12ish canvas painted with super matte black, and tangled on with white ink

So, do you want to learn how to harness the power of the aura? I have just the thing for you (you saw this coming, right?).

Yep, I have a new Skillshare class available! I had every intention to publish this class 3 months ago, but life and excuses, excuses.

As always I am giving my email subscribers a free access link and a 2 months free link – use whichever you prefer! Skillshare does require an account, but if you’re just using the free access link you shouldn’t need to enter any payment information. If you decide to use the 2 free months, you will need to enter payment information. But, I know for a fact that it is SUPER easy to cancel your subscription and Skillshare doesn’t make it difficult or give you a guilt trip for doing so.

Free Access Link: https://skl.sh/2qOyUTQ

2 Free Months Link: https://skl.sh/2QThdxc

If you can leave a review, you’ll have my eternal gratitude! And I’ll have your feedback to use to improve or keep doing what I’m doing!

Examples from the Auras class

I hope you’ll enjoy!

Summer is winding down…

Ha! As soon as I said I might start blogging on the reg, I should have known that was a lie. Summer is now winding down, and it’s my favorite time of the year: fall! and my birthday! At the beginning of summer I started a new job. It occurred right after my last post and it’s been a whirlwind summer ever since! I’ve actually been working two jobs as I stuck around and helped my old employer out while they found a replacement. I love my new job and everyone there is amazing. I hope to stick with them a long time and grow in my adult education background.

I’ve also had a lot of fun this summer. Ted and I took a bus down to Chicago and had some amazing deep dish pizza followed by a trip to WNDR museum – super fun and super Instagrammable. My mom came to visit, which was so wonderful and so needed! We went kayaking, which I’ve never done before but can’t wait to do again! I showed mom around Madison…now I’m looking forward to my BFF’s visit next week for my birthday! I love my birthday, and even more so here in Wisconsin because the weather is always amazing — not hot like it was growing up in Phoenix! We’ll get some kayaking in as well as a little Ice Age Trail light hike, eat some good food, and catch up!

I have been working on another Skillshare class the past few weeks. Since I’ve been working with auras so much in my practice recently, I figured I might as well find a way to share my approach with the world! It’s funny timing, too, because Zentangle HQ also released their Project Pack series that featured a lot of auras. I find it curious how so many tanglers seem to be on the same creative wavelength. If you haven’t checked out Zentangle’s videos yet, I highly recommend them!

If you’ve followed me on Instagram you’ve seen me playing with a lot of fun art supplies and techniques. I recently picked up Blackest Black acrylic paint from Culture Hustle and it’s gloriously black (read the amazing back story to this pigment here). I painted a canvas with it and I am currently working on tangling over it in white with one of my fountain pens. I was really excited to discover a white fountain pen ink, and I think it’s really going to increase my white on black tangling productivity–as well as help me reach my goal of using all/mostly sustainable and renewable art supplies, one less thing to throw in the garbage! And, it’s going to look awesome! I haven’t decided yet if I will sell it or keep it, I guess it depends on how it actually turns out!

So, as summer comes to a close, keep a look out for my next Skillshare class! It’s going to be thorough and include several different completed tiles. I’ll also start working on my next class – white on black!

A peek at my upcoming Skillshare Class

I have received a few reviews on my older Skillshare classes that have mentioned the video and audio quality. It’s been something I have wanted to go back and change for a long time, and as time goes by I think it becomes a more glaring issue… but that happens when technology is constantly updating! So, I have high hopes too for going back and updating my older classes over the next few months so that the videos are shot with more modern technology ­čÖé

Until next time!

Tangle.Sip.Repeat.

-Sarah

It’s been awhile…Updates and New Class!

So, it’s been a hot minute since I updated my blog. The last year has been, to say the least….interesting. A little bit of a dark period for me, if I’m honest. But, I feel like I’m coming out of the tunnel now. I’m refocusing and getting my ducks back into a row, even if that row is a little uneven and chaotic still.

Good news is, I just hit the publish button on my new Skillshare class! This one is a lot of fun and I put a lot of work into it, so I hope you like it.

Can you do me a favor and check this class out? It would be most helpful to make sure this class gets off the ground as soon as possible. I’ve included a link here, so the first 25 people can access the class for completely free! Once you’ve watched the class, if you could give it a thumbs up and maybe even a review to let me know what you think? It would be immensely helpful! And, you’ll have fun doing it! Click here to access the class

This class is the first in a series I’ve dubbed “Becoming a Confident Tangler.” I want to share my “wisdom” with you about tangling and getting to a point where you feel comfortable tangling on your own. In the past I’ve always said that practice is key when it comes to Zentangle┬«, but I know that just doesn’t cut it for most people. So, here’s to making something tangible to help you become confident and independent!

So even though it’s been a rough year, it hasn’t stopped me from tangling and drawing. I’ve been really inspired by Peter Draws in the past few months, and his style has helped me realize a few things about my own style and what I enjoy most about different patterns and how I compose my artwork.

Enoying a cold brew and tangles/doodles at Barrique’s

I’ve also been thinking about ways I can reduce waste. I use a LOT of paper and pens and other art supplies. But I thoroughly enjoy the tactile aspects of pen and paper, so I’ve been researching and trying to find ways I can use traditional art supplies with less waste (without going digital).

What I’ve found so far, and it’s become a bit of an obsession now, is fountain pens! Infinitely reusable, with infinite ink possibilities. Many pens are pieces of art themselves (most are WAYYYY out of my budget, too!), and the inks are gorgeous. The pen in the picture above I was able to purchase used (reduce! reuse! recycle!). I’ll share more of my fountain pen finds in future posts, too. I also found an option to replace white gel pens, which I love to use on black paper, and this is the Isograph pens. They have a white ink that is really lovely and you can achieve super fine lines. A little expensive at first, and a bit of maintenance is required. But, a great way to reduce waste!

I’ll update more in the next few weeks. Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to read this! I hope you enjoy the new class, and if you have any requests/suggestions for my future classes, please drop me a line!

Take care!

Sarah