Self-criticism Out, Zentangle In

I’ve recently been experiencing a creativity block when I try to sit down and make new jewelry. When it happens, I have a tendency to try to force results, even though I know that’s not productive.  When I finally break down and admit that I need a little inspiration, I browse Pinterest for images of jewelry I haven’t seen before or peruse images that I have already pinned to one of my own boards. There’s always beautiful inspiration on Pinterest and you can probably tell by my 5,460 individual pins that I have spent a little time seeking it out. My 136 pinboards should indicate that I don’t limit my quests for inspiration for jewelry making to images of jewelry.

Lately, I have been pinning to a group of boards that I have categorized “Art” which are primarily populated with images of doodles and other ink drawings. I’m a life-long doodler and often find myself saying “oooooh” and “aaaaah” over the beautiful results others have scratched out onto paper… Of my own doodling, I tend to be overly critical, despite the fact that they are only doodles. I don’t often manage to relax while doodling because of my self-criticism, which defeats the whole point of doodling in the first place. Thanks to Pinterest I have been able to overcome that tendency and actually reverse it somewhat. Thanks to Pinterest, I have discovered Zentangle.

Defined by the official Zentangle website as “an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns,” this loosely structured art form has been my key to not only managing to relax a little, but also finding a bit of confidence in myself… At the very least, more confidence in my ability to doodle. It may seem like a very small issue to some, but not long ago (like, last week) I wouldn’t even consider the possibility of doodling with ink; I “messed up” far too many strokes to even think about giving up the option of erasing my mistakes. A few days ago, I had completed about half of a full-page Zentangle when I realized that I had yet to erase so much as a single stroke. When that realization struck me, I picked up a pen to finish the page and was quite pleased with the outcome. If you look at that piece, you can tell when/where I had my ah-ha moment although I had already gone over the pencil portion in ink.

My sweetheart has seen the images I pin to my art boards and complemented my Zentangle pieces by telling me that they would be be big hits on Pinterest and has encouraged me to post them rather than keep them all to myself. While I recognize that his opinion may be a bit biased, I figure what-the-heck, I might as well find out, so here they are: my Zentangle Debut Duo.


Look closely and you can see that part of this Zentangle is drawn in inked-over pencil.


My first completely ink Zentangle.

Of course, I would love to have your comments at the end of this post. I appreciate your pinning my images and following my boards as well!