In Zentangle we talk a lot about ‘no erasers’ and ‘no mistakes’ when we’re drawing a tile. This is an important part of the Zentangle process; taking your time to draw slowly and carefully, feeling calm and relaxed, and incorporating ‘oops’ moments into new directions.
But this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t and don’t try out patterns by practicing them and playing around in sketchbooks or on scraps of paper. I have both scratch paper and a sketchbook, but tend to use the scratch paper most often – I usually use a kid’s newsprint ‘doodle pad’ from the dollar store, but right now it’s filled with old dot matrix printer paper I found lying around (minus the little holes on the side). There is zero risk in tangling and messing around on scrap paper when you’re experimenting, and I can always switch to a sketchbook and eventually try a tile when I feel I know what the tangle pattern will do.
You can see I’ve been playing around with Waybop, Munchin and Rumpus as well as looking at tangle combinations. While I would never draw a Zentangle tile on a scratch pad, it’s very freeing to have it by my side when ideas strike. Once I know where I’m going I might want to keep a record of my experiments, in which case I’ll switch to a sketchbook. A sketchbook also allows you to try out and remember variations on a tangle. In the sketchbook below I’m playing around with Meringue, and noting Dingbat ideas I found in an old book. Variations of these may end up in a tile someday, or looking at these might spark another idea.
When I see a new tangle pattern that intrigues me I reach first for the scratch pad. But even after a bit of practice, not every Zentangle pattern speaks to me. There are some patterns that other people gravitate to and absolutely love that I can’t seem to get comfortable with. That’s okay. When that happens I put it to one side knowing that not every tangle speaks to everyone.
But every so often someone shows me another way to approach one of these and then I’m off and running. That’s what happened recently with the Zentangle pattern Waybop.
The official stepout for Waybop is here on Zentangle’s old blog site. You can see that the first step is to place ‘seeds’ in a grouping and link up the lines to these initial seeds. I worked with this pattern for a while and with a bit of effort I could recreate the pattern according to this stepout but it required too much fiddling for my mind to enjoy, so once I figured it out I merely set it aside.
Then the other day I came across a video on Facebook by A Little Lime that showed a different way of starting Waybop. You can see it here on Facebook.
In this stepout for Waybop, instead of starting with the seeds in the corner, you start with the lines in between. It made a whole lot more sense to my brain, and suddenly it was fun. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop! That’s what I want in a tangle – too much fun to stop.
Another of my personal guidelines for tangle patterns is that I have to be able to remember how to do it without looking up the stepout (or after only a brief reminder glance). Time will tell if Waybop will now meet that criterion but it’s looking hopeful.
So with a little bit of practice and a new way of drawing Waybop, it’s now comfortable for me. Let’s see if it finds its way into my daily tiles now.
Have you tried Waybop yet? How does it work for you? What other tangles have grown on you? Comments are welcome.
(By the way, I wrote about A Little Lime in an earlier blog – click here for the blog and a link to the site)