Tuesday, 29 July 2014

ABC of Zentangle..., C for Creativity

As I See It..

A little Zen, and some Tangles..
( To understand, and learn Zentangle®)

Linked to ABC Wednesday

What would be your response to a straight forward question, 'Are you a creative person?'

My experience is, about 10% respondents are confidant that they are. Majority of the rest are not very sure, and only a small segment confirms that they are not!

Why this polarisation?

 I have my own explanation. In my case the culprit was my art teacher at the school. Probably it was 7th, or 8th grade when the art teacher proclaimed only few in the class as who 'could draw'.  The rest were classified as 'can not draw' category. I was in the larger group. Over period, this 'can not draw' belief got transformed in to 'not being creative'. Period.

This belief grows and becomes a life sentence for most of us. But believe me, the sentence can be revoked. Because, each one of us has creativity within us. And Zentangle® method precisely goes on to establish it. You will know it when you indulge in it!

However, since the word I have chosen is CREATIVITY, let me present here, through a zentangle  illustration, principles of creativity. This presentation is inspired by 'Keys to drawing with imagination', by Bert Dodson. On the pages of introduction, he describes 8 principles for creativity...

Principles for Creativity
tangles used are: Chard, Cayke, Cadent, Chainlea, CO2, 'Cockles and Mussels', Casella and Ciceron
The first principle says, 'Creativity occurs in action'. I had a few ideas for presenting these principles in this post, but the zentangle tree started emerging only when I put pencil and the pen on paper. And the idea of making a tree was not a very jazzy one. So the second principle that 'Creativity begins with simple ideas' got established.

The third one says, ' Creativity lives in the present', Try creating anything while your mind is either stuck in the past, or roaming in to the future! When I was creating the above illustration, I was absolutely in the present moment.

Can anybody deny the fourth principle that 'Creativity increases with practice'? I began creating zentangles nearly three years ago, and I see a distinct improvement in my work over these three years. I must have created more than 250 tiles so far.

We were also taught during the Certified Zentangle Teacher's seminar at Providence, RI, that 'there is no post judgement' in zentangle. And we were also subtly inspired to give positive comments to other tanglers' work, and both these conditions only helped one to grow in zentangle. That, precisely is the fifth principle-'Creativity increases as judgement and criticism decrease'.

If I had to make 'any' illustration, on 'any' subject, I don't think I would have thought of creating the above illustration on the principles for creativity. Specific diktat that this post is on 'C', and my own self created constrain that I will write in these posts only about zentangle, helped me to come out with this piece of art. Further, the another constrain that I will use the tangles beginning with 'C' only, got better out of me in making the illustration interesting. That establishes the sixth principle, 'Creativity likes constraints and specifics'

The 7th principle is self evident - 'Creativity emerges in experimentation, manipulation and explorations'.Most of the tangles created for zentangle are the result of this principle. And the 8th principle takes the cake. 'Creativity is about having a plan, and a willingness to depart from it'  In fact, one of the most important rules of Zentangle is, 'NO PLANNING'. Down the line, while creating a zentangle, some loose, vague plans may emerge, and quickly it may get altered. In the above illustration, at some stage I thought I would create a border, and what came out was partial border being balanced out by the narration of 8th principle!

Bert Dodson represents the Western, absolutely logical body of principles for creativity. I would also want you to have a look at an Eastern Mystic's(Philosophical) way of looking at creativity. The short video presents few slides inspired by Osho's book, ' Creativity- Unleashing the power within' . When East meets West, magic could happen!

Zentangle and Creativity

And finally, ABC of Zentangle...C Video:

ABC of Zentangle...C Video

Enjoy, and do return next week for zen, tangles and demo.

Will appreciate your comments, suggestions..



  1. I suppose I am creative, to a degree. (I'm one of THOSE!)
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  2. I have to be creative, as a photographer, it is second nature and formerly an artist. Interesting thoughts on the subject and a unique choice for the letter this week,

  3. I believe everyone can draw and everyone is creative - some may have lost touch with their creativity but it will come back with a little effort. One must exercise their creativity to keep it in shape :)

  4. Dilip: I love your writing about creativity and am so glad you held that science camp in your house. Plus, your zentangles are heavenly. So glad you stumbled on Greensboro Daily Photo, so that I could stumble back to your website. If I may ask, where do you live?


    1. Thanks for the kind words. i live in Bangalore, India.

  5. Great post on the principles of creativity....finding a way to express oneself is often more than just a communication skill. Focus and practice is key♪ http://lauriekazmierczak.com/cone-flowers/

  6. Really lovely. I learnt so much about creativity :)

    My Post for this week's ABCW also has "ZEN" :)
    Note- Sharing it here just for your info to make it easy for you if you wanna reach me :)

  7. I am new to your blog. I've enjoyed EVERY ONE I've watched (about 1/2 so far). I have been unable to zero in on the size/measurements of your "visiting card." I'm unfamiliar with the term and would like to try your very neat cubes. Great videos!


Your comments are most welcome. Remember, a thought shared is an expansion of knowledge through many. Thank you.


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