I've been thinking about the Zentangle "craze" that's been going on this summer. At first, I admit, I was irritated. It seemed to me a sad and sorry commentary on the state of our Western culture that people had to be taught how to doodle. I even ranted and raved about this to a friend who has been enjoying the Zentangle process, saying that seeing the work of others -- the doodles, of others, that is -- gave her ideas.
I've been inspired by the work of others in other media, so pondering on this, I decided to visit the Zentangle site and see what it was all about. Well! Knock me over with a feather -- or at least a fine-tipped pen! My favourite part of my tour around the Zentangle site was my visit to the blog, where I revelled in Vicki Murray's doodles, that she'd transformed into fabulous stitch patterns.
Then the light dawned:
People in this culture don't need to be taught to doodle -- but it seems that they do need permission!
And apparently, what the originators of Zentangle have done with their books and classes, is given people permission to be creative in this way -- when years ago, it was just something you did when you were bored, or were talking on the phone, or listening to a dull teacher/prof...
My one caution about this "movement" to those who practice it: please don't get carried away into competitiveness, or feeling you have to be productive with it. That, it seems to me, would spoil the joy and delight of the practice.