Saturday, January 5, 2013

Zendala Dare #39 - ZenDon't

Historically, New Years is a time for making resolutions.  A time for looking at what happened in the previous year and thinking about all the things we will change to make the coming year a better one.  I hadn't actually thought much about resolutions this year and wasn't really planning on making any but then I read this post by Jenn at Girl Defying Gravity.  

This year Jenn has decided to make anti-resolutions.  A list of all the things she "won't" do instead of the one's she will.  It got me to thinking.  When the first of the year rolls around many of us load up our plate with a whole list of things we are going to achieve in the new year.  Diets, exercise regimens, spending more time with family and friends, saving money, blah, blah, blah.  And then around February 1st we look back and say "Oh, that was alot to put on my plate.  Oh well."

And then it hit me.  What if we took things off our plate rather than load it up?  Instead of adding a diet, how about subtracting something bad from our usual list of foods.  Instead of creating a crazy exercise plan that we can't stick too, how about subtracting excuses for not exercising.  Instead of coming up with a crazy money saving strategy, how about committing to not going to Starbucks on Mondays (maybe not monday, that's asking too much) Tuesdays and Thursdays, thereby saving a little money.  

Now I'm no fool.  I fully realize that these are actually resolutions in sheeps clothing but sometimes it takes a different perspective to get us to do what we should have been doing all along.  

While I was pondering this concept, I started to think about the Zendala Dare and how this "let's subtract rather than add" strategy might apply.  Like anything else in our life, I think some off us can get a little lazy comfortable with our art.  I know that I am guilty of sometimes using easy tangles to finish a piece so I can just be done with it.  I call them "favorite" tangles, but when I really looked at it I realized I liked some of them because they were easy and I was lazy, not because they were so fun to draw.  When I do this I am not only cheating myself out of growing as an artist, but I am not getting as much as I should from the Zentangle experience.  In the past all of the "extra" challenges have involved trying something new.  Well, today I would like to subtract the old.  Sure, it's sort of the same thing, but maybe this approach will open up a new creative path for you.  So without further ado, I introduce this weeks Zendala Dare Challenge:

Zendala Dare #39 - ZenDon't

This week when you find yourself doing something you would normally do with your Zendala, don't do it.

This week:

  • If you normally use black and white.  Don't.  Try one or more colors.
  • If you always shade heavily.  Don't.  Trying not shading at all.
  • If you always use a favorite tangle.  Don't.  Try a tangle you have never tried before.
  • If you always go to the edge of the tile.  Don't.  Try leaving a border.
  • If you always fill every space.  Don't.  This is your chance to be a minimalist.  
  • If you always procastinate and wait until the end of the week.  Don't.  Print the template right now and post it.
  • If you always look at your Zendala and then post a comment about how your "disappointed" or "just not happy" with how it came out.  Don't.  Your work is beautiful.  Give it the compliments it deserves.  
  • If you always stay inside the lines and never deviate from the template.  Don't.  Draw a big X or a squiggly line right through the template and see how it changes your finished piece.  
The template I have made for this week is also special.  You can see that each round consists of 12 shapes, one for each month of the new year.  Even as I was creating the template I was putting my new mantra into action.  When I became concerned that there were too many small spaces I just thought to myself, "Don't."  I just let the template be what it was going to be.  No worrying.

Here's the template:

For my ZenDon't I tried to let go of many of the things that sometimes stall my creativity.

I always resort to using Tipple or Printemps when I'm in a bind.  Instead I told myself, "Don't".

I have a tendency to follow the template very closely.  I told myself "Don't".

I like to leave stark white spaces.  My inner tangler said "Don't"

I decided to use Jitterz, a tangle that was new to me.  I really wanted to practice it a little first but I told myself "Don't."

Tangles:  Inapod, Jitterz, Bateek, Cadent

My second tile was chock full of "Don'ts"!

Tangles:  Box Spirals, Up and Across, Carres, Btl Joos,
Warble, Bubbles, Buttercup,  Midoosa

I started this tile in black and white and then realized that I ALWAYS use black and white so I asked myself, "Continue with the black and white?" and the answer was a resounding "Don't"

I love symmetry.  I also love asymmetry.  When one of them is going to win out however, the symmetry always kicks asymmetries butt.  As I was perfectly lining the template up with my tile I suddenly thought "Don't!".  Step out on a very thin limb with this one and just use part of the template.  I have to say that it is by far one of my all time favorite Zendala's.    I also combated symmetry by using random tangles in varied amounts in the body of the template. 
My last act of "don't" defiance was to use a new unpublished tangle.  Most of the time I like to unveil my new tangles before I start publishing them in my work but this time I said "Don't wait".  So I proudly introduce my new tangle Midoosa.  See if you can figure out which one it is.  Don't worry, directions to come in a few days.  

What will you say "Don't" to this week.  You might be surprised with what will creep up in its place.    

I hope everyone has a fantastic week and remember to link up below.



  1. Thank you Erin, this was so much fun to do. At first I thought this would be hard, but after making the zendalas I think don't doing is easier than doing. So this is really an eyeopening challenge. I even made it to be the first one in your linky (yes yes I did it)
    Thanks and have a nice week!

  2. I commented together with this entry, listing the don't I didn't as it were. A fun design, but too tempting, all those little patches. Will work out another solution tomorrow after reading Suzanne McNeill's lovely 7th book on ZIA, which arrived today. I can't wait...

  3. I was a little concerned when I first read the parameters of the Zendala Dare. But it was fun. I was actually able to accomplish a number of "Dont's". But the one don't I will not follow is to not check out all the other great Zendalas that others post. Thanks for another great challenge Erin.

  4. Boy.... Can't believe how resistant I am to changing my routine - lol. For starters, I'm not starting today. Tomorrow I will try my best to be conscious of what I'm doing and switch it up a bit. Thanks Erin for throwing a kink in the works - lol...

  5. Gosh Erin, your second zendala is brilliant. I love it as you can hardly see where the original pattern is. Don't think I will get time this week to do an entry so will start again when back from our month away! Really looking forward to coming back to the States.

  6. Your second zendala really knocked me over, Erin. What a brilliant idea! My own second effort was more difficult than the first. My habit of ignoring the string I am working on (no matter what it's for) is what I tried to avoid in this entry, but I did find myself improvising some of the shapes on the outside in the knowledge that I could erase the original lines since the string was traced (see the blog entry for more about that). Thanks again for this weekly workout. I look forward to it every weekend.

  7. I LOVE your second zendala!! Love the color, the off centeredness, the tangles--so cool!! This was a super fun challenge, Erin--thank you!

  8. It was quit a challenge....hopefully next chalenge a lot of ....

  9. Beautiful blog post. Beautiful Zendalas. I don't have time to make a Zendala this week, but I really appreciate your inspiration.

  10. This is my first Zendala Dare. Thanks! I've been wanting to join, but I let things get in my way. So, I made it a DON'T for the week. :-) At first I thought the "don't" idea was kind of negative, but I was so wrong. After taking the challenge, I found the positive in the "don't."

    Erin, your Zendalas are fantastic. I love love love the second one with the color and the skewed center.

  11. Loved this Dare, Erin! Happy New Year to you and everyone who Dares!

  12. Your zendala's are lovely, Erin, but ..... the second one is spectaculair! I keep looking at it.
    This Dare was really great, thank you so much!

  13. I enjoyed this dare very much. I love to be pushed out of my comfort zone! Thank you Erin!

  14. Thanks for another great dare, Erin. I had lots of fun with my Don'ts!

  15. Thank you Erin! This was my first zendala-dare and I lovend it!

  16. My New Year's word is Yes! so I said Yes! I would create a Zendala... I enjoyed the freedom of doing it differently! Thank you! I really love your second Zendala with the orange- inspiring! Now to view the others!

  17. Another wonderful blog post and highly challenging challenge, Erin! I kind of ended up with Do's rather than Don'ts in mine.. but it was still the same effect. Thanks for all the hard work in keeping up with these fun challenges and creative zendala templates!

  18. Hi Erin, Happy New Year!

    I'm running behind with my Dares and wasn't going to post, however I saw the linky machine is there so I went ahead - now there's something I haven't done before - posted and linked after the next Dare had already begun :)) I hope you don't mind :)

  19. I am having so much fun just looking at everyone tangles. I think mine are getting better with each one I do. if anyone has suggestions for me I more than welcome them.

  20. Sorry it's so late, so normally I do the zendares, but I don't post them, I am trying to change that and this is my first post :)



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