Sunday, February 3, 2013

Zendala Dare #43 - Feeling like an artist

This week has been a crazy whirlwind of parties, school, and Zentangle.  I want to tell you all about it but until I have some pictures to add, I'm going to hold off on letting you in on all the exciting news.  

Also, I apologize for the late posting but I fell asleep on the couch last night and then work was crazy today so I just couldn't pull it together to get the Dare up in time.  Twenty four hours late isn't so bad though, right?

Zendala Dare #43 - Feeling like an artist

What make's someone an artist?  Is it when you get paid for your work?  Is it when you finally have a gallery show?  Is it when someone else calls your work "art?"

Art is something we encounter in one way or another almost everyday, yet it also one of the most subjective things we evaluate.  I'll be honest, there are plenty of things that other's would call "art" that I wouldn't give a second look and I'm sure that they would say the same about some pieces that I find magnificent.  

remember the first time I created something that I thought was art.  It was a necklace that I created entirely on my own.  It had a large stone cabachon in the middle with intricate beaded fringe, a beautiful spiral rope strap, and a handmade clasp.   I used no one else's pattern and no one helped me create it.   No one was going to pay me for it.  It wasn't going to make it into a gallery.  MOMA was not going to come calling.  But it was mine.  My thoughts, my work, my colors, my creation.  It was something that I was previously unable to create.   And that's why it was art.  

For me, something become's "art" because I stretched my creativity to a place that I considered previously unattainable.  When I create something I thought I could never create, that's when it becomes art for me.  Sure, other's may not consider it art, but at that time I consider myself an artist.  If you follow that theory, then I am a constantly evolving version of the same artist because (hopefully) my work just keeps getting better and better.  

One day while searching Netflix for something to kill time I came across a documentary called Herb and Dorothy.  It's the story of a working class couple who become two of the most prominent art collector's in the world. You can watch the trailer here.  They don't have much money but the choose to look at art work in a different way and collect works that most traditional collector's would never consider. They manage to compile an impressive collection of modern art that rivals that of many museums.   This documentary completely changed how I viewed art and the art world and made me realize that my Zentangle's truly were art.  Another interesting film regarding how we as a society view art is Exit Through the Gift Shop.

That's why I love Zentangle because it give's me the ability to constantly better myself.  When I created my first Zentangle, it was a simple tile that used Hollibaugh as a string and then I filled in the spaces with Florz, Cubine, and Knightsbridge.  I remember finishing it and thinking, "Wow, that looks like actual art!".  To compare that to my work now, it's pretty simplistic, but I still consider it art because it was something I was previously unable to accomplish.  

Now, as anybody who tangles knows, some tangles are easier than others, and some appear more impressive in the finished pieces.  It's when those impressive tangles come together that I feel most like an artist.  

It's the first Saturday of the month so I am presenting you with an added challenge.  Fill the template below with your favorite tangles but I want you to feature one (or a few) that make you feel like the amazing artist that you are.  You know the one's I mean, the one's that make you go "Wow, I'm getting pretty good at this!  I'm creating beautful art!"

Here's this weeks template:

Link to Zendala Dare #43 template

I chose the official tangle Zinger for my two tiles

Tangle:  Zinger

I chose Zinger because even though it's just a few short lines sitting atop a long one, it makes me feel like I have alot of freedom when drawing it.  I can be big, small, wavy or straight.  The more freeform, organic tangles are my favorites and Zinger fits right in.  The tile above is a monotangle.  I thought about adding other tangles but in the end I decided I didn't need them.

Tangles:  Zinger, Florz
I feel that this tangle is slightly less successful but still interesting. I especially like how the stemless Zinger's came out on the edge.  The look like little beehives.  

I feel like Zinger epitomizes the Zentangle motto of "one stroke at a time."  With each stroke I feel more and more like I am creating rather than just drawing.  It's tangles like Zinger that make me feel like an artist.  

Join in this week's Zendala Dare and show us 
your most impressive tangles.  Remember to link
up below and tell us why you chose the tangles
you did.   I can't wait to see the results!



  1. Hi Erin, I don't know why, but I cannot open the template. Wenn I try it sais that I don't have permission to open this and I should ask the owner. Well, that's what I do now :-)

    I like your two zendala's and think the challenge in this is great. So we can see a lot of each others fav. I find it hard to chose, because I have a lot of fav.

    1. Anne, go ahead and try it again. I have fixed the problem and it should work now. Sorry for any inconvenience.

    2. Thank you Erin, it's OK now. After lunch (it's 13.00 hour now in The Netherlands) I will start with this tmeplate.
      Have a great day!

  2. Erin, this challenge was FANTASTIC! I loved the template, and I loved your comments. I posted a very long blog post about this one. If you want a chuckle, check out the song parody that you inspired me to write. :-) Man, I Feel Like an Artist!

  3. Thanks, Erin, for another great Dare. I am new to all of this and I love having something that pushes me, just a little bit. I don't know enough tangles to have a favorite or one that I do better yet, so I just picked out some new to me ones to do.

  4. Thanks, Erin. I love your templates.
    For some reason I've always felt funny calling myself an artist even though I've made my living with art my whole life. The first 20 yrs. in advertising and then in my own business as an art/craft kit co. and book publisher. Now retired I'm obsessed with Zentangles. I didn't think other people considered them art but then got them accepted in two art shows. So I guess the judges considered them art. I like your explanation of when something becomes "art" to you. The thing I love about Zentangles is that I'm always surprised at what happens. It's as if it comes from somewhere deep inside. Maybe that's "art". Barbara

  5. Good Monday Morning to you! I've been wrestling with this challenge/template for the day that it has been out. Something about attaching the label of art before I start drawing puts a burden of proof on me. Rather than going with the flow of what the space says to me, I find myself wanting to make a purpose. Whew. Interesting to sort and if I manage to do it you'll certainly get the linky. Thanks.

  6. 24 hours later and lots of thought involved. And then release. Off to do another with this fun template. Thank you.

  7. Liked this weeks Dare. Made me think about what tangling and becoming a CZT has meant to me. I have done other creative things but tangling is unique and am so glad that my sister introduced me to it. Also very thankful for people like you and The Diva who pose weekly challenges to help us develop as artists and make this journey interesting,enjoyable, and educational.

  8. This was very nice to draw, though I did it in rather a hury.
    Thanks for your interesting text!
    Discovering the artist within is a wonderful experience. So many people think - or have been told - that they have no artistic talent, but that is not true. We are all born as artists. Even getting into this world is an artistic achievement. Watch young children playing and you are at the birthplace of creativity.

  9. Erin, I loved your thoughts about art. A question I think about often. I will just add my thought that art for me, drawing in particular, is like breathing I just have to do it :)

  10. Thanks Erin, great post! I have loved creating things my whole life, but have never really felt brave enough to call myself an artist until I found Zentangle. It has opened so much creativity for me and given me the confidence to finally call myself an artist. As we were taught in CZT class, we are all artists! I love passing that on to my students and seeing the ah-ha moment in them.

  11. It was a great dare Erin. I use Betweed and Hibred because I love the way they look. I think if you think you are an artist you are one!

  12. Thank you soooo much for the view on being an "artist". My siblings all had drawing/painting talent, so I just assumed that I didnt!! Tipical middle kid syndrome!...but now that I am in my 50's, I have such a difference perspective on life...and art is now something that I do...not because I am talented, but because I enjoy it and it makes ME happy! I don't care anymore if it meets anyone else's approval as art!!...there ARE benefits to aging!! I do have a question tho on the mandela' you all work on them the size of the template that you give us, or do people reduce them...before of you even TRY to fit it on a Zentangle square?

  13. Thank you for this Dare, Erin. I realized after looking at my tile and realizing I DID feel like an artist during and after tangling it that shouldn't every tile make me feel like an artist? I think so. And such, I am endeavoring to bring that quality to each tangle, as Rick and Maria always prod each of us to do. I finally "get" it. Thank you!

  14. Thank you Erin - you always arrange for great Dares and this one was no different. I'm a bit late this week, been quite a busy one and I haven't really had a chance to look at everyone elses, I plan on doing tonight :)

    Have a lovely weekend everyone :)

    Oh, almost forgot - Your Zendalas are gorgeous!!

  15. Thanks Erin. I really enjoyed the dare this week. The Zendala you created is great just as it is and seemed a shame to lop parts off it. I still want to tangle one just as it is. Your Zendala is awesome. Take care....

  16. Hoping I've got it in the right place this time. This is my first time I've entered a dare, and I must say I'm loving it. I don't know what they will look like when I start, they just grow of their own accord. I'm working backwards from no. 48, but not necessarily in numerical order. :)



The Bright Owl All rights reserved © 2012

I am a HowJoyful Design by Joy Kelley