What is Zentangle?
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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher

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STORIES: How Zentangle helps an “almost-teenager” with ADHD and anger management issues

In this occasional series on TanglePatterns, readers describe in their own words how Zentangle® has changed their lives. For more accounts in this series, click on the “STORIES” link in the alphabetical listing above.
Visit this post for the stories that inspired this series.

* * *

STORIES: How Zentangle changes livesTwelve-year-old Daniel writes that he’s “an ADHD almost-teenager who’s always loved art” and he recently discovered Zentangle. My hope is that Daniel’s story can be shared with friends and family who are dealing with children (or adults) with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They may find that Zentangle is an answer to some prayers.

Here, with the permission of his parents, is Daniel in his own very articulate words.

“I have ADHD and anger management issues, and they’ve made life for me pretty challenging at times. Luckily I discovered this wonderful art form, and while it didn’t wave a magic wand and make all my problems disappear, it definitely helped.

I discovered Zentangle only about 1 or 2 months ago. I was visiting my grandparents, and we were looking around an art store that had recently popped up in the area. I grabbed a couple of pens (I loved pens even before I discovered Zentangle), and we were about to leave when my grandmother noticed Suzanne McNeill’s Zentangle 7 book. We looked over it and immediately decided to buy it.

A while later, when I was back at home (and already thoroughly addicted to Zentangle), I was looking around for some new tangle patterns when I discovered Linda’s site. Suddenly everything changed – I had more information about Zentangle than I could ever possibly digest, and there were so many more patterns I could use! Tangling really opened up for me after that.

While, like I said earlier, it didn’t wave a magic wand and make all my problems disappear, tangling helped calm me down and make my brain stop running around in circles. I really hope that other people can find that Zentangle helps them with whatever issues pop up in their life. Thank you, Maria and Rick, for creating such a wonderful art form!”

~ Daniel (Age 12)

I asked Daniel if he had any words of advice for others challenged by ADHD about getting started with Zentangle and he replied, “I guess my advice would be ‘Don’t worry about the appearance-just focus on the process itself.’ Although I suppose that’s the whole point of Zentangle in general, isn’t it?” Daniel certainly gets it!

Daniel was kind enough to share some of his wonderful Zentangle art with us and this first piece is a traditional Zentangle.

Zentangle by 12-year-old Daniel

Next is Daniel’s lovely Zendala.

Zendala by 12-year-old Daniel

And finally, a ZIA page.

ZIA - by 12-year-old Daniel

Kudos, Daniel!

* * *

If you would like to share your own experience for this series, please email me (linda [at] tanglepatterns [dot] com). You can make your story as long as or short as you like and if you wish your personal details to remain private, I will certainly honor that.

By publishing your “testimonials”, I’m hoping it will help spread the word about Zentangle to many others who can REALLY benefit from it. As the Zentangle founders say, “Anything is possible, one stroke at a time.”™

For Your Zentangle® Library

Visit the BOOK REVIEWS tab at the top of the page for details on any of these Zentangle® books.

If you do not have access to Amazon, you can also find these on the Book Depository website and they always ship free, worldwide! Simply click this image:

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Perfect Holiday Gifts ...

TanglePatterns.com TANGLE GUIDE, 2016 Edition

TanglePatterns.com TANGL GUIDE, 2016 Edition The current Edition of my TANGLE GUIDE. This instant-download digital eBook contains all the tangles on the site from May 2010 through December 31, 2015. It's a must-have tool for using the site.
Visit the BOOK REVIEWS page for more details on its features and view a sample page.
Visit the STORE > E-BOOKS page for more information and support TanglePatterns.com by getting your copy now!
GIFT ORDERS: To give the TANGLE GUIDE as a gift, visit this page to place your gift order.
If you're new to Zentangle® and tangling, my TanglePatterns.com BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ZENTANGLE is just what you need to get started. Also available en Français and en Español.

Zentangle Primer Volume 1 Remember you can get your official Zentangle supplies here too, including the fabulous new Zentangle PRIMER Vol 1. It's your CZT-in-a-book by the founders of Zentangle®! Visit the STORE tab on the top menu bar or click on the image. For more about the content and to read the rave reviews, visit the BOOK REVIEWS tab.
"Absolutely the best Zentangle Book yet! As an accomplished artist I used to think I did not need instruction on this art form. How wrong I was! My tangling improved by leaps and bounds after reading this book. If you think you have Zentangle down then you need this book more than ever!" ~ Kris H

The Official Zentangle Kit Another great jump-starter for new tanglers is the original Official Zentangle Kit. The Kit includes all the supplies you'll need to get started properly: Sakura Micron Pens, Zentangle Tiles, pencil, sharpener, tortillion, a booklet and an instructional DVD by co-founder Maria Thomas. Click on the image for more information about the Kit and its contents.

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17 comments to STORIES: How Zentangle helps an “almost-teenager” with ADHD and anger management issues

  • ali

    How wonderful that Daniel has found the Zentangle ‘outlet’. I also found it to be extremely soothing and ‘grounding’ while looking after my Dad in his last years. It really is Yoga for the brain, and immensely satisfying. Good for you, Daniel.!
    Ali

  • Lolly

    These examples of Daniel’s tangling are exquisite! He is definitely an artist AND an inspiration. How wonderful to have discovered the bliss and then share the beauty that comes from it. I hope he will create his own book to reach others some day.

  • Lara

    Daniel you are such an inspiration! I love the work you’ve done and hope you continue. You are truly talented! Thank you for being brave and sharing your story. You have a fan in Utah!!!
    Lara

  • Lynn

    Amazing work Daniel. Thanks so much for sharing! Wish I was that talented!

  • Dana

    Way to go, Daniel! Your work is amazing. I’m so glad you found something to help you and just as glad you shared your story and your beautiful artwork. I can’t wait to see what you do in the future.

  • Joyce

    Beautiful work, Daniel. Thank you for sharing your story with us. One more proof that Zentangle is actually so much MORE than an art form, and that anybody can do it and benefit from it. Wonderful, isn’t it?

  • Judy morgan

    Dittos for me, Daniel. Exactly my own experience.

  • Michael

    How beautiful, Daniel! May you continue to be inspired to create such beauty!

  • Daniel

    Thank you so much to everybody who complimented me…I’m all warm and fuzzy inside now. Thank you! ^_^

  • Sandra Ali

    I LOVE THIS ARTICLE too because it totally makes sense!

  • LyndaKay

    Thanks for showing Daniel’s wonderful creations. I’m inspired to get my pens out again and tangle!

  • DeniseC

    Thank for sharing your story, Daniel. I wish I thought of something like Zentangle more than 20 years ago, while I was still teaching. I have had students with ADHS and Zentangle I think would have worked for at least some of them. Art is a wonderful outlet of expression, I have had some very artistically talented students who I was able to “reach” with art, boosting more “appropriate” expression of rawer emotions (one student drew me as a teacher-monster, and that was okay – I surprised her by not getting mad but engaged in discussing her emotion and what we could do together to make things better), brainstorming, calming, a “rest” before trying to tackle an educational challenge (I was a special education teacher), and improving self-esteem with positive feed-back about something they did do well. Oh, how I wish I had thought up Zentangle back them – how it would have helped those not so artistically challenged! And they would have proof of a task well done with beautiful little pieces of art the could be proud to display. Right now, I am trying to help my 67 year-old friend, also named Daniel, regain his art skills through Zentangle. I need to share this story with him. Thank you, Daniel!

  • Barbara Danner

    Wow!, Daniel – you are a gifted artist. Taking advantage of this way to create art and to help yourself focus and stay calm speaks volumes about who you are. I can picture you sharing Zentangle with others – maybe classmates? I can picture you exhibiting your art some day very soon. Bet you appreciate your grandparents taking you to that store and getting you started on Zentangles.

  • Diego ignacio goldsberry

    Hi Daniel I am Diego I have ADHD and I am bipolar I think that’s how u spell it and I know how you feel

  • Everette

    Very good information. Lucky me I ran across
    your website by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve bookmarked it for later!

  • Lin Powell

    Daniel. Your work is so beautiful. How nice of you to share your story. You are an inspiration.

  • What an honest and nice story of Daniel and his tiles are beautifuln, he is just 12 years!!! I wish him succes for the future!

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