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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Guest Contributor: Kass Hall on “The value of a CZT”

Linda’s note: Australian CZT® Kass Hall published the following on her website and I requested and received her permission to republish it on TanglePatterns because it is food for thought.

* * *

Let me reiterate from the beginning that there is no one person who has prompted this post – merely it is something I have been thinking about for a while and the time is right to write it down. This is my personal opinion only and is not endorsed by Zentangle® or anyone else.


I often get emails from people in various parts of Australia and elsewhere asking me about being a Certified Zentangle® Teacher and asking for specific information about what happens at seminars. I have been asked for copies of notes, which I have declined – both because I signed an agreement not to share official Zentangle documentation and also because I believe it is morally wrong to share it.

There are many people out there who “teach” Zentangle but, truthfully, they should not be. Despite what some people think, Zentangle is not public domain. Sure, non official tangles might be if the designers allow them to be. But the name Zentangle is a ® meaning registered trademark (which applies worldwide) and the official designs are owned by the creators, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. They are generous in that they allow people to use their designs freely in their personal artwork, but they do still retain ownership and copyright.

I became a Certified Zentangle Teacher in October 2010. I paid to attend the seminar, my airfares and accommodation. This ran into the thousands of dollars but I saw it as an investment, both in the concept and brand of Zentangle, and in myself. I learned not only about the tangles themselves but about the origins and meanings of Zentangle, about the people and the deeper stuff that simply cannot be conveyed in any book or on any website. It is something that needs to be experienced.

When people who are NOT certified “teach” Zentangle, they do a couple of things which I don’t agree with.

First, they consider themselves “qualified”, in an unofficial capacity, to do so. They cannot talk about the specifics of the Zen or the Tangle. I’ve had this argued with me from people who are qualified school/TAFE/university teachers, qualified and practicing artists and even those who are Buddhist (where some Zentangle origins derive) – because they understand how to teach or are practising Buddhists, they think they are well placed to teach Zentangle. That’s wrong. It’s like people who own digital SLR cameras portraying themselves as professional photographers.

Second, they effectively send a message to me and to their students that being a Certified Zentangle Teacher is worthless. They thumb their nose at my qualification – one I worked hard for and went a LONG way to achieve. I know this may not be an intentional by-product of their actions, but it is a reality and I know CZTs around the world feel the same way. We feel our qualification is disrespected, not valued or appreciated by Zentangle enthusiasts.

Third, they also, in my opinion, rob their students of the genuine Zentangle experience, one which is exciting and powerful. They are making money from something they don’t own or have authorisation to gain from. Having this authorisation and selling official Zentangle product is one of the benefits of being a Certified Zentangle Teacher, but the financial gain is both minimal and, for most, the least of our concerns. I don’t think there is a CZT anywhere in the world paying their mortgage off their Zentangle-related activities.

This isn’t about being scared of “competition” – I am one of three Australian CZTs with more to come no doubt. Heck, I don’t even have Melbourne to myself and I don’t mind that at all. What I object to is people wanting to use me and my skills to benefit themselves, without doing the certification seminar, without gaining the expertise that I went a long way to get. Those who place themselves as experts, when they are not.

The every day “tangler” IS free to use tangle patterns in their artwork and display them online. But I do not believe they should be TEACHING the process and I think students who take these classes are robbing themselves of a wonderful experience, as well as thumbing their nose at the hard work I and other CZTs put in and continue to put in.

I know my view does not make me popular. But it is not cool – heck it’s not ZEN – to take a class from a CZT or otherwise and then teach it yourself – we work hard to create our classes not to have them stolen. It is not cool to portray yourself explicitly or implicitly as an expert or a real teacher of Zentangle and place yourself in direct opposition to those of us who HAVE worked hard and who have done things the right way.

Please, please respect that and those of us who work hard to make Zentangle accessible to you. We love it as much, if not more than you can imagine and it hurts us as CZTs and the Zentangle brand. If you are serious about teaching Zentangle, get yourself over to Massachusetts and get certified – you’ll have the experience of a life time and never regret it. You may also then understand why some of us feel the way we do.

* * *

Kass Hall’s original post is located here on her website.

41 comments to Guest Contributor: Kass Hall on “The value of a CZT”

  • Don McCollum CZT

    You said it very well. Some of us get so busy teaching we don’t promote certification as we should.

    Zentangle has been a life changing experience. I never had met so many wonderful people as clients and friends.

  • Barb Gill

    I’m thankful that I read this today. I was really down and had almost decided to withdrawal from the October class. Now I feel that I am worthy of taking the class and that I have something of value to offer to others. Thank you for the post.

  • C.C. Sadler

    Thanks for reposting this, I would have missed it,
    C.C. Sadler
    CZT 5

  • Thanks Linda for posting this. Big thanks to Kass for writing this! It expresses what I feel about a lot of things not just Zentangle. I am not a CZT, and in fact I’m not very good at Zentangles (yet, she said hopefully). I have enormous respect for people who spend the time and effort to become experts in their field. I just wish everyone else did, too!

  • We had a CZT teaching at my store, she due to other obligations became unable to teach it anymore and the demand for Zentangle classes was huge! I contacted Rick and Maria and sent them some samples of my work and explained that due to some health issues I was not able to travel at this time to get certified. I asked permission to teach Zentangle and Rick said to go ahead and teach it and pointed me to this from one of their blogposts:

    I’m concerned with legal and ethical issues of copyright and certification. Do I need to be a CZT to share Zentangle with others?
    [Added 4/13/2010]
    We’ve discovered that people inevitably want to share Zentangle with others. After teaching Zentangle to our grandson’s second grade class, by the next day children throughout the school were creating their own Zentangles!

    If you want to share your Zentangle creations or use our Zentangle method with others, we ask that you

    1. Use our name (Zentangle).
    2. Use our vocabulary (String, tile, tangle, etc.).
    3. Mention our website (
    4. Stay close to our teaching method. We understand this is an odd request, because the background concepts and insights necessary to do that are what we teach in our CZT training. For now, please understand that all those materials and techniques, steps and names in Zentangle, as playful and frivolous (or unnecessary and limiting) as they may seem, are deliberately that way for specific and studied reasons.
    5. . . . and never use the “D” word! 🙂

    As long as you do this, we are comfortable with you sharing your Zentangles and the Zentangle method with others.

    I do not promote myself as a certified Zentangle Teacher, and I tell my students that I am not and that I plan to get certified as soon as I am physically able. I refer them to and to and I follow the guidelines given above by Rick and Maria. I personally don’t think it should be an issue…just my 2 cents worth….

  • C Hernandez

    Thank you for that post, Linda and to Kass for the courage to write it. I hope to be a CZT someday. I’m slowly learning on my own with the goal of a trip to Mass.someday.

  • Thankyou to everyone who has commented here and who has emailed me, I appreciate and read everything and WILL respond over the weekend.

    Just to respond, Jennifer – I know the blog post you refer to and it has been raised as an issue by CZTs. And while Rick and Maria do say you are free to teach using those guidelines, it is the people who do NOT follow the guidelines, those who disrespect those guidelines and the status of the CZT who I am aiming my article at. Not everyone is decent enough to seek out their guidance on this – they promote themselves as experts. The fact that you engaged a CZT initially then sought the go-ahead from Zentangle means that, in my eyes and that of other CZTs, you’ve done all the right things. Please know you are not the type of person who should be taking note of my article!

    Thankyou again for the emails and comments and support – I do appreciate it after what has been a tough week in more ways than one.

    Kindest regards

    Kass Hall

    • Sherri Lee

      Kudos and thanks for your courage. I have had a few requests to teach and since I am not a CZT (YET), I have indicated that I would be happy to teach after OCTOBER (when I hopefully can shout I’m a CZT too). This issue has been one of those perplexing many of us who teach various art forms. Myself, I always prmote the original artist and when necessary request permission to teach the design. Wish everyone felt the same, but we will always have those who skip the necessary steps. Thank you for writing your thoughts and sharing them. Hope your next week is filled with smiles and special days!

  • D. Ivy

    This was a great post. I am not a CZT but would love to be some day. I was lucky enough to have a very good and patient CZT work with me that made all the difference in my Zentangles. I appreciate the training,skill and cost. This explanation should make it easier for others to understand too.

  • malissa

    thanks I just wish a real class would come to Southwest Washington , State.

  • Terry Davis

    I’m really happy that you posted this Linda & Kass, as it still adds to the clarification of copyright issues in a small sense. In my altered arts group, we have done a few Zentangle projects – we’ve shared our tangles, names of books we’ve purchased, etc. None of us has considered ourselves a CZT (to the best of my knowledge) but a few of us have thought about going in that direction.
    I’m surprised people would be so thoughtless as to think taking a Zentangle course for certification is not worth anything; I’m not naive as I’ve met “artists” who won’t devulge a precious technique for fear of it being used by someone else…and I usually end up figuring it out by trial and error.
    Zentangle can be a difficult style of art to learn but it is so rewarding! Teaching myself is alright, and I’m considering looking for a class in my area. The work I’m most proud of has been done when I’m actually more relaxed (in a Zen mood), so I can’t help but believe a class with a CZT would only help me enhance and expand on what I’ve already taught myself.
    If Maria and Rick could come out to Sacramento, CA, and offer a CZT certification class, I’d be there in a heartbeat :o) As to the other “wanna-be’s” and pseudo teachers – think twice about what you are doing.
    Most of all, thank you to Rick, Maria, Kass and Linda for sharing this wonderful art style with all of us. I respect all of you as creators and teachers, and I do give credit to you all, your websites, the books…though I will admit I don’t know what the “D” word is…..thanks for letting me get my 25 cents in.

  • On the lighter side… to anyone attending the Oct CZT Seminar I am so looking forward to meeting you and sharing the experience.

  • Good for you! As a practicing artist one of my pet peeves is people who “use” art or quotes or any other property without giving credit. There’s no good excuse anymore when we have the internet to research the origin. It’s basic RESPECT – I want my work respected, and I respect the work of others. Pretty simple. Lots of people would never think of stealing a $20 bill from someone’s wallet, but think nothing of stealing art or intellectual property. Let’s think before we act, and teach our children to do the same.

  • asia

    I find this subject very interesting. I have a degree in Art Eduction. I wonder if the love of Zentangles and their beauty is because of the cut back in the arts and the lack of it in schools. Tangles would go under the teaching of Basic Design in Art. The principles of the designs are the same, the major difference is in the delivery.

    Many of the designs that are used in the tangles that I have seen are based in many of the different cultures of the world so I have a little bit of a problem with those that say these have been created and belong to one or two people and are shared freely. Some of the exact same designs, given made up names, are those that I, and my colleagues, have taught children for the last 30 years!

    As an educator it could be argued that non-certified teachers(CZT’s) are “teaching” others without a proper teaching degree and certification. My degrees took 6+ years to receive, a CZT certification only takes a few days.

    The good thing is that people have or are finding a form of Art to practice that may lead to more time spent on the creative side of life.

  • Myrna Grigsby

    The mattter of teaching Zentangle without being “qualified” is an age old dilemma. If those of you that went to the time and expense of becoming qualified want to be the only teachers of Zentangle, you have that right. However, if so many artists are challenging this, then perhaps they (we) have a right to teach a “form” of zentangling. As with any art, when learning, you are learning a technique. If you take a watercolor class you are not “copying” the teachers picture, you will however, use the techniques of his teaching. Call it what you want, that is not what is important. What is important is that we all put our own spin on it and appreciate and respect the process.

  • Shell

    Let me begin by putting my hand up as one of these people that Kass is NOT referring to in this diatribe (the Buddhist teacher if you’re interested). I will clarify that I am not the person who has asked for class notes or violated any copyright laws… I will agree with her on this one – it’s not the done thing. Nor do I actually teach Zentangle classes. Let me also tell you that I have just cancelled my commitment to travel to the U.S. to complete my CZT training as I no longer wish to be associated with such an elitist, judgemental, limiting or discriminatory community.

    When I found Zentangle, I fell in love with the whole concept and the wellbeing it has the ability to imbue. My only wish was to surround myself with like-minded people and share the love with as many people as possible, always respecting the origins of the art and giving credit where credit is due. For me it was all about spreading the Zentangle word in Australia (where it is barely heard of) and ultimately this would, in turn, enhance and enrich our Zentangle businesses (whatever they may be… teaching, selling etc) and connect with a wider community.

    It seems that I was naive in thinking that all people are as friendly as me, or come with no agenda as I do. I guess I have now learnt a hard lesson in life. To quote, ”ït’s not very ZEN”. Yup, I agree, it’s not very ZEN to treat people with distrust or contempt (without even knowing their capabilities) and making their judgement purely on the absence of 3 letters after a person’s name…. they don’t prove anything!

    Art should come from the heart and from a place of passion and freedom. NOT from a place of constraint and limitation, full of should have’s and must do’s.

    I fully expect my opinion will not be popular, but that’s ok, I will not be intimidated by a precious few. I will continue to do what I do, in my own way, and with genuine people who matter to me.

  • I feel sorry that this issue had to come up and that a CZT has felt devalued. I’d like to point out that there are hundreds of people who do value CZTs or even those who teach Zentangle(R) according to Rick and Maria’s instructions (as already mentioned by Jennifer).

    I also don’t think anyone can or should compare a 4-6 year degree with a specialized training program. They are simply different. The Zentangle (R) method is a very specialized program designed to give those who do the course a way of teaching and provide business opportunities. The patterns I believe are a tool, not the actual business. As an ‘outsider’ this is what I have observed anyway. It’s obvious to some that Zentangle (R) is being taught in a way that is unique and special, it is not the patterns which make it so.

    A non-CZT taught me about Zentangle (R) and has always stayed true to Rick and Maria’s instructions and reminded me of the concept surrounding being Zen.

    People can say all they want about the qualifications they have, and that patterns have been in use for years, which may be important, and true, but the point is, is that Rick and Maria thought of a way to combine a number of things into a fun, instructive, creative and relaxing art form and they pass on that knowledge to CZTs, who seek to instruct others.

    CZTs are valued by hundreds, just as those who have a genuine desire to pass on what they learn in accordance to Rick and Maria’s instructions. Regardless, and no matter, what qualifications someone has it is all pointless if people do not appreciate the value of the intent behind Zentangle (R).

  • Shirley Esterly

    This post is very important. Respect for the creative genius of others is critical. The work that Rick and Maria have done is transforming lives. For me, I have been changed as a novice artist who never believed I could put pen to paper and create art. I relied upon other’s images in stamps, etc. to create my art. That is totally different for me, after Zentangle. I hope to one day become a CZT and will forever respect the trademark and ownership of the Zentangle brand. Any other view is just wrong. Thanks for this post.

  • Lori Hamilton

    I can see a lot of different sides of this issue, but I’m going to have to agree with the OP. I am nearly finished with a Bachelor of Fine Arts which I have been working on for 7 years now. I’ve been an artist my whole life in one capacity or another…it’s something I try and practice every day. I am NOT a CZT, yet, but I am already locked in for the October Seminar and I can’t wait.

    Having a background in art and having studied all the standard design principles, I originally thought – “well, I surely could teach this – the techniques are simple and the supplies are simple and I’m a great teacher”. But the more I studied the concept of Zentangle, the ideas behind it, the reasons for the so-called “limitations” the more I realized that while I might be able to teach folks to replicate patterns and make lovely designs on tiny squares of paper, that I would NOT be teaching Zentangle. It’s not just an artform, it’s a spiritual experience.

    Despite my overanxiousness to begin sharing this wonderful artform with others, I decided to sign up for the CZT Seminar, and wait until I had learned from the masters before trying to become one. It’s sad to see someone post that they are “leaving the fold” because they see the attitudes expressed by OP and others as elitist – but then again, I fear that they do not understand the intent or the desire to keep the basis of the artform pure of heart, spirit and mind.

    After 7 years of art college, one would think why bother with a seminar that’s going to cost you a couple of thousand bucks to learn to “D” word….that type of attitude is exactly why I’m doing this…I think that once a person is exposed to the true process, the true meaning, the true love of Tangling – they will come to an understanding….this is my hope anyway.

    Lori (ArtfuLori)

  • Sue Williams

    Three Cheers to Kass for speaking on behalf of qualified Teachers! I teach calligraphy and I too have spent a lot of money to gain the experience I have. This experience arms me with the confidence to share my knowledge and joy for this form of artwork. I enjoy the patterns shared on this site but would never dream of teaching it. I use them to relax and have something for me! Thanks again for the sharing I enjoy. Sue in South Africa
    —– Original Message —–

  • 1. Teaching pattern making, lines, etc. is not the point.
    2. The point is people representing what they do as “Zentangle” when it is, in point of fact, doodling. One of many things that differentiates Zentangle from other forms of pattern drawing are those things taught in CZT training regarding the inception, conception and execution.
    3. I’m all for anyone enjoying and passing along information that they find helpful – we’re in this world for that express purpose, I believe. However, to associate with a recognized concept either do so ethically, as Jennifer Van Pelt meticulously, correctly and laudably, or become properly trained by the only issuing body on the globe – Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas’ CZT training.
    4. If you don’t wish to recognize the items requested or become a CZT, simply reframe your own style into your own offering – do NOT style yourself a “Zentangle” teacher when you are not. Your art can stand on its own merits and your karma will improve dramatically when you stop trying to leach benefits from those labouring to birth a concept without either helping or experiencing any of those labour pains yourself!
    5. Simply put, either Zentangle with a clear, clean conscience or call it something else. The name is registered. For a reason. And we’ll protect it. Why latch on to our tag when you can go create your own?
    Just MHO.

  • Jan Roundy

    I’m with Shell. I love doing Tangles. I fear some take
    themselves and their creations far too seriously. Enjoy it.

  • Thanks again to all for your comments, both supportive or otherwise. I will take the time to email everyone individually in the next few days.

    Thanks Linda for re-posting my article and for taking some of the heat that has come with it!

    Kass Hall

  • This comment is about Worthiness.

    Dear Barb G., of course you are worthy enough to do the CZT training! (See you in October, ’cause I’ll be there too.)

    Maria said to me once, “the only prerequisites we have for attending the CZT retreat are passion and gratitude” (or something like that).

    I’d hate anyone to believe they weren’t worthy of undertaking CZT training!! We all have something (different) of value to offer.

    And to Kass…

    I agree with you that it’s essential to be either CZT qualified, or to follow the guidelines (as listed by Jennifer) from Zentangle with absolute integrity, preferably in consultation with Rick & Maria (as Jennifer, and I, and some others I know, have done).

    I would also like to add this – for you and for other tanglers I’ve spoken to about self-worth:

    You wrote: “they effectively send a message to me and to their students that being a Certified Zentangle Teacher is worthless….” and “We feel our qualification is disrespected, not valued or appreciated by Zentangle enthusiasts.”

    To all CZTs, other tanglers, and human beings in general…

    No matter what anyone else ever says to you (or does), No One can take away the Worth of the skills (or qualifications) you have, let alone your own feelings about your own value (eg. as a CZT, as an artist, as a person).

    What others do or say reflects only on them… not on you. You’re self-worth as a person, as an artist (and/or as a CZT) is unassailable.

    Here’s a hypothetical. I’ve just won the lottery today (told you it was hypothetical… ’cause I don’t buy tickets!), I also got a promotion, and I just finished painting a masterpiece. If I meet a total stranger on the street, I’ll probably say something nice!

    Same me, different hypothetical. I’ve just lost my job, and my pet died yesterday, and I got mugged last night and now I have to cancel all my credit cards. Now, whatever I choose to say to that exact same stranger on the street? (They are exactly the same – nothing has changed about them.) Probably not as nice. But… whatever I choose to say will absolutely be a statement about me, and not about them! (They haven’t changed, after all.)

    I guess what I’m saying, in short is this: the moral of the story is, don’t take it personally! No – that wasn’t a disclaimer, that was the summary! Really! Don’t take anything anyone else says or does personally.

    Ultimately the words we speak (and actions we take) speak volumes about who we are. So, people who speak what is not truth, or speak without compassion and care, or speak in order to harm – harm them Selves first.

    All of us need to remember this! Don’t give anyone the power to make you feel less than Worthy. (They’ll only have that power if you give it to them!)

    And the appreciation we all need to develop first and foremost is self-appreciation! We only need look inside our own hearts to know we are worthwhile, appreciated, loved, and have a great deal of value to offer!

    Here endeth the sermon (sorry… that went on a bit longer than I’d anticipated!).

    Hugs to all… and I can’t wait to meet a whole heap of you in October!!

    Kit in Tasmania, Australia

    • Kit – this may be off the subject at hand (I am not a CZT nor have I ever played one on TV) but I appreciate the things you’ve said here. There are too many times when we measure our self worth by others, and as easy as it is to get caught up in that, its all wrong and we are the only one crippled by the control we give to others. This hit home to me and I wanted you to know you hit the nail on the head. We ARE all worthy, as people, artists and as CZTs. We all have different skills (and callings) to bring to the table of life, as artists but mostly as humanbeings, but thats how we learn and grow. Not that we’re trying to measure up to anyone but ourselves, but we’re not always honest with ourselves about our abilities either. That’s the main thing that I have found about the Zentangle world (those that are CZT and those that are not) is the genuine care, support, and encouragement that is generously shared.

      So from me, thank you! For sharing your opinion (which obviously you’re passionate about) and for YOUR support and encouragement.

  • PJ

    To have a Zen mind is to be ‘awake’. It is learning how to cut through illusion, to ‘let go’ and be detached. Seeking control ultimately brings unhappiness for all. To ‘just be’ liberates one from fears and disappointments, and allows one to be more spacious and compassionate. Zen has to do with where one is on the path of spiritual awakening. It is not a passive practice; rather, it is quite active. For myself, I find it to be a very rewarding and challenging path to be on.

  • Donna

    Well said! I was happy to read that as I am going to the CZ training in May. It has been a large expense for me and a long trip but I’m sure it will be well worth it.
    I know many fabric artists and the same issues come up, someone teaching your art that you have spent endless time and money developing.

  • Lori Hamilton


    Here, here! So well put. It can be so hard not to wear our feelings on our sleeves. But it is so true that the words and actions of others are much more a reflection on who they are and mean very little to who we or I are.

    This is the type of things that so many of us, especially artists, need constant remind of. Thank you for doing so, and so eloquently too.


  • Very well said. As the popularity of tangling grows this seems to be becoming more of an issue I know a lot of people think that Zentangle is just a word that they are free to use in anyway they see fit. As someone who is very new to this art form and who knows nothing about it really I took the decision to refer to my doodles as just that doodles or tangles. There are a number of free resources sharing official patterns to the benefit of us all but the philosophy of Zentangle is not being spread and those of you who are CZT need to shout it loud and clear as Kass Hall has done here. Thank you.

  • Catherine

    My one reflection on this discussion is, how sad.
    How sad that folks are not willing to share freely their love of drawing, art or Zentangling (sorry don’t know the key for registered trademark). How sad that folks want to claim something as only theirs to share when most of these patterns can be traced back to ancient civilizations, God’s creation, and artists that have come long before us.

    Rick & Maria seem comfortable with folks sharing/teaching these patterns with credit being given to where credit is due. To quote what someone else who posted: ‘As long as you do this (follow Maria and Rick’s 5 points), we are comfortable with you sharing your Zentangles and the Zentangle method with others’.

    I think since there has been a term put onto these little squares, it gives folks a short term for a class and a label to categorize art produced in a similar vein. Most artists put their own spin on anything they create and would be hard pressed to re-name their style and have that understood.

    More could be said, but perhaps just a wish that we have open hearts and kind words.

  • Margaret

    I ran across this discussion today while researching simple basic design materials. I am a certified art teacher (U.S.), having received that certification requiring continuing education over 40 years ago. I agree with “Asia”, “Shell”, and “Catherine’s” last post.

    What is under copyright is the word “Zentangle” and that is all. It is a clever term and the originators of that term were smart to copyright it. However, as “Asia” and others point out, creating repetitive linear patterns has been a part of teaching Basic Design all over the world for generations.

    The fact that two people have commercially packaged and labeled their approach to teaching this for mercenary reasons, including bestowing “certification” upon their followers, does not mean they have a monopoly on exceptional creativity. Nor do other artists need their permission to teach the prinicples of basic design, including linear patters, as they have been doing all along for decades.

    Official Designs? I have books bought over 40 years ago which present very similar designs and methods.

    Congratulations to those who have pursued their CZT. Please remember that great art flows from individual genius and not necessarily from those with credentials or certifications. I know many gifted artists who are marvelous teachers, who bring forth deep creative responses from their students, and who are not certified or credentialed. They are artists. They work from within, share generously, and teach others to do the same.

  • Joyce Cass

    I just ran across your site and have some questions. We used to draw these all over our book covers at school in the 60’s and 70’s without a thought of a name, just as decorations. Look at a lot of the 70’s drug culture band posters and you will see many of these designs. I pulled out some of my ‘drawings’ and they could have come right off your page. What is the difference between your drawings and methods vs. our old methods? It was a focusing method and was ‘cool’. I guess it is a case of ‘what was old is new’. Another example was the tv show ‘That 70’s Show’ where between takes, these types of drawings were highlighted. Then came paisleys.

    I’m glad these drawings are coming back, in the culture I was from, these gave us a bit of ‘zen’ time from stress then too. Best wishes for you in your teachings!

    • Linda Farmer

      Hi Joyce, and welcome. Apparently you haven’t come across this page yet: ZENTANGLE > WHAT IS A ZENTANGLE on the top menu bar. Once you’ve read it, that should answer your questions. Zentangle is very specific and though its outcome may well remind you of “the old days”, the process is quite unique.

  • I see this has been refired recently.

    I wrote about this issue in my book but will repeat here my response to those of you who’ve labelled me “sad”, “control seeking” and other adjectives.

    please READ what is widely written by me and others. The trademarking, the training of CZTs – it is NOT ABOUT THE PATTERNS. Certification for Zentangle is about the process. It’s about the theory behind the CONCEPT.

    Patterns derive from architecture, nature, surface pattern design and other sources – some going back centuries. We do not OWN the patterns. What we do “own” is the teaching process to teach our students how to create the patterns in a simple, repetitive style. We are trained to make Zentangle simple and accessible to all.

    That is what Zentangle as a business seek to protect and we as CZTs seek to protect. Nothing more. If that makes us selfish then go right ahead and judge us. So many of the negative comments I’ve seen on this post, others, on my book reviews etc are proof that people are focussed on the patterns and not the concept of Zentangle. Hence why you don’t understand what it is we do as CZTs and leap to judge us. That’s the big shame of it – if you DID understand the concept, you’d see we are in fact your best asset in the world of Zentangle.



  • Danielle

    This post is almost as old as my kindergartener, but I’ve felt compelled to add to the conversation.

    I am not a CZT and have little hope of enjoying the opportunity to become one. I live in Utah and have a daughter with medical conditions advanced enough to require 24/7 care either provided by a parent or an RN. Her needs are expensive and keep me close to home.

    I am, however, an avid tangler. The process means a great deal to me. I thrive on creative process and this is portable. Simple. Inexpensive.

    My toolkit is a wonderful set of Sakura pens that were my birthday present last year, a mechanical pencil for lightly tracing strings, a small notebook for tracking familiar and loved tangles, and a tiny clipboard with 3″x5″ index cards (the Zentangle tiles exceed our budget). These go everywhere with me and take up next to no space at all in my bag. I also have a high quality 8×11 sketchbook (Christmas present) for larger works and an eraser at home for string lines that didn’t turn out as light as intended and my phone (where I look up patterns online since books exceed the budget too).

    I tangle everywhere. Just last Saturday, I spent 4 hours in a fast food restaurant working through a larger work in my sketchbook. It gave me a place to be at peace after losing my cousin to suicide earlier this month and threatening miscarriage with a much wanted baby.

    I can and will teach THAT about Zentangle – the peace. The fact that anyone who can use a pen can learn the patterns and draw over a small space. The fact that a kit can be as simple as a stack of Post-It notes and a pen and can go everywhere with you. The beauty of immersing oneself outside of the stresses of life for a time.

    If someone is interested, I tell them to look up Zentangle online. To look up Tangle Patterns. To start their journey and stop saying they can’t draw what essentially amounts to simple line variants. I can’t teach them everything about Zentangle but I can teach them ABOUT Zentangle.


    I was able to take a class from Kass when she was in Manhattan a while back. CZTs are as scarce as hen’s teeth around here and the ones that are listed are busy and booked It is very difficult to get into classes. I can not afford to become a CZT but I wish there was a way to contact others in my area and in my position that we could sit and compare notes show each other the stepouts make suggestions. My whole issue is putting various tangles together to make a cohesive tile learn from each other without assuming the title “Teacher”

  • Beryl Prusinoski

    I know this was posted a long time ago, but I’m new and I just read it. I completely agree. I have had the first class from a CZT, have been learning using this wonderful web site and sites from many of the CZTs who post here.
    I will be taking another Zentangle seminar in May, and perhaps one day I will take the certification class. (I’ll bet once I come back from the weekend seminar, I’ll really want to take the class!)
    I appreciate what you CZTs do, and I support you completely. Thanks.

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