Zentangle – or Doodling to Most of Us

You know that doodling you do when you are on hold on the phone, or trying to fill out your shopping list?
Chances are it’s copyrighted.
You heard me.

I’ve always doodled.  Mostly it was because I had pencil and paper and was waiting for something.  Impatiently, of course, and doodling occupies the mind.  In more recent times, my doodles have become more stylized, as I use them to create Crewel Work designs.  One day, scrolling along facebook (my current mindless activity) I saw a post with doodles similar to mine from a group called ZIA.  I asked to join, to find more like minded individuals and see what they were producing.
Turns out the group is called Zentangle Inspired Art, and the participants all used created patterns to fill in their designs.  Mind you, those patterns are pretty much the same patterns I’ve always used.  As usual, I had to research this ‘new’ art form.  This is the description:

“Zentangles are miniature pieces of unplanned, abstract, black and white art created through a very specific Method from an ensemble of simple, structured patterns called tangles on a 3.5-inch (89 mm) square paper tile. Zentangles are not only exquisitely beautiful, they are fun and relaxing to create.

The process of creating a Zentangle is a form of “artistic meditation” as one becomes completely engrossed in making each pattern, deliberately focusing on “one stroke at a time”®.”

Now, I have a lot of issues with this.  First, the word unplanned.  How can creating something to a specific size, using a specific Method be unplanned?  Secondly, how can you ‘meditate’ once you have begun trying to recreate a certain pattern, and stopped your mindless doodling?  I’m not sure they thought this through.  And finally – see that little R in a circle at the end of that statement?  Yea. That is a copyright mark.  One day a woman named Maria Thomas had an epiphany.  She was doodling and – well, let’s hear it from the creators:

“She described her feelings of timelessness, freedom and well-being and complete focus on what she was doing with no thought or worry about anything else.

“You’re describing meditation,” Rick said.”

They proceeded to copyright hundreds of doodle patterns and create a ‘method’ for producing them.  Who knew doodling could inspire that feeling of timelessness?  I’m gob smacked!  Well, no, I’m not really.  That is what I have always felt when doodling.  I knew it was therapeutic; I didn’t need some new age entrepreneurs to tell me about it.  More power to them – they are making a fortune off gullible folks who think they need to pay money to learn how to draw checkerboard patterns and wavy lines.  Lots of them even pay serious money to take classes in it.

As you can probably imagine, I’ve left the group.  I’ll carry on doodling with whatever design comes to mind, and I will make creations, like that unfinished doodle at the top of the page, or I will use them to embroider.  I might even sell a finished piece, if anyone wants it.  Let them sue me!