Media & Techniques

So, What’s Up With the Zentangle® Method, Anyway?

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Are you a Zentangle® Method master or does the thought of getting all ‘Tangled up” in doodle mode make you shudder? It seems art teachers are either so passionate about The Zentangle® Method they go out and become “Certificated Zentagle Instructors” or they ignore the trend and write it off as ‘Fancy Doodling” and carry on with teaching Van Gogh.


I know, I know, The Zentangle® Method has been around for awhile. I know, I know, it’s all the rage.

Quite frankly I don’t have anything in particular against The Zentangle® Method. I just haven’t gotten into it or become ‘sold’ on it yet, either.

It all goes back to a particular event in my high school art career that made me shy away from any type repetitive drawing and designing. We were asked to create a cover for our art portfolios using one line. You know, the type of activity where one continuous line winds around and around the HUGE portfolio cover and you waste away your time by writing your name and drawing happy little shapes with your line. It was torture. It was busy work. And to be honest, said portfolio cover kind of looked Zen-tangle-ish. Hence my aversion. It’s not your fault, Zentangle® Method. It’s not you. It’s me. Really.

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The founders of Zentangle® Method were at NAEA last week, but I didn’t have a chance to meet them or see any of their events (running a booth and presenting kept me pretty busy.) I want to learn more, really I do. The creations coming out of The Zentangle® Method are amazing, don’t you agree? I want to embrace this ‘craze’ that so many art teachers and students can’t get enough of. I’m hoping the fabulous AOE readership can enlighten me.

What size of the Zentangle fence are you? How have you used it with your students? What age level do you feel benefits from Zentangle?

What educational benefit or art standard are you linking Zentangle to? 

Does Zentangle really make you (or your students) Zen – As the name says?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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