Sit Back, Relax, and Zentangle: How One Bracelet Changed My Perspective on Beading
I keep seeing articles about self-care. This makes the idea of taking some time for yourself seem less selfish. I love the concept, but many articles tell you to get a facial or drink tea. Although these activities sound pleasant, I wanted to do something that would that would truly shift my perspective. Then I discovered the Zentangle philosophy and Carole Ohl’s Saturn Connections bracelet.
According to Zentangle, Inc., the Zentangle method encourages artistry while avoiding the most common blocks to creative flow, such as self-criticism or worrying about outcomes and doubts. By relaxing and focusing on creating tangles with combinations of dots, lines, simple curves, and orbs, you allow your imagination to expand. Let go of the thought of right or wrong and simply explore your own aesthetic and sense of design.
Zentangle, Inc. also suggests that this method can help with other common problems such as phobias, addictions, pain management, conflict resolution, and workplace burnout. Allow yourself to trust your creativity without fear of failure and the results can be fun and healing.
One of the things I found most inspiring about this philosophy is its concentration on imagination and creativity and not on other areas of life. Although hobbies are supposed to be breaks from work and the stress of everyday life, they can sometimes become chores. With Zentangle, the pressure loosens. I feel as if I can take the time to explore, instead of just knowing and creating like a machine.
I’m sure this is especially true for those who use their craft as their occupation. In an interview, bead artist Carole Ohl discussed her love of the Zentangle method and how it inspired her Saturn Connections bracelet:
“I’m a huge fan of the art of Zentangle, whose tagline is ‘Anything is possible . . . one stroke at a time.’ One stroke informs the next, and so it goes when I play with beads. One bead plays on the next, with no plan. It’s so much fun to see what those beads like to do with each other!”
Read Carole’s entire interview here.
Carole Ohl’s Saturn Connections bracelet, originally published in Beadwork, April/May 2017, uses pillars of the Zentangle method, but with beads! The combination of straight lines and soft curves connected by points creates a bracelet with a peaceful feel. The pressed glass rounds even act as orbs in the center of the bracelet components.
Make your own version of this bracelet in the original dusted lilac colorway or the bright multicolor colorway today! Get the kits while they last so you don’t have to worry about the stress of finding all the right bead sizes and colors. Just relax and focus on yourself and your own creativity. Allow this bracelet to jump-start changing your perspective and letting yourself fail. And the best part—after you make the bracelet, wear it as a constant reminder that you are strong, creative, and capable.
For more information on the Zentangle method, explore the website or check out these books from Interweave: Zentangle Untangled, Zentangle Untangled Workbook, and Yoga for Your Brain: A Zentangle Workout.
Learn how you can turn your drawings into beads in Kristal Wick’s Fabulous Zendoodle Fabric Beads course!
Assistant Editor, Beadwork magazine