You might have read my 100 Days of Zentangle post, which I published when I started this project. It’s time for the 100 Days of Zentangle – Post Festum because I am happy to celebrate the completion of the project. Even if you have tangled along (thank you!), I hope that you will appreciate this insight into my perspective on it.

For those of you that are not be familiar with the subject, I joined the global 100-day-project challenge. My project was to draw a tangle a day for 100 consecutive days, film it and share videos of the process. Oh, what a ride it has been! Full of joy and wonderful connections, but also sometimes depleting. I am sure that you understand. The act of just drawing for 100 days is very relaxing, quick (with this kind of concept), and beneficial. However, with an additional workload of filming, editing, posting, and maintaining social interactions, it can become overwhelming.

Below is a mosaic of all 100 tiles, that I drew on small tan paper tiles. If you would like to have a high-resolution photo, you can download it here.

100 Days of Zentangle Zen Linea mosaic


The 100-day-project experience

I often ponder why I chose to do this challenge. Doing it for others is not enough of a motivation, at least for me. If you followed my previous challenges (Inktober 2021 and Inktober 2022), perhaps you remember how I used to consider myself unreliable and inconsistent. Completing these challenges helped me change the way I see myself. It all starts with setting an intention. And I guess that taking on the 100-day project was my attempt to take it a step further. And I sure did!

I didn’t count all the views that these videos got across social media, but there were millions of views on each platform. And let me tell you – it’s a double-edged sword.

Living inside the Zentangle community bubble is truly such a blessing. Being connected to like-minded people that are bound by the same interest has been a wonderful experience, ever since I started joining the groups in 2016. Everyone is supportive and positive. You like something you see – you give it likes and love. If you don’t, you scroll away and find something to admire. Well, unfortunately, it’s not how the random online person functions.

Nobody knows which algorithms or keys are used by different platforms to distribute content or suggest it to people who are not followers. So, my videos get pitched to people who are not interested in the Zentangle method, drawing, or creative process at all, and those random people leave all kinds of random comments. People are strange species. I know that their triggers and frustrations have nothing to do with my content. That’s why I decided a long time ago to never take these comments personally. However, it still uses my energy to go through those comments, delete them, answer them, block people, etc. So, that was the negative side of it. However, all the positives always outweigh it.

I am really thankful to many of you who followed along, drew along, and sent encouraging messages and comments. You have helped to strengthen my inner feeling of satisfaction and ability to give back to the community that I’ve always felt so welcome to be a part of.

Gallery of tangles

Here is a video with a slideshow of individual tiles with tangles that I drew for 100 days. I will try to incorporate them into my Zentangle practice and use them to enrich my creative practice. For that I have to thank all the wonderful artists who de-constructed these tangles for all of us to enjoy them. 



Tips for those who want to join

If you are a beginner, this kind of project might be a nice way to kick-start your creativity.  And if you are an experienced tangler, maybe you will find that it’s a nice tool to enrich your tangle repertoire. Here are some of my tips:

  • Take your time. These videos are here to stay and you don’t need to rush or feel overwhelmed.
  • If you are a beginner, you might want to start with simpler tangles and move toward the more complex ones.
  • Grid tangles are not my go-to type of tangles (I am an organic type of girl). In this challenge, I tried to find a mix between using different types, so there are many grid tangles, too. In Zentangle we don’t use tools because we don’t strive for perfection. We choose to draw imperfect shapes and embrace those imperfections.  I would like to invite you to do the same. However, if drawing grids on blank paper seems too stressful, take a paper with a grid, a dotted background, or use some tool to help you until you feel more confident. 
  • Speaking about the imperfections, I would also invite you to embrace your squiggly lines if they don’t appear to be as straight as you want them to be. It will add a special and charming character to your drawings.
  • Regarding the source of the videos, choose those from YouTube. I created a special 100 Days of Zentangle playlist with all the daily videos. These videos are twice as slow as those on other platforms, but still double the speed of my drawing process. You can set the playback speed to 0.5 in the video settings, which is my actual drawing speed. If you set it to 0.25, if will be even slower than the speed at which I draw, but it might suit you better. Draw at your own most comfortable speed.


What to do next?

The last video in the series (day 100) is the only one that I created with my audio guidance. At the end of it, I suggested that you try to incorporate these tangles into traditional Zentangle drawings. There are eight steps of the Zentangle method. After starting with appreciation, create four corner dots, connect them with a border, divide the space with a string, and start drawing tangles to fill those smaller spaces. To see what the process looks like, you can watch this short video.

People often ask me how I choose tangles to combine together. My opinion is that any tangles can look nice next to each other. I challenged myself to test that in both of my previous Inktober challenges, adding a tangle a day (from a list that was previously curated, not by me) to the same artwork. 

If you feel that you still need some guidance, those two challenges (a total of 60 days with 60 tangles), might be a good choice for your next step. Here are the links:

Whatever you decide to do next – have fun. Relax, enjoy, take it one stroke at a time, and appreciate the creative journey and the magic that your hands create.

June, 2023

Written by Anica Gabrovec CZT

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