The first year of Tangle Lab is behind us and it almost seems hard to believe that time has passed so quickly. It is time to remember the projects that we did together through the last twelve months.

During 2021, as each month passed by, I added new stuff to a blog post with a recap of a kind, ending the year with a post about my favorite monthly drawings. In 2022 things changed when I launched Tangle Lab in February, and it became the primary focus of my creative endeavors. I do tangle for fun – that’s my priority, but many times those “for fun” projects end up inspiring Tangle Lab projects.

Tangle Lab is a subscription-based community of tanglers that meet through Zoom once a month. I prepare a project, send info about the supplies and we meet and tangle together. In addition to that, each month I prepared some bonus and follow-up content, mostly delivered as video-on-demand lessons. Those are usually shorter tangle sessions, often connected to our main monthly project. I decided to create a recap of the first year of Tangle Lab, so that I can refer to it when I want to review what we did, but I hope that some of you might find it interesting as well.

February 2022

I was so excited and nervous to start the first meeting. ­čśÇ┬á The focus of our first month was Zentangle’s tangle Zenith, which is usually used as a ribbon tangle, but we made a 3D glamorous diva out of it. A simple string created of folded ribbons on a 3Z tile was a bonus. We used Zenith again in the follow-up session, this time in a radial, mandala-like design. The last photo is a display of some of my drawings that use Zenith in several different ways.

March 2022

In March I wanted to create a dreamy design with an appearance of tangling on a black background, when in fact the tile was white. I was drawn to dividing the tile in sections, using the golden ratio. The design with Ginko was the one taught in the live online meetup. My new tangle Choo, that looks like a braid, was offered as bonus content. For the follow up I explored different approached to shading and highlighting snail shapes, with an embossed and debossed appearance. On the last photo you can see some additional examples that I tangled on square tiles.

April 2022 Tangle Lab

Ratoon by Zentangle is one of the obvious choices for Zentangle- inspired mandala designs. We created an ornamental version of it – repetitive and striking. In the follow-up session we used the S-shaped Ratoon, like shown on a blue tile in the middle. We explored another Zentangle’s tangle in bonus sections – Icanthis that’s heavily inspired by the traditional Acanthus design, which is also shown in my drawing on the right.

May 2022

Coming back to my Choo tangle was a part of the main project in May. We combined it with some Mookas and Ribbons, using gel pens in a way that we usually don’t use them. You can see a digital mosaic that is created from three of my drawings (top left and bottom right is the same drawing, finished during the live online class). In the middle, you can see the bonus content – a simple design that uses Eva Wu’s PokeLily tangle. In the follow-up session we drew some transparent zengems with grey grid tangles in the background. One more version of the main project is on the the last photo, this time on a round tile (Zendala).

June 2022

In July we visited a concept of spliced tiles, where we used two tiles of different shapes and colors, cut through them without changing their shape, and finally intertwined them to reveal shapes to be tangled on. In the main session, we tangled a butterfly, and for the follow-up, I prepared a dragonfly. The bonus session was focused on Ariane Bauer’s wonderful new tangle OleasLigero, which I showed on a 3Z tile, using colored liners for the linework and coloring.

July 2022

The main project in July was really challenging. It was inspired by an old design by Maria Tomas, that used Zentangle┬┤s tangle Well. We drew WhatTheWell by Jody Genovese, mimicking a folded paper design. It was one of my favorites, probably because I love a good challenge. To prepare for it, a bonus session offered a video of drawing WhatTheWell on a 3Z tile. The follow-up video was focused on Well that is used as a ribbon tangle, folded and straight.

August 2022

Summertime in Croatia inspired me to create an underwater scene in a reticulum made of Zentangle’s tangle Narfello. We filled it with different tangles and some whimsical fish shapes. Zylph by Jennifer Hohensteiner was a perfect choice for a bonus, drawing water drops instead of the usual orbs. In the follow-up video, we recreated the summer scene, but this time with an addition of a cute bird. The main project is available for purchase in my webshop as the Deep Blue Sea┬ávideo-on-demand lesson.

September 2022

September was focused on one of my favorite concepts by Zentangle – dingbatz. We started with a simple black and white (and grey) design for the bonus or warm-up. In our live online meeting we created an ornamental, more elaborate design. For the follow-up I prepared an exploration of floral dingbatz examples, some of them cut to a small, irregular-shaped format.

October 2022

Several years ago I played with Emiko Kaneko’s tangle Kaas and I decided to revisit it, play with it, and ended up drawing this seemingly complex mandala design, that I presented as the main project. In the bonus session, I showed my new tangle Pokescu and we used it again as a part of the Kaas mandala. For the follow-up I drew Kaas in a more traditional style, as a grid tangle (in a reticulum), on a Phi tile. This is where shades and highlights really play the main role.

November 2022

In tune with the autumn weather, we focused on mushrooms in November. During the bonus session, I prepared the background for the main project, using liquid watercolors on the wet background. Then we tangled some magical forest scenes on it on our live online meetup. In the follow-up I showed a few more tangles, drawing them on small, bijou-sized index cards. Finally, I used them in a spooky scene, with eyeballs peeking out behind the mushrooms and other plants.

December 2022

We used several festive motifs in December, starting off with StArukas, my version of Zentangle’s Arukas tangle. In the main session, we drew a Christmas tree, focusing on section-based shading and highlighting. On top of the tree we drew StArukas with zenbossing-inspired┬áshading. Finally, for the follow-up, I showed my tangle Svashta, shaped like another Christmas tree.

January 2023

In the last live online meeting of this 12-month period, we thought about some inspiring word. We placed them inside of a ribbon made of Zentangle’s Rambles tangle. Around the ribbon, we drew Zentangle’s Crescent Moon with some bling and Ariane Bauer’s new tangle Zarillon. The focus of the bonus session was Debbie Raaen’s Starlight – a wonderful grid tangle. For the follow-up, I showed a cone-shaped Crescent Moon, again in a glamorous edition, which contrasts its usual modest appearance.

Gratitude for the first year of Tangle Lab

I already wrote about how grateful I felt to have chosen (and to be chosen for) this incredible creative journey. It is important to me to always make sure to thank all the Tangle Lab members for being my co-creators and inspiring me to learn from them, create and share. I am thankful for all of you who are a part of my Zentangle journey in any way. 

When I started my CZT journey I felt some anxiety about how long it would last, and how much would I be able to keep drawing and coming up with some new ideas and designs. Now I know that we all live in an infinite space of inspiration and creativity, and the belief in the abundance of it is the way to live by. That is why I am eagerly anticipating many more creative months with my co-creators and friends.

January, 2023

Written by Anica Gabrovec CZT

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