My Zentangle journey took years to where it is but I hope that it’s just the beginning!
How I found Zentangle, became a Certified Zentangle Teacher and how exactly has Zentangle change my life?

I loved drawing when I was a kid. I did cartoon characters and when I was a young teenager, I even drew some portraits. But the high school brought new interests and spending time with my friends became a priority. Years have passed before I discovered Zentangle. For years, my only creative projects were the doodles in my business notes.

My career in corporate finance was quite successful. However, after years (actually decades – how scary does that sound?!) I understood that it drained my energy, without fulfilling me with joy. I sought a refuge in jewelry making and got quite obsessed with wire jewelry. Then I even finished a formal education in jewelry design but soon my office job took me away from my hobby

Zentangle Tiles

After years of neglecting my creative drive I decided to check what one of the jewelry designers and teachers was doing. When I started making jewelry, I purchased several online tutorials by Eni Oken. But when I googled her after all these years, I found out that she was drawing and teaching Zentangle inspired art and techniques.

The discovery of Zentangle

I immediately fell in love with the appearance of Zentangle drawings. The small format, ornamental design, all the details and possibilities – I had to learn about it and try it. Then I discovered that there was a methodology behind it. There are steps that help the creators finish beautiful pieces of art and it doesn’t have to take more than 15 minutes of time. I was soon hooked. I started drawing at the end of 2015 but I haven’t stopped ever since.

Zentangle Drawings by Zen Linea

First I started posting my drawings in Facebook Groups but soon I opened my Instagram profile and Facebook page. I did not want to use my name because of my job at that time so I chose an alias – Zen Linea.

This amazing method has brought so much joy to my life. It sparked my creativity and connected me with the wonderful community of tanglers and teachers around the world. It has become an effective way to reduce stress caused by my demanding career in finance. As a result, no matter how busy I was, I made sure to find some time for creating. It got me through some difficult times of losing my loved ones. I loved the fact that there is so much to learn and explore. All the tangles, strings, supplies, techniques… the possibilities are endless! Zentangle also helped me to embrace imperfection, by learning that there are no mistakes as all oopsies are transformed into new opportunities. Finding out that I can draw anything one line at the time was also something that I embraced as a life lesson.

Becoming a Certified Zentangle Teacher

A few years later I applied for a CZT seminar in Providence and in 2018 became a Certified Zentangle Teacher. Attending the seminar was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I returned to Croatia even more inspired.

So, one step at a time, I went from having a crazy idea that one day I might run my own small creative business, through considering the possibility that the idea might not be so crazy, to making the decision and building towards realizing it. It took years but I got there eventually.

Anica Gabrovec, Zen Linea - Certified Zentangle Teacher

Today I spend my days drawing, connecting to the Zentangle community, sharing what I do and teaching online Zentangle classes. Running a business and being a one-woman-band can sometimes get overwhelming but I’ve never regretted my decisions. The best segment of the job are still relaxing with art supplies, exploring new techniques and having those aha moments when I surprise myself with where the creativity takes me. My classes are all accessible through my online teaching portal and I post all my drawings on Instagram and Facebook.

This was a short story about my Zentangle journey and how Zentangle changed my life. And I can’t wait to see what else it has in store.

February, 2021

Written by Anica Gabrovec CZT

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