Dear Taipei, Do you ever wonder, like me, what people are capable of beneath their outwards appearance? Whether the sternly looking businessman is in fact a budding songwriter? Or that person who bored you to death with their words, can give the most sensational musical performance? It’s so easy to take people at face value, or even assume our own limitations. It’s particularly sad to hear when people are resolute about their own lack of creativity. Assuming that there are the two binaries of “creative” and “non-creative” people. I think everyone is creative in some way. As someone who is reasonably creative, and from time to time goes into a creative spree of drawing/writing blogs/writing poetry/singing/instrument playing after a dry spell, it was a welcome surprise to be invited to participate in a drawing workshop. I love drawing, and I can doodle away for hours, creating an abstract piece of work in a style which I thought was unique to me. Alas, I discovered on this day that there is a whole art style with thousands of followers which is freakily similar to the art I have been doing for years alone in my house. It’s called Zentangle, and it is one of the most fantastic things I have come across! Our amazing teacher, and now friend, Diane, explained that Zentangle is a type of artwork based on a series of set patterns. There are hundreds of set patterns which have been created (and continue to be created every day), and you can pick a pattern to draw and interpret it any way you like using your pen and paper. So our group of eager first-timers- Amy, Rebecca and two new friends, Conrad “Connie” Conway West and Ricky sat around a table at a cafe completely enthralled in our mini masterpieces. Diane taught us five different patterns which we incorporated into our artwork. As you can see, despite receiving the same explanation, we all interpreted the patterns differently! It was so interesting to see how everyone’s mind worked, how we could have such vastly dissimilar ideas, and yet each one was beautiful in its own way. I can’t rave enough about what a wonderfully kind, knowledgeable and patient teacher Diane was. I learned so much and had the best time. I could have continued for hours and hours in a trance of concentration and inspiration. Thank you so much for giving up your time to teach us!I hope to continue exploring Zentangle further as I can really see myself getting into it. I can often get so caught up in being busy with a million things, so to find the time to slow down, concentrate on one thing, and stretch my mind to limitless bounds of creativity is definitely something I should, and want to, give proper time to.
Yours in scribbles, -TTT Just a bit more information about Zentangle: It was developed by an American couple and has been gaining popularity year by year. The reason why it has been flourishing so rapidly is because anyone can do it, there is no such thing as a mistake, it’s relatively easy, and you can take it to any level you want. It’s also been proven to have health benefits such as relaxing the mind, helping with anxiety, concentration, and even confidence. As such, it is used by many doctors to help people who have been through trauma, depression and other mental illnesses. Diane’s mother was in fact the first person to bring Zentangle to Taiwan, and now Diane works with her mother to teach classes and they have released a number of books. I really urge anyone who is interested to look it up as there is a lot of information online!