It was three years ago that Amrita Gvalani came across a picture of a design that she was instantly fascinated by. She later found out that it was called a ‘zentangle’.
Every zentangle, she says, is made on a piece of paper (referred to as a tile) with an area of 3.5 square inches. Authentic zentangles are drawn on such tiles.
The art of zentangling is affordable. Anyone interested in zentangling can buy black marker pens and blot-free paper, from which a tile can be cut out.
So how does one create a zentangle? Describes Amrita, “There are several hundred strokes in zentangling and combining these strokes will make a zentangle.”
“In the beginning, you can draw with pencils to get used to drawing and then write over the strokes with a pen, but I prefer to teach zentangling directly with a pen,” she adds.
Amrita also explains the philosophy behind zentangles, “Every tile is a canvas of our life and every stroke is an action that we perform. Just like actions cannot be erased, strokes should not be erased, by which you learn to embrace your actions and mistakes; you can also improve upon a stroke which didn’t come out right to make something better out of it.”
Since there is room to make mistakes and room to improve, this means that people who aren’t artistically inclined can also give this hobby a go.
Amrita has taught several such people who zentangle happily today. “Of course, having an artistic flair and the ability to draw straight or curved lines add to your tile, but it’s okay to not have that innate ability,” she says.
She has noticed that children who are hyperactive seem to calm down when they start working on zentangles; she also doesn’t make them follow rules as strictly as she does with adults. Once, a child who hadn’t spoken for three years had come to her workshop and at the end, spoke his first words to her. Such experiences have reaffirmed her belief in the ‘Zentangle Method’.
Zentangling is dynamic, she says.
“Starting off, a line might not go as straight or curved as you wish. Following the principles of not erasing, you have to learn how to work with whatever line you drew. This way, you’re compelled to make your design evolve. What you had in mind initially is definitely not how it’s going to turn out,” Amrita elaborates.
When asked how zentangling has impacted her life, Amrita reveals, “It has added to the inner strength of my personality and now, I’m not daunted by something that doesn’t go right with my life. I know I’ll find a way to work it out and make it right.”
Amrita conducts workshops in Bengaluru and Coimbatore. She usually tries to conduct workshops at least once a month. In Bengaluru, the workshop is usually held in Happy Belly Bakes on Primrose Road.