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Rules to Tangle By

When people first discover the Zentangle Method, they sometimes ask about the “rules.” Whether it is an email we receive or a conversation we come across online, people have questions about black and white vs. color, tangling surfaces, which tangles to use, and other inquiries. There is often a desire to do things correctly and they are seeking clarification.

So here are the official Zentangle Method Rules:

1. There are no rules.

The Zentangle Method has steps to guide you in creating Zentangle art, but at the end of the day, the Zentangle Method is all about putting pen to paper and creating art. If you are doing that and having fun, then the rest does not matter.

Original Zentangle art is done on a white square tile (approximately 3.5”) with black ink and we always suggest that is where you begin, but there is nothing that says you cannot explore beyond the basics.

NoRules Tile 480x480

We love to tangle on different shape and color tiles, but there are endless surfaces and tools to be explored. For example, with Maria, we often laugh that “no surface is safe!” Whether you are tangling on a square tile or tangling a giant mural on the side of a building, you are creating Zentangle Art.

The other question we often see asked is about which tangles you are allowed to use. If a tangle is not an “official” Zentangle tangle, can it still be used? The short answer: yes. The long answer is: also, yes. There are also no “official” tangles. There are tangles that Zentangle, Inc. have deconstructed and published, and some say those are the “official” tangles, but as you might know, we are not a huge fan of labels and that label can often lead to confusion. There are many tangles deconstructed by Certified Zentangle Teachers and other members of the Zentangle Community that are just as “official” as a tangle deconstructed by Rick and Maria. You may also find that different people deconstruct similar patterns without knowledge of one another. We encourage you to explore any tangle that catches your attention.

Now, you may really like rules. They offer an elegance of limits that is comforting and provides direction to some. So, if you need a rule to help you get started, here is a good one…

1. Have fun.

Reposted with permission from zentangle.com.