OZAD – Let’s Talk Style

Week Five of One Zentangle a Day is focusing on personal style. That is something I’ve always struggled with. I don’t really see it in my own body of work, no matter which creative discipline it is in – bookbinding, collage, photography, knitting. Perhaps I’m too close to it? But I feel pretty doubtful that someone exposed to past work would see new work and identify it as mine.

Or, maybe the issue is that I’m always seeking out new things? I’m always challenging myself and learning so there ends up being little repetition. That probably also means less of adding my own flare to things I suppose.

Cate, I know you speak often about my precision which would be an element to personal style. I do see that, though much less so in the past couple weeks. Am I learning to let go and loosening up my style? Or is the chaotic state of life right now creeping into the tiles? Or is it just my lack of a solid surface like a desk or table?

I maybe see a bit of style in how I shade, though I’d like to loosen up in that regard as well. My shading is often as long or longer in process than the drawing. But I do so love the depth I get when I take the time to layer in my shading, starting with the lighter/harder graphite and working my way to darker shades held tighter to the shapes. Can I keep that, but speed up the process a bit?

How do you see my style in the first 28 days of OZAD work?

Mosaic of the first 28 days of exercises from One Zentangle A Day.
Here are thirty images of my first 28 days worth of exercises from One Zentangle a Day, starting with the most recent in the upper left (click to enlarge).

Benched By My Writer’s Bump!

I’ll save you the photo (I did take one, but it isn’t pretty, trust me). I’ve had a writer’s bump since about the 2nd grade or so. It is ugly and one of the reasons I refused to have the traditional wedding band hands photo taken at our wedding. Well, yesterday at some point it cracked from the dry air and all the paper/box handling going on around here. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. In the packing phase of the last two moves I’ve made my hands have molted.

A cracked writers bump is better than both hands molting. I can moisturize and bandage a cracked writer’s bump. There is pretty much nothing to do for molting hands. Despite first-aid, tangling last evening did not feel good. I did my OZAD exercises in my notebook but never did a tile. I guess it was a good thing I did two tiles earlier this week to put me ahead. I’ve still tangled a little everyday in 2015 though!

A little peek into my notebook where I do the "One Zentangle A Day" exercises.
A little peek into my notebook where I do the “One Zentangle A Day” exercises.

The above photo is not last night’s exercises, but rather one from Day 18 at the beginning of this month. My preference is to do my exercises in the morning after breakfast while finishing my coffee. Then I do a tile in the evening after work. It doesn’t always work out that way though.

For my exercises I’m making 1″ squares in an Extra Large Cahier Moleskine plain paper notebook using a clear 6″X1″ ruler. I then do the step-outs as shown in the book. I’m finding repeating the early steps really helps my patterns a lot because those first steps are the foundation of the pattern so getting a solid feel for how to form those is fantastic. It also gives me step-outs to photograph for entering into my Doodle Organizer app on my phone/iPad! Once or twice a week I go through and add them to the app which helps solidify the names of the patterns.

Sometime in the future I’ll post more on how I’m drawing my 1″ boxes. I’d like to figure out how to set up my phone to video me doing it and then speed it up for you, but I don’t have a tripod for my phone so I’m not sure if that is doable. I’ll also post more about the Doodle Organizer app at some point.

What Life Lessons Am I Learning From Zentangle?

Zentangle 2015-047
Zentangle 2015-047, Day 22 of One Zentangle A Day featuring Tagh and Tat with Squid, Sampson, Festune, Ynix and Fracus (variant).

I began working my way through One Zentangle a Day by Beckah Krahula about mid-January. After three weeks I was struggling with only having enough time in a day to do the exercises and not having time for personal exploration. So I took roughly a week off and am back at it as of yesterday.

I will admit it. I groaned when I saw the patterns for my first day back – organic shaped and one of them is a complex, one stroke pattern (Tat). I love the organic feeling zentangles I see on Pintrest or in blogland. I hate the organic zentangles I’ve produced. Why is that?

Also, I seem to be a short stroke pattern person. I tend to make my patterns pretty small (somewhat of a control/perfectionist issue I’m sure) and have not been a fan of the single stroke patterns I’ve attempted thus far.

I’m guessing there are some really profound things these aversions have to say about me. Care to help me decipher them?