How did last week's Zentangles go!?!? Did your life change?? Or... at the very least... did you find a little corner in ONE day to keep for yourself? Because that's the point. That's the WHOLE point: prioritizing yourself, your mental health, and YOUR happiness by opening up your mind, slowing down your heart rate, and engaging in physical creativity. And that's not just the point in Zentangles, but in the WHOLE Brand Therapy Group and practice...
So... did you do it?
If your answer is no, go back. Try again. MAKE time and space for YOU.
If your answer is YES, wahoo!!! Yay for you and I can't WAIT for you to dive into this next step. Because we're taking all that pattern ideation and Zentangle practice and bringing it to a tremendous finale. Zentangle SELF PORTRAITS!!
It's going to be amazing and not nearly as stressful or intimidating as it sounds... I promise.
Start by picking a picture of yourself. Now, that might already be a stress-overload... I got lucky because I have my business head shots which I LOVE. If you're not comfortable being SO center stage, just use a picture that feels like you. Something from a memory, someone you love, something that feels deeply personal to you.
I'd honestly love for you to TRY to use a picture of yourself, because so much of what we're doing here is practicing seeing ourselves, BUT... baby steps.
Take your picture, print it out, cut it out... and glue it into your sketchbook.
Then, take all that Zentangle and pattern-making practice and GO NUTS!!
When you're done, try taking things a step further by adding color. You can use any medium you feel comfortable with, for that. My personal favorite is oil pastels that I smudge with a tissue so it looks all smooth and blended.
Play. Have fun. Make time for YOURSELF. See yourself in a way that is new and beautiful. MAKE meaning.
What's happening: By now, you've heard me say (a lot) that Zentangles are a form of creative meditation. Repetitive actions, calm/controlled movement, a quieting of fears and anxieties. All that pattern-making is meant to not only calm the soul and the bloodstream, but it's literally a way to shut off your brain. Turn down the volume of all that self-criticism and just... be. Just do.
But this is different... adding in the self-portrait angle gives you the opportunity to take that practice of turning down the volume on self-criticism and put it to good use. Start to turn your focus and attention back ON. Leave the criticism off, because now you know how to do that, and begin to bring some intention and purpose back into how your hands move. Bring the why back into what you're doing. In order to not OVER control the process of art-making, we have to learn how to turn that control off. Once you've got that figured out, you can learn how to be intentional WITHOUT having to control everything you do.
As a controlling perfectionist myself... I know that any sense of control can be dangerous and addictive. Learn to let your creativity lead you, instead of you trying to lead it.