Creative Exercise: Make a Zentangle Inspirational Text | Elysian Studios


I am always looking for ways to stretch my creativity.  

My goal is to be constantly in the creative flow.  That doesn’t mean completing a masterpiece everyday.  It means discovering how to free up my mind and my hands in my down-time, so I can find ideas I didn’t know I had, improve my technical skills, and motivate myself to keep going.  

I’ve recently discovered the joy of Zentangles, which is a simple method of drawing repetitive patterns.  If you’ve never created one, here’s a great introductory Zentangle video.  There’s really a million ways you can create your own variations of this idea.

I am a pretty boring “doodler.” I have a very small arsenal of swirls, circles and lines, and the resulting drawings are ho-hum.  I am trying to change that.  When I was doing my morning study of Julia Cameron’s “Walking in This World,” she gave the task of writing down this particular quote, so it would be ingrained in the reader’s mind:


What better way to memorize it, than to draw it? 

And what more fun way to draw it than in the relaxing, improvisational style of Zentangle?

To do this activity you only need the following:


2-permanent, fine-tip marker

3-sketchbook or paper

4-something to color with(colored pencils/crayons/markers/watercolors)

5- a favorite quote or saying

6-a relaxed,comfortable, non-judgmental attitude

Begin by drawing with your pencil.  First, create a rectangular border for your quote.  Then divide your rectangle into sections.  I divided mine into about seven “swooped” sections.  Fill in these sections with the words from your quote, and try to mix up the style in which you write: script, block letters, boxed-in letters, etc. Try out some new things!


Once you are happy with your arrangement, go over your final layout with the pen. You are done with the pencil, so you can erase some visible lines if you’d like, but now it’s time to go confidently forward with permanent pen!


When your layout has been inked, start to go back into the sections and fill them in with patterns.  If you are stuck, check out for some fresh ideas.  The first time you try this technique, you might be low on pattern ideas, but once you start trying some new patterns, you will easily remember them for future drawings!


Don’t forget to leave a little blank space around your drawing.  It’s nice to have a resting place.  Ultimately, however, this is your drawing, and it’s really about the act of making it more than it is about the final product. 

After you’ve finished inking all of your patterns, it is time to start coloring! Break out whatever looks fun to work with, just make sure the paper you have chosen will support the materials you are using (typing paper won’t hold watercolors well!)  I have been using a different medium each time I do one of these.  Here, I used my Prismacolor pencils.


Color, color and color to your heart’s content!  Remember how fun it was to take the time to do this when you were a child?  Enjoy it!  When you are finished, you’ll have a beautiful Zentangle-style drawing of a favorite quote, and you will have spent a lot of healthy time soaking up that positive thought!


Have you ever tried Zentangles? 

How do you keep your creativity flowing?

I’d love to hear about it!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like my Zentangle Watercolor tutorial!