Recently I was over at and read that the Zentangle® copyrights had changed.  Since I had previously read the Zentangle® legal notices and was complying by the rules – I didn’t bother to follow up on reading the new info for about a week.  Boy am I glad that I finally took the time to visit their legal page and see the updates.  They’ve changed their content to indicate the term Zentangle® refers to a method now. That may not sound like a big deal, but trust me – it can be!

It did in fact make a difference on how I’ve been using the Zentangle® term on my website.

Why Make Changes Now?

So if I was already following the previous rules, why change now?  Because they updated their rules about using the term “Zentangle® Inspired.” They actually removed such permissions.  Now the expectation is that when referring to such works of  art people are instructed to use the  phrase, “Inspired by the Zentangle® method of pattern drawing.

Unfortunately, I’m not comfortable with making that statement for my art.

Although I am truly inspired by various forms of Repeat Pattern Art (including art other people have created and called their Zentangles) that’s not necessarily the same as being inspired by the Zentangle® method of pattern drawing.  Maybe it’s best to share with you some of the Zentangle® specific info and explain myself further. As always I’ll respect their rights – I’m not going to reveal any of their trade secrets or anything about the teaching method other than what they already share with the public.

In the contents of their About Pages at you can read:

“We use the best paper and pens available to ensure your Zentangles will be a respected and treasured work of art.”

“There is no eraser in life and there is no eraser in Zentangle. However, in Zentangle (and in life), you discover that even if you make what seems to be a mistake, you can then build on that event as a new pattern and go in unexpected and exciting new directions.”

“A Zentangle has no up or down and is not a picture of something, so you have no worries about whether you can draw a hand, or a duck.”

“A Zentangle tile is 3 1/2 inches square (which, with respect to Fibonacci proportions, is equivalent to 89 millimeters or 21 picas). Zentangle is designed to be completed in one sitting. You can finish one in about 15 minutes.”

These are all terrific benefits of the Zentangle® method of pattern drawing!  And I praise the founders, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas for making these elements a part of their teaching method.  However, I honestly don’t follow/practice such things.  For example I don’t necessarily use the tools, mind/thought processes, or even the patterns taught by Certified Zentangle® Teachers.  Sometimes I’ll work an art piece for much longer than 15 minutes.  It might even takes me days to finish ‘er up. I use an eraser often – especially when I’m doing my pencil shading/coloring.

It’s not that I’m against following the Zentangle® methodologies.  I just don’t always follow them.  Sometimes I do, but less often than you may think.  That’s why I say that I’m not inspired by the method itself. I’m inspired by the Repeat Pattern form of art – and it pretty much ends there.

Is it a Thing or a Method?

Although many people will use the term as a noun – the term Zentangle® I believe actually refers to a teaching method. As per their website and verbiage used by Certified Zentangle® Teachers:

“Zentangle is an easy to learn method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns.”

“With Zentangle, anyone can create beautiful images from repetitive patterns. This (Zentangle®) method is easy to learn and easy to do. And even though it is a specified series of steps, it results in a creative expression that transcends its own rules.”

Read that closely and glance around their website further and you’ll understand why I emphasize that Zentangle® is a method.  A method for learning how to create beautiful images from repetitive patterns.  However I need to point out that on their website the originators of this method also refer to Zentangle® as an art form and a finished piece of art as well.

“When you create a Zentangle, you create a beautiful piece of art. You also can deliberately create a mood, a focus, a state of mind.”

“The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at”

One would have to presume that when they use it as a noun they’re referring directly to the final outcome of a product created using the Zentangle® method.

Pattern Art Or Zentangle®?

Repeat Pattern Art has been around for many (untold) years.  There’s nothing new about this form of art.  And as stated above – by following the Zentangle® method of drawing one can learn how to create this type of art easily.  However it’s not the only way to create it.  A person can learn how to create Repeat Pattern Art via other teaching methodologies as well.  Just the same way as one can learn painting from different methods or learn how to create a scrapbook following various strategies.  How to do picture framing can be taught using different methods as can teaching how to accomplish math equations.

You can probably find that there are several different ways or methods to teach/learn just about anything you have an interest in.  This includes several different methods for learning how to create Repeat Pattern Art using primarily pen and paper or how to put yourself in a Zen-like state of mind by practicing particular motions. Both of which I learned long before I even knew the first thing about Zentangling.

Time for Changes at Rainbow Elephant

While the phrase “Zentangle® inspired” has commonly understood meaning to it – based on the new verbiage required per the legal rights shown on the Zentangle® website – the phrase is no longer an accurate way for me to refer to my art. Because I don’t follow the Zentangle® methodology it’s not really fair to the many true Zentanglers out there for me to lead people to believe otherwise. The people who are studied Zentangle® professionals have worked hard to get to where they are and I don’t think it would be right for me to minimize their efforts by saying I’m inspired by the methods they teach.

I Am Inspired

I truly appreciate everything Zentangley/Zendoodley and the high-quality repeat pattern art that I see from enthusiasts of the Repeat Pattern Art form many times referred to as Zentangling.  With all due respect and full credit to Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas for their beautiful art and wonderful teaching method – I must say that I don’t personally Zentangle® or more accurately said – I don’t create Zentangle® Inspired art as it refers to the methods they teach for learning how to create Repeat Pattern Art.

For any blog viewers with concerns please note that like many, many others – I was doodling patterns and line-art designs long before the Zentangle® method was formalized/copyright protected.  So if my methods overlap those of Zentangling it is not intentional or legally breaching any copyright laws.


So what is the legal term for the type of art I share on this website? It’s called “Line Weaving.”  And my next blog post will have more specific information about Line Weaving for those of you who are interested in the art form. 🙂

In the mean time – I’m in the process of making changes to the verbiage used throughout my website.  Please be patient as it may take a while to get things changed over.  All this is in an effort to comply with the new legal rules posted at:  If you use such terms as this in your own work/website I highly recommend you read their new changes.  It might make a difference to how you write and refer to your works of art!

Have a Wonderfully Doodley Day!
~ Cindy

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