Sunday, 7 August 2016

Fame at Last!

Shoshi’s in print!

You may remember last year, I was approached by British CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) Jane Marbaix, and asked if I would produce a piece of ZIA (Zentangle-inspired art) featuring my Zentangle pattern Y-Ful Power, to be included in her upcoming book. As the book was to be an inspirational one, she wondered if I could in some way depict my cancer journey. This is the piece that I produced, entitled “Rising Towards the Light.”

08 Completed Drawing with Digital Shading

You can read about it in detail here, and the story behind it, and also see details of Y-Ful Power here.

The book was some months in production, and last week I received my complimentary copy, courtesy of the author.

I am highly delighted with this book, not merely because I am in print at last, but because it is such a beautifully produced volume, and full of very inspiring ideas, and some techniques that I did not know about. I decided to do a brief review of the book, and to give publishing details because I know that several people expressed an interest in obtaining their own copy when I first blogged about this.

Here is the front cover of the book – the jpg Jane sent me at the beginning, which was the working cover, but which has been used without alteration.

01 Inspiring Zentangle Projects - Book Cover

The frontispiece.

01 Frontispiece

I do like this idea of making a design from small rectangles and squares, each filled with a different pattern. This makes a beautiful frame and could be used for cards or other personalised items, with a sentiment or an initial or number in the centre.

In the first section of the book, Jane explains what Zentangle is, and gets us started with “Basic Steps” – the title of the first section.

In this photo she shows various enhancements you can add to your Zentangles, some of which I had not seen before, in particular the dew drop one, which I am very keen to try. It’s extremely realistic.

02 Enhancements

All the headings, and the tinting of the pages, are colour-coded according to the section. “Basic Steps” is in green. In addition, there is a “watermark” in a slightly darker tone of the page colour, made up of elements of the designs depicted on each page, giving a lovely cohesion to the design of the book. It is very restful on the eye and does not compete with the illustrations or text; so often these days one comes across publications where the background is so busy and too intense in colour and it makes the text hard to read, especially for people with problems with their eyesight. The backgrounds in this book are softer than simple plain white, and they enhance beautifully the subject matter of each page.

On the page in the next photo, Jane shows us how we can use text – letters and numbers – a lovely feature for any card or personalised project.

03 Letters and Numbers

Still in the “Basic Steps” section, there is a technique I have never come across before, which I find particularly appealing, as a mixed media artist, because I love mixing different materials and equipment from different disciplines in my projects. A stencil makes a very different kind of “string” (the initial lines drawn on the Zentangle tile, making the shapes that you then fill with pattern).

04 Using Stencils

This is definitely a technique I am going to try. I am currently designing and making some new stencils, and will bear this use in mind as I design them from now on.

The next section of the book is entitled “Projects” and the theme colour is pale orange. In this section, in addition to Jane’s own beautiful work, are featured the people whom Jane invited showcase their work – myself included! The following photo shows another technique I want to use, having merely scratched the surface – mandalas. The book has several pages of these and they are beautiful and complex.

05 Mandalas

Mandalas lend themselves particularly well to Zentangle; instead of filling random shapes created by a string, the patterns are arranged concentrically.

Here is my page!

06 Rising Towards the Light

I am more thrilled than I can say, to see my work in print, and my story published – my greatest hope is that this will inspire others who are struggling with their own cancer journey.

Moving on, here is another example of an unusual use for Zentangle – tangling on found objects, in this case shells and stones. This could be seen as a springboard to the imagination – what else could one embellish with Zentangle?

07 Shells and Stones

There are also details of other 3-D projects in Origami, the use of colour, making simple books, and working on fabric.

The sage green section is entitled “Fun for All Ages” and includes the charming “Tangle Folk” – I came across these online some months ago and filed them away at the back of my mind as something to try one day! Loads of scope here for some really fun images! Recently I’ve been experimenting with drawing very simple cat shapes along the same lines – a continuous line forming the head, for instance, and the possibilities for embellishment and colouring are endless.

08 Tangle Folk

The final section of the book, themed blue, is “A-Z of Tangles” – an alphabetical list of a selection of different patterns with their “step-outs” (step by step instructions on how to construct them) with some beautiful examples of the respective patterns in use.

09 A-Z of Tangles

My own pattern, Y-Ful Power, features in the “Y” section, and Jane has added some very kind words about me.

Not only is this book a useful resource and beautiful to look at – it is also great fun! Scattered throughout its pages is a series of what I call “motivational birds” with little speech bubbles encouraging us in the right direction! Such a fun way to give advice without it being dictatorial! – gentle reminders of things that make our tangling experience efficient, relaxing and fun.

10 Motivational Bird

The final picture shows another “motivational bird,” and an example of a couple of tiles with different tangles, and the watermark background.

11 Motivational Bird and Background Detail

I hope you have enjoyed reading this review of a beautiful book, which I know is going to take pride of place in my ever-growing library of inspirational art books, and I am so grateful to Jane for inviting me to be part of such an exciting project. I wish her well in all her endeavours in the Zentangle world and the people she helps, and am delighted that now, even more people will be able to benefit from her first-class teaching skills, and enjoy the wonderfully relaxing, focused, mindful, de-stressing and creative technique that is Zentangle.

If you haven’t done so already, give it a try!

“Inspiring Zentangle Projects” by Jane Marbaix, Pub. Arcturus,

ISBN 978-1-78404-657-6


  1. Congratulations on being published! I have had you on my mind today and just wanted to pop in and say hello and hope you are well.

    1. Thank you Lenoria - and thank you for thinking of me! I am doing fine.


  2. What a beautiful book! Your beautiful Zentangles are very deserving of a place in it. Huge congratulations on being published xxx

  3. How very exciting! I am so happy for you and proud of you, too. That piece is amazing, just like the girl who created it :)

  4. So exciting, Shoshi!!! Congratulations on your "fame!"

  5. BIG CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Your zentangle is so beautiful and inspiring. I can't stop admiring it. The book is gorgeous.

    1. Thank you, Aiyana. So glad you like it!


  6. Congratulations Shoshi! Your 'tangle' is beautiful and inspirational with that butterfly flying away to the light. I'm sure it will help other people. You must be very proud of it.
    The book looks great. I bought her other book (upon your recommendation) and it lives in the campervan so I can do a bit of tangling when on holiday. We are going away this Thursday, so I will be doodling again.
    Have a great day (and week)

  7. Wow, this is wonderful, Shoshi! Your piece is stunning and a beautiful addition to a great book! I will definitely look this up on Amazon! Many congratulations!


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