Students and adults alike are actively searching for a positive way to manage the stressors that come with a new school year. Through art, specifically a process modernly referred to as Zentangling, students can learn to be more mindful of the present moment. Zentangling, the act of doodling or tangling various lines and patterns, began in Ancient India and has been widely adopted into art practices and therapy today. Primarily, Zentangling is used to calm the mind, and the benefits are endless: better sleep, stress reduction and anxiety, and it encourages mindfulness and aimlessness. With the process being relatively portable, Zentangling is easy and fun for artists at any skill level. All you need is paper, a pen, and an open mind.
Students in Ms. Royo’s Drawing 1 class at Fort Pierce Central High School fully embraced the Zentangling practice. One of the main thoughts to keep in mind when starting a Zentangle is not planning for an outcome, but enjoying the journey getting there. That is, relishing in the process of drawing lines and patterns that come to mind, staying present in the moment, and letting your pen guide you. Without planning, comes mistakes. When embracing a “trial-and-error” mindset, Ms. Royo’s students learned to love those mistakes and use them to their advantage.
Encouraged to create a non-objective composition with Zentangles, students were given time in class to be fully immersed in the art making process. This important time and practice was beneficial to students, and can be utilized in the future, whenever they are feeling overwhelmed with their course-load and/or struggles at home.
During a time of extreme uncertainty, students are in need of new and constructive ways to handle their stress. Zentangling can be done anywhere, anytime, and requires minimal materials for the outstanding benefits it can bring to the mind and body.
Artists (from top to bottom): Reed Wildes (9th grade), Carrigan Cramer (9th grade), Celeste Marron (11th grade), Julia Hric (9th grade), Omar Daniel (9th grade), Valentina Niederhofer (9th grade), Galilea Landeros (9th grade).