In March, as students and classes adjusted to the new online teaching format, Visual Art took on a new role at WA Prep as a place for relaxation as well as art education. Our first project, completed entirely online, was a yearbook inspired gridding exercise that used the Washington Preparatory logo and Bobcat mascot as the source material. Rather than approaching the design only to transfer the image, students researched and utilized Zentangles to fill their drawings.
Zentangle coloring books, posters, and worksheets are relatively commonplace at craft stores and even grocery aisles. The idea behind them is that engaging in creativity is a form of self-care. Much like measured breathing and focus in meditation, the repetitive and intricate nature of Zentangle patterns can promote a beneficial presence. There are no rules on what a Zentangle can look like, only that it is a structured and repeating series of marks and shapes. For this project, students went a step further and utilized their knowledge of value to guide the lightness or darkness of each pattern they made.
Even though students had many challenges to fulfill with this project, it was the first of many success stories that we have had in Visual Art, which brought the classroom’s high standards to an online format. Using only the most basic of materials, each student created a grid, developed their original designs, incorporated outside inspiration, and executed a strategy for showing shifts in the pattern and color of the logo they were recreating.
Pictured clockwise: Artwork by Cameron Zajdel, Justin Lu, Juliana Seidl, and Kristian Taylor.
For more information on Zentangles or to get your inspiration: