I should be working on the LBP, which I am, but I have been tired, worn out, stressed out from work and any web-unrelated stuff that I was almost breaking down to the point where I would have to quit and do something else instead. I had to do something to get myself back to normal and do something completely unrelated, so I can get back my focus and drive on the more priority things that I need to do. When I do that, I normally stay away from my computer, my phone, and my Kindle to do something that’s unrelated yet fun and inspiring at the same time. As you can see now, I’m steering away from web designing/development for a bit. After all, The NINPOJineous is a creatives and learning journal, so art or anything non-webdev related will be included here too.

For about two years now, I started going through what people call art therapy. In a nutshell, art therapy is a method of a therapeutic healing for everyone through creating art. We’re not just talking about classical/Rennaissance art or professional illustration or anything like that. We’re talking about all kinds of art, from simple shapes to random abstract scribbles. Some people also go through writing therapy, where many keep a journal and just freewrite what they want to write as a method of therapeutic healing. I like to do both, but I find art therapy a lot more stress-free, more relaxing, and most of all, they can be something that you can proudly display out in the open for everyone to see. 1

The type of art therapy I’m doing is what may call zen art. They come in different forms and names too: zentangle and zendoodle. Some people keep an art journal, where you can go crazy with words, pictures, doodles, etc. with a variety of media like colored pencils, markers, watercolors, pastels, etc. But I don’t have any patience with art journals and I’m not that “devoted” to making one art entry per day or in a few days, so I’m sticking to something else. I used to do lettering back in middle school and high school, as well as calligraphy, but the lack of personal funds prevent me from purchasing more materials suitable to those. But I promise you, one day, I’ll start getting to the art of letters again.

At this point, I’m currently making zen mandalas, or zendalas, as some people may call it. The photo I’m displaying here is my very first zendala, created late last year. I could have added more decors, shadowing, and other doodles, but I also want to experiment with metallic gel pens, therefore I decided to go to this route. I’m also using one of my very old spiral-bound sketchbooks back in the early 2000s (they still had a lot of pages to go, so that’s why I’m using this). The paper quality for a cheap recycled sketchbook (I only bought it for about $4.50 back at my local art supply store during those years– I’m pretty sure they’re more expensive now) on this one is really good, and it barely bleeds or smears. 2

The beauty of zentangles and zendoodles is that there is no right or wrong when it comes to technique. The idea here is to draw freehand without any thinking about technique or intent to create this artwork. Your doodles will derive your mind from other places and right direct towards your doodling. You can simply create a zentangle/zendoodle art with just a pen 3 or you can add some color into them. Again, there’s no right or wrong, no good or bad, you just draw to your heart’s content. You just keep on doodling and drawing for as much as you can, and then when you finally feel that you’ve had enough with all that, you can look at your overall art and you’ll realize that not only made you feel good and refreshed, both mentally and physically (in a way), but you’ve also created something beautiful and yes, something you’ve created on your own.

If you’re interested in starting this, there’s plenty of sites that you can visit by searching through Google. There are also free eBooks, YouTube videos, and online webinars that you can check out for free (some are for fee, depending on your eagerness and drive). I’ll probably write a few entries about zen art and my other types of “stress-busting” artwork from time to time when I’m inspired to do so. You can learn a bit more regarding the supplies I use on the Zen Art section.

That’s about it! If you can, share some of your art with me. Maybe we can open up a gallery of zen art site or something, or probably post them up on DeviantArt. I probably would be posting some of mine on my DeviantArt account, but because these are a whole lot more personal and sentimental to me than something else I can show off, I’ll keep them here in my site.

On the sidenote…

  1. Writing therapy is a whole lot more personal. Journal writing is a whole lot more personal. And because they are very personal, it wouldn’t make any sense to show them off to the public. I don’t even write deep, personal words on my own blog(s).
  2. Canson Universal Recycled Sketchbook 5.5×8.5, 100 pages – perfect for dry media like pen, pencil, charcoal, and pastel sticks
  3. most recommended pen to use is the Sakura Micron archival ink pen.