Monday, December 31, 2012

Zentangle in Motion 2

That's right, faithful readers, newcomers, and everyone in between: Zentangle in Motion 2 is here! I've promised here and there that it was coming, that if I had time I would do it, and I have! I absolutely love how it turned out, and I hope you enjoy it too. So without further ado, I bring to you, Zentangle in Motion 2!

If you remember the original Zentangle in Motion, you'll remember how choppy it was, especially in comparison with part 2. I sped things up to 12 frames per second, which means each second of the video is comprised of 12 individual photographs. Basically I did a lot more snapping this time around - in fact, a bit too much! On some portions (like the entire "presenting" scene, the cursive "Zentangle", and adding all the lines in Meer), I wanted it to go faster and ended up taking out some pictures to achieve that result. 

Another change between part 1 and part 2 is that I did the Zentangle in part 2 on a 5.5" x 5.5" piece of paper, rather than the standard 3.5" x 3.5" tile. I did make sure to use the same paper as the regular tiles, though. Love that paper!

I think my favorite parts of the video are when sections fill up with ink, like Beeline and Jonqal. Those sections are also among the most mind boggling to produce, since I have to fill in a small section of each shape, snap a picture, fill in a space, snap a picture. But if I wasn't paying attention I'd lose track of which sections I'd already filled in for the current frame, forcing me to look back at the camera screen. But it was worth it!
Actual frame of the finished Zentangle from the video.
Another interesting difference between 1 and 2 is how I produced it. In part 1 I started with a blank piece of paper and let whatever happened happen, true to Zentangle form. However, pausing to take a picture after every single penstroke allows way too much time to analyze and think about what to do next. It's hard to be sporadic and true to the Zentangle method. I knew something had to change for part 2, so instead of starting from scratch I decided to copy a tangle created specifically for the video. Below you can see the video version and the version I started out with:
The video version is on the left, and the one I started out with is on the right.
You can see similarities and differences. I find this very interesting: two Zentangles, utilizing the same string, tangles, even the same hand to draw them, and yet they turn out so different.

I think this method really worked. It allowed me to illustrate a spontaneously derived Zentangle but also gave the advantage of being able to plan it out a bit.

In upping the quality of the video from number 1 to number 2, I had to make a few more expenditures than I did the first time around. Paper, pens, digital storage devices, and music licenses don't cost much individually, but they do add up. So if you enjoyed the video, would you consider donating to keep things like this coming? I'd truly appreciate it! You'll find the donate button in the left hand sidebar. Also, sharing the video with friends, family, neighbors, and the occasional stranger helps bunches too! Youtube makes it really easy: if you just go to the video on Youtube, you can click the "share" button for a cornucopia of sharing options. Tweet/share/email away!

As a special thank you for reading, I'm going to throw a contest! Do you throw contests, or is throwing only for parties? I'm just in a throwing mood, so I'll throw the contest whether or not contest throwing is allowed. In any case, here's the contest:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You'll be entering to win the ZIA that I created to base the Zentangle in Motion 2 tangle off of (the one on the right in the picture above)!

And here are the offical rules:

No purchase necessary. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older and be US residents (sorry, folks from elsewhere, but it gets problematic when dealing with other country's sweepstakes laws.) Starts on 12/31/12 12:00 AM Central Time, ends on 1/9/12 at 12:00 AM Central Time. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your thoughts about Zentangle in Motion 2, then complete the entry form above. The prize: the original Zentangle Inspired Artwork seen above (the one on the right). The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners will be selected by random drawing after contest period is over. Void where prohibited by law.

And there you have it. Zentangle in Motion 2. Once again, thanks for reading, and keep on tangling!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dance, Dance, Yeah!

Laura Harms, the Diva over at the I am the Diva blog, is celebrating this week! It marks the two year anniversary of the Zentangle challenges she brings us every week, and the 100th such challenge. Congratulations, Laura!

As an extra special treat, Rick and Maria created a special tangle for the occasion, called Diva Dance. It comes in several variations, including Waltz, Foxtrot, and Rock N' Roll. I love the analogy to dancing! You start with lines, and on the downbeat you add a weight. Weight two three, weight two three. Just like a dance.

Here is my tile:
Tangles used: W2, Jonqal, Hollibaugh, and Diva Dance.
I really enjoyed watching the Waltz unfold as paper danced with pen. With Christmas lights all around, I couldn't resist the opportunity to make a bokeh background. Dancing lights and dancing lines.

Thank you, Diva, for presenting a new challenge each week! I have enjoyed being a part of this community, and am blessed by the welcome I have received. Thanks to everyone who has commented with such lovely words of encouragement. 

Proverbs 25:11
Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Final Finals

Well my dear readers, I'm back! It's been too long - I apologize for the blog break, but it was necessary for me to focus on school. I've finally finalized my final final! At least until next semester...

To prove to you that I'm not just making excuses, I now present two of my finals. One of the truly wonderful things about being a graphic design major is that you often have final projects instead of final tests. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be up 'til midnight trimming out my final project than studying 'til midnight for a final test! A blessed thing indeed.

The first final was for my Digital Publishing class. Assigning us to present a portfolio of our work over the semester, the teacher set the class free to package the digital submissions (stored on a CD, USB drive, or SD card) in an interesting way. I decided right away to use a USB drive, and initially I ordered a key shaped drive. Unfortunately that drive didn't arrive in time, so I ended up with a smaller one. Multiple ideas floated around my mind - hollowing out a book with a flash-drive shaped hole, presenting it with a fancy certificate like it was a royal proclamation, etc. Then the light bulb lit up - literally! Since all of the designs I needed to present were the product of their own initial idea, why not package them inside a light bulb? That's how I came up with this:

I took one of these light bulb jars from Hobby Lobby, and wired my flash drive to look like the light bulb filament. I also designed a package for it to sit in, just like one you'd see in a store. Continue on for a full 360 degree view.

I've chosen to blur out my last name. You know, for security.

Bright ideas. Very happy with how this turned out.

The next project was for Computer Illustration class. The challenge here was to come up with a concept on our own, figure out how to create it, and then implement our design. We'd done several greeting cards with interactive "swinging" elements in the class, and I wanted to try my hand at a Christmas card. These are difficult because almost everything has already been done. Plus I wanted something that looked kind of hip and trendy while still pointing to the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus Christ. I conquered the first challenge by designing the card as a tri-fold brochure with angled panels - something I've never seen in a Christmas card. To incorporate a modern feel I used flat colors and bold patterns, plus a contemporary color scheme to boot. Here is my solution:

This panel photographed really poorly for some reason. It looks much crisper in person!

That's our family photo and name I've obscured - you get the idea, though, right?
Here's a snapshot of what my digital files look like:
You can certainly see some Zentangle influence in the front panel, huh? If you spot Beeline and Jonqal, you're thinking right up my alley. Knowing Zentangle has helped me pass a majority of my college classes, including drawing classes and computer design classes. Yay for Rick, Maria, and all the folks who help bring us Zentangle!

I have to warn you that I may be taking another leave of absence from blogging soon. If you've been following for a while, you know that I got on the Disney College Program and will be moving to Florida and working in Walt Disney World starting in January. I'm playing blogging by "mouse" ear. One of the things on my list of to-dos while I'm there is to complete a Zentangle while casually sitting on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom (Yes, I am a Disney geek!), so at the very least I will post that here. And just think of all the opportunities for fun backgrounds to the Diva Challenges in Disney World! I've also started a blog specifically for my Disney adventures, which can be found at - come by and visit, and if you have the inclination subscribe to receive email updates. It should be fun!

Also, Zentangle in Motion part 2 is now officially in the works! Whether or not it will be ready before my Disney departure is still uncertain, however. I'm really excited about it, and I hope to get it made and uploaded ASAP!