Thursday, August 23, 2012


It was the fifth day of the prolonged family gathering. I was bored to death so I ran to my room and busy myself with this. It's a drawing of some picture I found in Facebook.

Tangle #4


Handmade sketch book

Finally, a black sketch book :D

I made it myself, since the sketchbook with real black paper is pretty expensive, at least for my budget now. Still planning on buying it later, but for now I'd have to do with this handmade book.

The sheets are made of black cartons, cut down from the original A2 size, bound with white band (found in my Mom's sewing machine). The cover was a paper napkin I found in my office :D.

I'm happy! :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mandala Drawing

While browsing the web about tangle doodling, I came across this video on how to draw mandala with zentangles.

So I search more about mandala drawing, and turns out that it's been used as an art therapy too. It was first introduced by Jung, who believed that mandala serves as expressions of the self, and represented the sum of who we are. 

According to Jung, 
Mandala symbolize "a safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness". They have the potential to call forth something universal within, perhaps even the proverbial archetypal Self. And at the same time, they give us an experience of wholeness amid the chaos of everyday life.

You can find a lot of literature and sources in the internet explaining about this, and lots of lots of video in Youtube about mandala drawing. Some of them are jaw dropping.

my first attempt

This is my first attempt in drawing mandala, with tangle.

And this is my other attempt to grow a mandala without using a compass.

 I learned it from a video on YouTube, and I think it's a very interesting process. 

What I like about this is that the idea of the whole process, it's about to keep going, keep going even when you're in doubt. You shouldn't think too much of the next shape to be put on paper, you just need to trust your hand, and keep drawing. 

Some links about mandala drawing that might be useful:

Tangle Doodling

I'm the kind of person who doodles. When I'm talking on the phone, or during a meeting, or when I have to stuck for the whole day in a training. Sometimes even when I'm trying to explaining something to someone. I usually have a paper and a pencil with me, and by the end of the meeting, it's usually not also filled by a scrabble of notes of what was talked about, but also doodles. I've been doing doodle since I was a little girl, without really knowing what it means or what it's for. I drew it on the back cover of my school books, on the corner of the text books, or on the sheet of scrap paper during the math test.  Only recently I found out that it actually does have an effect to your mind.

I found this article about Zentangle, and though I don't really agree with the 'conditions' (what is zentangle and what is not, I mean, people have been doodling since thousand years ago, what right does anyone have to impose certain rules to do it), I find it very informative.

What makes tangle doodle interesting to me is its meditative effect. You don't need to have a preconceived idea of what your drawing would look like in the end. All you need to do is start drawing something and draw it repeatedly to fill up the blank spaces. I think it's the repetitiveness that gets your mind to focus, and to me, also the act of putting intricate details into the paper.

I showed it to a friend to try, and she gave up after a few minutes. She said, she stopped half way, didn't know what else to draw to fill up the blank space, and the idea of drawing something repeatedly and in details drove her crazy.

So perhaps it doesn't always work with everyone. I learned that people have different ways to get themselves lost in their own world (which is necessary to keep your sanity intact). But if you think you can put up with the repetitiveness and details, you might want to try tangle doodling.

And oh, by the way, the Butterfly Chaos was meant to be some kind of tangle drawing, which I believed supposed to be calming and have a meditative effect. I don't know how it could ended up like that. Perhaps, what it does first, is taking out all the nasty, tangled feeling within me.

Again, since this activity is supposed to help you calming down and relax, I think we should limit ourselves from analyzing it too much. You might want to keep a journal of your tangle doodles just like you keep a diary. I do that. I think it will be useful if one day I could go back or go through the journal and learn something from it, as I always do with my diary. But I think we need to remind ourselves not to over analyze whatever it is we find in there, because when you analyze, you cannot not judge. And when you judge, you keep thinking that there's something needs to be fixed. To me it creates a nagging feeling on the back of my head, constantly telling me that something is broken. Then I'd need to change something, to fix something, or heal something. I don't want that, and I don't think anyone would want that.

I believe in art as a therapy, but when you constantly analyzing what comes out on your paper, you will be trapped in the idea that something within you needs to be fixed. And it's a never ending spiraling down journey. To me, some wounds can be perfectly healed, some wounds can be healed but will leave a glaring mark, and some others are stay, meant to be tended for your whole life, a life long lesson. Just be wise and don't break yourself in the attempt to heal your wounds.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Butterfly Chaos

It took me months to made this.

I've had the idea in my head since last year, but it wasn't until two months a go that I finally had the courage to actually take a paper and draw it.
Yes, it's a very personal project, and when I started it I had suspected that I might not going to like what it becomes.

Which is quite true.

I showed it to a very dear friend of mine, and the first thing that she said to herself was (as she finally admit a few days later), why would anyone want to hurt themselves like this?

on the making, with the smeared part on the left,
 courtesy of my daughter
When I started drawing this, I wanted it to be sweet. And when working on it, I wanted to make the process calming for me, so I made the tangle with details, knowing that it works all the time in keeping me focus and on the ground.

But when my friend said it's painful, I know too, that she's right.

Then I realize that maybe that's just what it is. Even in something that is supposed to be sweet, I still have this nagging bitterness in me.