Usually, when you start drawing with the Zentangle® Method, you are looking for resources to practice regularly. There are a lot of resources online on social platforms, on the Zentangle.com website or look for online classes from a Certified Zentangle Teacher. Today I want to share with you a list of Zentangle challenges, creative prompts and other interesting or fun challenges to help you with your creative practice.
The Zentangle Method™ is an easy to learn process of creating beautiful images from structured patterns. It’s a fun and relaxing way to create art and express yourself.
Additionally, Zentangle challenges are a great way to stretch your creative muscles and get the creative juices flowing. They can help you explore new ideas, get creative with tangling and explore a variety of different tangling styles.
First, let’s start with the recurring yearly Zentangle challenges and creative prompts by months.
The Zentangle Method has a wide variety of challenges, from beginner to advanced. Ultimately, when tackling a Zentangle challenge, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process. Don’t forget to take your time and let your imagination run wild.
Every year, you will find a couple recurring Zentangle Challenges and creative prompts that are spread out throughout the year. I list here the most popular ones. If you know of other ones I may have missed, please let me know in the comments below.
1- January Zentangle Challenges
In January, you usually have two challenges going on:
You can find the Zenuary challenge hosted by Anoeska Waardenburg, CZT on her Etsy shop. It is a PDF that offers a series of Zentangle prompts for the 31 days of January. Although, these prompts can work any time of the year!
A Fragment of Your Imagination.
Debbie New, CZT (@tangled.pursuits) on Instagram hosts this fragments-based challenge yearly. Fragments are part of the Zentangle Method and represents fragments of patterns as the name suggests. Normally, during this challenge, there is a new fragment every day to jumpstart your creative practice.
AusTangles is a celebration of the Zentangle Method using tangles created by Australian CZTs and/or Australian Zentangle artists. Usually, Australia CZTs invite the rest of the world to tangle along with them during the last 12 days of the Australian summer holiday month of January. You can find the 2022 edition here: AusTangles | Facebook
2- February Zentangle Challenges
In February you can find one of the oldest Zentangle challenge called Valentangle. Valentangle is hosted by Margerite Samama, CZT and you can find the latest PDF on her Esty shop. This challenge starts early February and finishes on Valentine’s Day. It naturally has a lot of hearts in it! But, of course, you can start it at any time of the year. As the Beatles would say: “All you need is love”. 😉
3- March Zentangle Challenges
Women Tangle Week
Women Tangle Week is a 7-days challenge hosted by two Spanish CZTs Pilar Pulido et Sara Ponce. It takes place on Instagram during the week of Mar 1-8, ending on International Women’s Day. This is the link for the 2022 challenge: https://www.instagram.com/p/Caks21hAC0U/. Additionally, you can also check this hashtag #womentangleweek2022 on Instagram to see lovely, tangled work. There should be a 2023 version of it, check back late February on Pilar’s or Sarah’s Instagram account.
Tanglefolie is the first French Zentangle challenge and is based on both the Zentangle Method and the French language. French CZTs host this challenge every year during the week of the French language and the Francophonie (17-26 March 2023): Tanglefolie lasts 10 days. Each day of the challenge, you will get 1 word, 1 tangle and 1 suggestion to play with. You can find a French and an English version.
4- April Zentangle Challenges
Buldiz is a challenge created by two French CZTs Kim Mouzon and Stephanie Bordeau to mark their CZT seminar anniversary. You can find more information on either Kim’s or Stephanie’s Instagram accounts
5- May Zentangle Challenges
To the best of my knowledge there are no May Zentangle challenges. If you know any, let me know in the comments.
6- June Zentangle Challenges
To You Tangle
To You Tangle is hosted by the Japanese CZTs during the June Japanese rainy season to help boost your creativity. The prompts are posted every other day. The prompts are very poetic and results in lovely and original tangled work.
7- July Zentangle Challenges
To the best of my knowledge there are no July Zentangle challenges. If you know any, let me know in the comments.
8- August Zentangle Challenges
There was a 2022 Zinchie challenge hosted by Tina Raymaekers CZT. I am not sure yet if there will be a 2023 edition. Check back with Tina when the time comes.
9- September Zentangle Challenges
Autangle takes its name for the season of Autumn, spreading the color palette of autumn by adding flavour with Zentangle® art. You can find more information on this challenge hosted by two CZTs from India Maya Avanith and Sweta Dalal on Facebook or Instagram
10- October Zentangle Challenges
This challenge is based on the famous Inktober challenge created by Jake Parker (Inktober.com). Stephanie Jennifer CZT created Zentangle Prompts to go along with the Inktober challenge. You can find more information about this challenge on Stephanie’s Instagram account.
This was a challenge hosted by Alice Hendon CZT. I don’t know if there will be a 2023 edition.
11- November Zentangle Challenges
This is a challenge hosted by two French CZTs Pauline Hanfi and Karen Rutter CZT. A challenge in French to help you learn new tangle and how to use them in your artwork.
This was a challenge hosted by Lisa Anderson CZT. It centered around the Zentangle Method and a practice of gratitude during the month of November. Check on Lisa’s Instagram account to see if there will be a 2023 edition.
12- December Zentangle Challenges
12 Days of Zentangle
This is one of the most followed and first Zentangle based project hosted by the founders of the Method, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. It takes place every year in December. You can find all the previous editions on the Zentangle website or the Zentangle You Tube channel (see playlists for Project Packs # 4, 7, 12, 16, 19…)
Here is the wrap-up video of one of my favorites :
Now Let’s talk about longer or ongoing challenges or prompts.
Some challenges and prompts last more than a few days. Following this challenges or prompts can be a way to find creative inspiration regularly. I have included here a couple Zentangle challenges lasting over the course of several weeks, as well as creative and Zentangle ongoing prompts.
Longer Zentangle Challenges or Ongoing Creative Prompts
ZenmaGiCal Spring Festival (25 Jan – 8 Mar)
Originally, CZTs from India hosted this challenge ‘in preparation for spring’. Now, it offers regular live videos and prompts during the months of January to March. It’s an initiative by the Zen Gulf Café and its world-wide CZTs to promote creativity and spread a little sunshine & Zen and you can find more information on the Facebook group: Zen maGiCal Spring Festival 2023 | Facebook
Festina Lente (7 weeks, February-April)
Festina Lente is a challenge hosted by Arja de Lange-Huisman CZT from the Netherland. It is a series of tangles prompts to help you create Zentangle® (inspired) drawings during 7 weeks of Lent. You can buy the PDF on Arja’s Etsy shop.
Full Moon Mosaic
This challenge is based on the Full moon and is hosted by Hanni Nura CZT. You receive a new prompt each month always one week before the moon is full. It is usually a tangle and a string that you can use for inspiration. You can then post your work and get inspired by the many amazing work posted on the Facebook group. Find more information on Hanny Nura’s Fullmoonmosaic | Facebook group.
Step Out Of the Month (SOOTM)
Join the ConZentric Team in playing with a brand-new tangle every month. Get the step-out to an as yet unpublished tangle each month in your in-email box, and post your artwork in the SOOTM Facebook group. You can also sign up to SOOTM here: https://www.subscribepage.com/n0k9c0
Today’s Tangle : Keeping it Classic
If you are a Zentangle beginner, this is for you. This is an ongoing (and probably one of the oldest) weekly prompt using the classic Zentangle Method with 4 pencil dots, pencil string, pencil border and only original tangles from Zentangle, Inc. This weekly challenge was started by Sandy Kelley-Jones CZT. Find more information on the Facebook group Today’s Tangles: Keeping it Classic | Facebook
Other creative projects that can be applied to your Zentangle practice:
I decided to include these two projects here as I have seen amazing work being created with these challenges. They are both on my bucket list.
Thousands of people participate every year. This project is based on a simple idea: choose a creative project and do it every single day for 100 days. It was started by Elle Luna and Lindsay Jean Thomas in 2014 on Instagram. They also gave credit to Michael Bierut, a prolific talented designer, writer, and teacher at Yale School of Art who in 2007 led a group of students in a workshop called “The 100 Day of Project”. If you search the hashtag #100dayproject, you will find many different ways people commit to this 100day project. Find out more about it on: Art Community | #The100DayProject
Here is a tangled work example of the project from CZT Lynn Mead . Lynn Mead, CZT on Instagram
This project is similar to the 100Day Project. Instead of 100 day, you commit to create every day for 365 days. Not everyone can follow up on creating so regularly, but everyone who has finished such a project talks about the real transformation that happens from committing to such a long project. Have you tried it?
Over the years, I have participated in a few of these Zentangle challenges and creative prompts. So far, my favorites have been Valentangle, Inktober and Tanglefolie. There are still some I haven’t tried yet.
This list almost certainly does not cover it all, as groups and projects change over time.
If you want more support with your creative Zentangle practice, consider joining the Club ArtsAmuse (in French or in English).
There are so many benefits to regularly practicing the Zentangle method.
I hope this give you the inspiration to continue to practice and draw regularly with the Zentangle Method.
As I wrapped up this article, I got curious though, which challenge is your favorite?
PS. If you see something that you think should be added, let me know in the comments.