Zen Tangling – The Art of Creative Meditation

The Art of Zen Tangling
The Art of Zen Tangling

There’s a new form of art therapy that’s catching up. It’s these books of intricate designs each with a theme to help you calm, relax and unwind in a creative and a colourful way and that is called Zen Tangling. 

The Lifestyle Portal caught up with the very beautiful Divya Ramachandran, a 28-year-old design student from Domus Academy, Milan, Italy.

Apart from teaching at the Raffles Millennium International Design School in Chennai, she runs her own consultancy calledY notand shares her unique journey of doodles and designs and embarking into a new field of Zen Tangling. Read on…

How did it all begin?

It all started off when Divya was teaching at Srishti College of Art and Design, Bangalore, where a lot of the student illustration inspired her, especially the ones on the cover of note books.

“I’m mostly from a design and management background so I never had much interest in sketching as I was more into creating and building. But when I gave Zen Tangling a go, I started off with mehendi like intricate designs, where I set up a huge white sheet on my wall and added a new design on to it everyday until I felt it was complete”, explains Divya.

Sometime later Divya bumped into an artist, Umesh Prasad in Bangalore from whom she learnt metallic embossing. He had a piece on his wall that was about 6×6 feet which was being ‘zen tangled’ by him and his daughter. Each of them used to add on their designs to the canvas whenever they felt like and he also used zen tangle designs in his metal work as well.

She recalls, “He was the first who mentioned to me the rules behind zen tangling and what was the motive behind it. What I liked best was that he said I could create my own patterns as long as they followed a particular set of rules because until then it just seemed like intricate doodling to me.”

Divya Ramachandra - The Zen Tangling Designer
Divya Ramachandra – The Zen Tangling Designer

Investments of time & effort

The art itself is meditative and doing it gave her more energy than expense she quips. But of course for zen tangle the initial investment was time and basic product cost before the designs were to be finalised on them.

She further adds, “Since tangling takes a lot of time, it is tough to let go of the final output because of the care and time you put into it. Each tangle could take hours. Another thing is they look best hand done over printed versions.”


Divya rephrased her brand to ‘Zen tickling’ because she says, “When you zen tangle, you get this really satisfying feeling and it just gets you excited to see the final outcome. So when you’re done, it’s this kind of tingling or tickling sensation that you get out of releasing your thoughts on paper and feeling excited about it and so I named it ‘Zen Tickle’.

Creative meditation through Zen Tangling
Creative meditation through Zen Tangling

Challenges faced

It’s just the time taken to make a tangle as it takes a while to make a pattern and fill in colours and you never would want to make the same set of patterns more than once. So repetition is not something you’d want in all your work.

She further adds, “Well I had friends who would come and tangle with me so it was fun working together and coming up with new designs.”

What makes Zen Tangling unique?

Well the kind of pens used are different. Zen tangles could be black and white but they look best in colour. That’s when the whole essence of it comes out. You get a set of fine tip pens of 12 colours that are meant just for zen tangling, the quality of colours is very bright and they complement each other, hence the more cohesive yet colourful outcome.

Relax with Zen Tangling
Relax with Zen Tangling

What is Zen Tangling?

It is a unique concept catching up where you create beautiful images with the help of intricate design and patterns. Why it is gaining popularity all over the world is because it is a process that allows you to harness your inner strengths of concentrate that helps you focus on things that matter. It also helps in providing you a sense of satisfaction of a job well done.

As Divya explains, “Zen tangling is the art of repeated strokes and patterns of a design that are put together to form an intricate piece of work. This kind of art also involves a meditative like emotion that creeps into you as you proceed with the drawings.”

Zen tangling is also the art of creative meditation. One can create their own patterns and add on to the many already existing and create a new larger work in the process.

Find the beauty of design through Zen Tangling
Find the beauty of design through Zen Tangling

How does Zen Tangling help?

Divya tells us how there is a certain method involved in creating a Zen Tangling product and how it helps us.

A humble activity of zen tangling allows you to create attractive patterns and designs on paper. The designs are so created that they help you to channelize your personality and power of intuition.

It is also known to help people with low self-esteem who may have difficulty in expressing themselves come out of their shells through zen tangling. Believe it or not, it can be a truly empowering experience once you complete a picture of zen tangling design.

Another unique aspect about zen tangling is that it can be done anywhere – whether you’re traveling, at the airport, hotel room or even just before going to bed. Zen tangling products aren’t very expensive and allows you to destress no matter where you are and take a break mentally to just by doing something peaceful and calming.

Meditate through creative art of Zen Tangling
Meditate through creative art of Zen Tangling

Products& design

It’s one of a kind and no one would ever get the same piece or same design so there’s a certain uniqueness of the products created by Diva, which ensures everyone creates their own personal masterpiece.

“You can choose any product you want and I can do a tangle on it for them, otherwise they pick a tangle and I can place it on a product. People have been happy with the designs, it either intrigues them, keeps them in awe or makes them happy in some way so that’s the motive,” explains Divya.

Future dreams…

For the future, Divya dreams of making larger installations and possibly even involve the public in taking part in zen tangling as a collaborative session on a large canvas and have fun doing it as the final product always turns out great.

She has held workshops in Bangalore and currently in Chennai and is open to the Mumbai market if the opportunity comes up.

Rediscover the art of Zen through Zen Tangling
Rediscover the art of Zen through Zen Tangling

How to get your Zen Tangle kit?

You can buy your very own Zen Tangling kit from Divya that ranges from Rs. 250 to Rs. 1,000 per tangle depending on the complexity of the tangle and size of product and the product charge.

If you’re wondering whether Zen Tangle is for you, well let us tell you that anyone can Zen Tangle, irrespective of age or gender.

What you’ll gain from Zen Tangling is immense peace of mind as it keeps you preoccupied in a fun creative way. Get in touch with Divya on her email address – rama.divya@gmail.com to get your own Zen Tangling kit today.

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Transfer Zen Tangling on other products too
Transfer Zen Tangling on other products too

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