Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baby, You can write on my CAR!

Last fall, I taught a class at Artisan's Workshop in New London - for the employees. When it ended, one employee approached and said "You have to see my car!"

These photos don't do "Chuck" justice! It was amazing to walk around and see the variety of tangles and illustrations. Yes! There is a moose on the roof! I love the frog on the front, and you might recognize my fish (from Totally Tangled) on the side?

 This car was lovingly tangled by Jenna Carter - and I hear that she is still adding Zentangles!

You want Chuck, don't you? I know, he's so cool! You can have him too...
Jenna wants to sell the tangled car so she can travel around Europe. Her plan is to leave at the end of July. So if you are interested in owning a totally tangled transport of your own, it can be yours for $4,500. Which is actually a really great deal, come to think... the Tattoo Gnu sold at auction for $6000.

Here is an email I just received from Jenna:

Thank you again for helping me out, it means the world to me to be able to take this trip and know that Chuck is in good hands :0) We're planning on going everywhere while in Europe for about 5 months, we may not come back! Mainly just backpacking around and towards the end picking up a job in one of our favorite countries. Very exciting! It's me and my boyfriend who are going together, we want to learn about life and culture and experience things while we're still young :) 

She has a point. There is a lot to see and the world seems to be changing very quickly. Anyway, if you are interested in contacting Jenna, let me know and I'll connect you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CZT Weekend

I took a break from coloring my latest book and headed down to Whitinsville, MA for round 6 of "Who Wants to Be a CZT?" I've been putting off posting about the experience because I find it so hard to put into words! When I attended a few years ago- in the very beginning of this tangled web - there were 50 of us and the whole experience was shiney and new. And kind of terrifying. No one really knew what they were doing... including Rick and Maria. A lot has changed. This training workshop is now a well-tuned machine!

The past two times that I have been here, it was winter and dark, so I never really noticed the outside of  Rick and Maria's house. The pillars have tangles on them, but check out the great cherub above the door. How cool is that? This house is filled with amazing art and funny touches. I think that not being able to see Maria's studio will be the biggest drawback to having the future training workshops at The Hotel Providence. (Although staying at a five-star hotel might make up for it...)

This session had something like 67 students! Even the window seats were filled. I met ladies from South Africa, Tasmania, and some of those square states in the middle of our country. All good news for folks outside New England who want to learn to tangle. I was rather floored by how many of the attendees had taken classes with me, including one from Virginia and one from Quebec, or had found Zentangle® through my books. A few even admitted that they had found the books accidentally while surfing Amazon. It made me blush every time someone said, "You're Sandy?! You wrote those books?!" and I got to sign lots of autographs. Someone suggested I should get a commission from R&M for sending so many people to become CZTs. Interesting idea.... ;-D  Being famous for a few days certainly does wonders for one's confidence and is helping me get over my shyness/introversion. Although I still feel like I could sleep for a week! I talked to so many people I barely got a chance to eat and on Sunday, I actually missed both breakfast and lunch.

I was really impressed with all the new products and innovations that the Zentangle folks have designed. A few new items are round tiles for Zendalas, trading cards (with the Fabriano Tiepolo paper!) and all the tiles in different colors. A set of nine coasters that form a ZT puzzle... stickers and tattoos, t-shirts, and most ingenius for the CZTS, a square demo pad of newsprint that is glued along two edges. This makes it possible to turn the pad while working on an easel. I got to try it out... and purchased two for my studio. Nice!

 This collage of tiles is displayed on boards covered in canvas (with a tangled border). Straight pins under and over each tile hold them in place without piercing the paper. More genius. Maria "whipped it up" at the Gel conference. The art brought by the attendees was incredible too - gourds, ATCs, and embroidery... wowza. Quite an amazing group of people. I look forward to seeing what they bring forth. As I was leaving (or trying to leave!), people kept thanking me for sharing my experiences and expertise with them. For signing books and giving advice... I was laughing when I said, "Thank YOU for listening! Once I get home, it will be very hard to find anyone the slightest bit impressed by me!" :-)

So, now, it's back to the books. Or "book". Which was technically due last week.... This book is turning out to be my favorite so far. I decided to do it with the ZTs all just B&W with a smidge of red in the instructions and the usual shading. The kids and their accessories are cartoon color with shading. The "minions" (Lilah Beans) are treated as tangles, despite their helpfulness. OH! And speaking of books - this is very exciting... at least it is to me... Design Original's parent company is exhibiting at Book Expo next week in NYC. And guess what book they chose from ALL the DO books to act as representative at the show?! YES, you are right!! "Yoga for Your Brain!" Mine, mine, mine! Whoo-eee! Wouldn't it be cool if some magazines wrote reviews and stuff? I would SO love to be there... Yes, I know, calm down and go to bed and then get up and scan and color and finish this book...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter Zentangle!

An Easter Zentangle with a bit of a Halloween twist!
I know it is a bit late, but I cracked open one of the leftover eggs that my kids had dyed last weekend. Is this a perfect Zentangle web, or what?! We couldn't have done this if we had intended to. (I think this was my four year old's handiwork).


In case you were not aware, Amazon now has the new Design Originals version of AlphaTangle available. It is the same price as the older "vintage" version that I self-published. It is also available on my Etsy store. And for any CZTS or store owners who are interested, I have both versions available for wholesale pricing (10 or more books) - also on Etsy. I had sent 100 books to Amazon, but they lost them somewhere in their warehouse about a month ago (this is the second time!) so the vintage Alphas are showing up on Amazon as "sold out." (grumble, grumble...!!!?) Yes - some of you have warned me about the evils of Amazon, but there are also lots of great things about them too... free shipping?

I would really LOVE to get my books into more independent bookstores. It is part of my evil plan - to dominate the shelves. Hee hee hee. But I need your help. I kind of... well, I SUCK, at personal PR. I noticed that one of the popular paper crafts magazines has a program where readers can request that their local stores carry the magazine. If the store mentions that reader's name when they order, the reader gets a free subscription or some such. I am very open to this sort of help from you all. I know many small stores don't like to have to buy a ton of books, so I will be listing the books in quantities of 5 (instead of ten). Please let me know your ideas about how I can get these books "out there". Thanks!

And She's Back! (Plus a book spoiler!)

I'm back from another pretend "vacation." I set my email and my Etsy shop to "Vacation Mode" and ran away to Maine... to work. How warped is that? It's twisted (tangled?) I know, but I actually really enjoy this sort of vacation. I get a lot accomplished AND I get to walk by the sea. Ah, life is good... then I come home and get WHOMPED to the side of the head with all the things that I had left behind and the email. Ohmigoodness.

I recently read an interview where Tim Ferriss, the author of the "4-hour Workweek", said that he had hired a VA - a Virtual Assistant - to read all his emails for him (over 1,000 a day!) and to deal with them. The idea is very tempting...

His blog is fun to peruse. Some of his ideas (all of them?) are over the top, extreme. That's his style and how he got really rich. But he does have a lot of good points, things that make you think. Or re-think. I am doing a lot of that lately.

Another author/person who will make you think is Hugh MacLeod. I had just finished reading his book "Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination" when his name, and artwork came up in conversation at an art gallery reception. The host had recently purchased one of Hugh's larger pieces. Larger being around 9x12". He usually draws his cartoons on the backs of business cards!

I have always felt sympathy for the evil villains in movies (Despicable Me! I mean, who DOESN'T want minions to help them take over the world. And they are so cute and cuddly... oh! More on that in a minute**) But Hugh's basic premise is that, if you are achieving your goals and doing things "right," people will be jealous and hate you, right? If you aren't succeeding, what's to be jealous of? So if you are pissing people off, you're on the right track. So forget the "goals" and go straight for the "evil plans"!

OK, back to the "minions"! I've changed my "Followers" to "Minions" but please don't be insulted. I say it with the greatest respect and love for all of you! It's part of my baby-step attempts to (take over the world!) get to that place where I don't care so much "what everybody else thinks." Yes, slow going. My plan is to be a bit more like my avatar or the "personality" that seems to have been created through my books. I get the most amazing (and some very disturbing) emails from people who have been moved by my books. They seem to think of me as a very strong, topple-proof, super-creative, never have a bad day, tangle queen, super-achiever... stop me before I get sick! Needless to say, that's not really very accurate! But I think most of you folks know that already (just from reading my posts!)

Finally - the GOOD stuff...


The new book has lots of "minions" in it. I just spent the last week in Maine "inking" the pages for the new book that I am working on. It's hard to know how much is OK to spill (ideas, not ink)... but I have never been good at keeping my devious plans to myself. You may be wondering "How could she possibly write ANOTHER Zentangle book?!" (Gosh, I hope you aren't really thinking that...?) But my publisher asked me to do a ZT book for kids. Since I am/was a kids' book illustrator, I freely misinterpreted her request and I'm doing a comic book to introduce kids to Zentangle!! I've had such a blast doing this one (it's my favorite!). My kids, Alex and Lilah, are the hosts/main characters. Lilah's tangle creations, the "Lilah Beans" from Totally Tangled are her minions (she calls them "onions") and they help explain things, hold things, and generally just stand around looking fabulous. I just ran and took a few quick shots of some pages to show you. These are just inked, no shading and no coloring yet. I don't know yet if they should be B&W, or some color, or all color... hmm... I'll put a little "poll" over on the edge of the blog and you all can give me your opinions, OK? At the very least, they need a subtle background color to help the panels stand out. I think I'd like to color the whole durn thing, except for the actual tangle steps. But, then, I really like to color things in. Coloring book, yes, that's a great idea! It's already on the to-do list. ;-D


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