Monday, October 19, 2015

Zen Doodle Unleashed Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered my book giveaway. Here are the 5 winners:

Grand Prize: Maureen Hayes
Signed Book: Shannel Stinner
Signed Book: Kirsty Hall
Signed Book: Lauren Stern
Signed Book: Jennifer Clark

If you see your name above, there will be an email from me requesting your mailing information. I must have this information by 11/2/15 for you to receive your prize.

Thank you for entering. You can all find Zen Doodle Unleashed as well as my other books on Amazon.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Zentangle Inspired Art Phase

I went through a phase starting around June 2013 that lasted until around September. I did a lot of these Zentangle Inspired Art. I would draw something I saw online and then put patterns inside the negative space. I enjoyed this phase quite a bit and learned a lot about how I liked to shade. I really wish the scans of the drawings would show the shading at true value, but it's very muted compared to real life.

A lot of the images I would use would be some clip art or photo I found online and I would redraw it and tweak it to something I liked better and then add some patterns. It was nothing I could claim as original so I was still trying to find my niche in the Tangle world.

I still love creating this type of artwork. It's fun and a great way to try new patterns without having to think about where to put the next pattern because the lines are already on the page.

These are not the only ZIA I've done. It's a fun, quick release of creative energy for me. These five are the ones I did consecutively (or close to it) on my channel as I was going through that phase. I really recommend trying this out. Even if you can't draw, you can trace the images and fill it in with patterns.

Here's some videos:


Monday, March 16, 2015

1000 Subscribers?!

This drawing and this video still make me smile. I never thought I would reach 1000 subscribers and my goal for my channel was to reach 500 subscribers by the end of the year. The fact that I had doubled my goal in six months (June 29, 2013) made me realize that I was right to start the channel to begin with. It is amazing to me now that I have close to 35,000 subscribers. I can't even comprehend that many people watching my videos!

I remember smiling the whole time I was drawing this and thinking about how happy I was that I went with my gut and started the channel. I still hadn't gotten a first paycheck from YouTube videos, so it certainly was not the money that was keeping me going. It was the comments, the inbox messages and the words of encouragement that I would receive on all of my videos that kept me going. I was still trying to figure things out as far as how I was going to put my "Stamp" on what I do. I knew I wanted to be able to put a drawing out in the world and my followers to clearly see "Yes, that was done by Tiffany Lovering" but I hadn't figured out how just yet. It was around this time that I was starting to put tangle patterns inside of real life things like a dog, butterfly horse...(I discuss this more in my next post).

I am grateful for every single one of my subscribers. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be where I am now. I think about this a lot. If I had just kept my drawings to myself, if I hadn't uploaded that first video, if I hadn't put my work out into the world what on earth would I be doing right now? Editing books and writing novels is my guess, but I certainly can't say for sure. I had no idea what my YouTube channel would lead to when I started. There's no way I could imagine that I would have 3 DVD's released and a drawing book coming out soon. I also had no idea I would be teaching online classes for my drawing style.

I will never forget the feeling I had when I saw that I reached 1000 subscribers. It was a huge sense of accomplishment. Every single time I reach a milestone on my channel, I think back to when I reached 1000 subscribers because it was the first time I knew I was reaching people by doing something I loved. There's no better feeling than that I don't think.

Here's the video:

Friday, March 13, 2015

True Zentangles and CZT Status

When I figured out that I couldn't conform and stick to what a "true" Zentangle is, I was still labeling my videos as a Zentangle video. What I was drawing was different than a Zentangle but would still appeal to people interested in Zentangle. It was sort of confusing to me and to some of my viewers that what I was doing was not what the originators of the Zentangle art describe. Eventually I went with the label of Zentangle Inspired Art and I used that terminology to describe my art until I continued to branch out and figure out what I liked. I did create a video on May 10, 2013 called "True Zentangle and Clarification" to explain what I was doing. (As I'm writing this blog post, I am wondering if this was my last "true" Zentangle I posted on my channel.)

This was a quickie drawing taking only about an hour or so. I like the way it looks, and think it is a decent Zentangle drawing for a quickie. Granted, there's no shading but I specifically remember not wanting to spend any more time on a style of drawing I didn't particularly enjoy at the time. The string of the Zentangle that starts off the drawing always felt constricting and the lack of color to be used in a Zentangle always bothered me. I love color.

Labeling my videos as "Zentangle" also brought the question "Are you a Certified Zentangle Teacher?" I still get this question occasionally but not nearly as much as I did in 2013. If you don't know, I am NOT a CZT and do not intend on becoming a CZT. I did consider it. I looked into it and when I saw how much money it was going to cost, what would happen at the conferences to become "certified", and so forth, I quickly realized that this path was not for me. I was already losing the desire to fit into the Zentangle "Box" and so it didn't make sense for me to invest a large amount of money into becoming a CZT. I now have a line in every one of my video descriptions to answer this question. It states:
                              I am NOT a CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) nor do I intend on becoming a CZT.  Although some of my art can be considered a "Zentangle" - MOST are what I call "Freeform Tangles". Although I use a lot of the same patterns, my creations are MUCH less restrictive than traditional Zentangle.

Here's the video:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Using Negative Space

This was from May 2013. I was trying to think of something different to do and thought of having negative space for a picture and drawing tangle patterns (Zentangle style) around it.

This is not a very technical drawing but I must admit that I really like it. I used patterns that were kind of new to me and a few of my favorites.

I am constantly going back to this drawing and thinking I should do more negative space tangles but this is the only one I've done. I'm not sure why, maybe just because I get other ideas that override the desire to make a negative space tangle.

I did use a bit of shading with a Prismacolor marker. I'm not to pleased with how well it was done but I was very proud of myself for not being afraid to shade. It definitely looks better with the shading and that was the goal!

The video commentary was a bit different. I don't normally talk about things in the news, but I came across an article that made me quite angry so I shared it. Anyway here is the video....

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Story Behind Most Intricate Zentangle for Me Video

February 19, 2013 I posted this video. It's hard to believe that two years has passed since this drawing. I drew this sitting at my dining room table. I knew I wanted to do something intricate and time consuming. This took a total of 4 hours and 9 seconds. Now 4 hours is pretty average for a drawing, even for ones smaller than this 8 1/2 x 11.

It started off as intended but I quickly realized how long it was really going to take and started making larger doodles. The tree and bubbles were a way of filling space. Although I love the way they look in the drawing, I will always know that it was just a way to fill space because it was taking too long to complete.

I also made a pretty major mistake in the bottom portion of the drawing where the spider web looking design is. I came very close to tossing the whole drawing because of the mistake, but decided I invested too much time to toss it out. So I had to figure out a way of covering it. This section of the drawing always felt out of place.

In all honesty, I thought drawing something more intricate like this would help me gain subscribers. I still hadn't reached even 300 subscribers yet. I am not sure if it helped or not. To date, this drawing has 98,000 views. This is one of my most viewed videos.

I do like this drawing quite a bit. I love the tree, as I do have an obsession with trees. I just wish I had done some shading with this one. I really wanted to shade it but was terrified of ruining the drawing with shading. This was not the first time I had run into this fear and I realized I needed to practice shading so I wouldn't face this confliction again.

I hope you'll enjoy the video:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Try & Try Again

In February 2013 I had this "brilliant" idea. I wanted a circular drawing with a  string going through it. On one side of the string would be color and the other side would be shaded. I had a very clear vision of what I wanted to do but it took three tries to get it right. The first one is done in Sharpie and pencil. I knew I wasn't  going to be happy with this as I was drawing it. I didn't really want it to be just gray in the selected area, I wanted a very muted color. Unfortunately, I didn't have watercolor brushes at the time so I couldn't accomplish that look. I will say that looking back on these three pieces, this first one is my favorite. It may not be exactly what I was looking for at the time, but I like the colored portion of the drawing.

The middle one was just an epic fail. This was going along with the same idea but I tried multiple circles and used pastel for color. I uploaded this video only because I spent too long on the drawing/video to not post it. Plus, I really wanted to show my attempts at this.

The third one was my original idea. It came out how I imagined. I used watercolors and I had the muted color. The thing I don't like about it is the actual drawing. It's not very technical. I considered this project complete because I reached the coloring aspect I was looking for from the beginning, but I was never completely happy.

If I were to try this again I would do a drawing similar to the first with the gray portion like the watercolor version. The point of me discussing this is that I want to share how important it is to keep trying. If you have an idea, run with it and keep trying until you reach the desired look. It may take several attempts, but you'll get it eventually.

Three videos today!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Trying New Supplies

By the end of January 2013 I was getting the urge to try something different. I know this isn't a tangle but I had a lot of fun creating this. I really wanted to try a drawing using pastels for color. It was a method I loved in high school but hadn't used too much since then. I love organic patterns that remind me of nature, but as I was just re-learning pastels, I thought I needed something larger to really show the blending of colors.

Although I'm not 100% in love with the finished product, I loved the process. It was the first time it really struck me how important challenging myself was. I believe I've continued to challenge myself. Since this day I've learned (or re-learned) several new ways of expressing myself through tangling...although not everything works out as planned.

A word of advice: Don't become stagnant with art. Try new methods and enjoy the process as much as possible.

Here's the video:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Girl with Tangled Hair

The Girl with Tangled Hair, January 20, 2013

This happens to be one of my most popular videos although it was drawn only 20 days after officially starting my channel.

I very clearly remember drawing this girl and thinking it was going to be my channel "hit" for the year. It really represented a time in my life where I was depressed. I was in a lot of pain, I lived someplace I hated and I wasn't getting enough editing clients so I could do anything beyond pay bills. There was more going on too, which I won't get into here but believe me, it wasn't a good time. I let my depression become my inspiration and I'm pretty sure that shows in this drawing.

I still like this drawing, but mainly because of what it represents. The technical aspects are pretty bad. I have no shading because I was afraid of ruining the drawing. I remember REALLY wanting to add shading but being terrified I would do it wrong. The nose is too large. As a matter of fact, every time I look at this, my eye goes straight to her nose and that's all I can focus on. Her hairline is too far back.
That being said, there are things I think I did well. I love her eyebrows and eyelashes. I like how gentle and "deep in thought" she looks and I like that I can almost feel the breeze going through her hair.
There are a lot of things that inspire me and I don't talk about the more personal things on my YouTube channel. I think depression can be inspirational in many ways. You just have to be willing to let the pain of it all flow straight out through the pen.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What was I thinking?!

January 14, 2013 Tangle

This tangle took about 20 minutes to create...and it looks like it took about 2. I don't know what I was thinking when I posted this video. I remember being very close to 100 subscribers and I figured if I didn't upload a video, I wouldn't ever reach 100 subscribers.

I have really bad carpal tunnel and tendonitis so I hadn't done a video in a couple days because it was acting up quite a bit from the cold. (I remember the pain more than drawing this!)

I know this is a very bad drawing, but I kept the scan and the video up because it's good to look back and see how far I've come. Even so, this is kind of embarrassing. My lines are uneven, my shading isn't blended, my patterns are very elementary. I remember thinking this when I uploaded the video, but I had already broken my drawing a day promise and "had" to put up something.

I am pointing out this drawing/video because I want everyone to know that there's always room for improvement. Keep practicing, keep learning and never give up!  Here's the video:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

8x8 Project

 In January 2013, I officially started tangling on YouTube. My intention was to create a drawing a day on my channel. HA! I quickly realized that this was not going to be possible. It's hard to think of what to draw, especially when you feel like you have a deadline to do it by. I still want to do a tangle a day but after this experiment as I was starting my channel, I know that the tangles would have to be very small.

This 8x8" drawing was done over 3 videos so I could cover 3 days. (How Sneaky!) It took maybe 4 hours to do all together. At this point, I still really didn't know what I was doing. I was still trying to find my "voice" so to speak, and I was learning patterns. I decided to create this circular template that's broken up into different blocks. I guess this is like a "sampler" of me trying different patterns.

When I finished the drawing, I wasn't sure if I wanted to color it or shade it. I was still not experienced with either, but wanted to do something more than just draw the patterns. In the end, I decided to just shade the drawing.

When I was all done and uploaded the videos I thought this drawing was soooooo cool! I was sure I would never be able to draw anything so intricate ever again. I couldn't believe I spent an entire 4 hours drawing just one picture! Of course now 4 hours is average for a drawing. It's kind of interesting thinking about how the amount of time on a drawing has changed so drastically in just 2 years.

Looking at the video again before posting this blog, I realize just how amateur this looks compared to what I do now. Maybe in 2 more years I will think what I do now looks amateur.

At this point I think I had about 100 subscribers and wasn't making money on my channel. It takes a really really long time to start making any money on YouTube. I really didn't care that I wasn't making anything. I had my novels and I was editing books for others as a full time job. Tangles were just something fun to do. I just figured if I was going to draw anyway, I may as well record it and throw it on YouTube. I told my daughter, Allison, that my goal by the end of the year was to reach 500 subscribers. I thought it was an unrealistic expectation to be honest.

I think I might try doing something like this again. I like the idea, but I know I could make it look much nicer than this. Here's the "Finishing" video. Most of the drawing is done but all of the videos are up if you want to watch it evolve. I really don't like making videos into different parts anymore. I like watching the picture evolve in one video.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The First Video

I've been doodling ever since I could remember. I have two older brothers who have amazing artistic talent. They can draw practically anything. I remember when I was little, I was so jealous that they could draw and I couldn't. I tried...and tried...and failed. I could even draw something as simple as a book.

I did learn little doodles that I liked. I could even draw a few cartoon-like characters that I was quite proud of...(embarrassingly so). That being said, doodling was my artistic expression of choice when I was little. I would get yelled at while in school because I'd be doodling in the margins of my tests and notes. The teacher would accuse me of not paying attention. This used to make me so mad because somehow when I was doodling, I was actually able to focus better on what the teacher what was saying and teaching.

Fast forward a couple decades. I was still doodling, especially while brainstorming for my next novel. I was looking for something to doodle online and saw something called Zentangle. I did a search on Google Images to see more and realized this was basically what I had been doing since I was little. I didn't do any more research beyond that so I didn't really know anything about the restrictive strings and so forth.

I went to YouTube to try to watch some people creating these "Zentangles" and there was only like 2 videos so I decided to create a video. I found some patterns I liked and went to it.

I sat on my living room floor with my coffee table in front of me and my lamp to my left. I chose this spot because my living room had 3 windows  which meant more lighting for the video. I drew this tangle in about 30 minutes and used Zig Markers because I didn't even know what Pigma Microns were! When I was done, I uploaded the video with Piano Man as a background song and I remember feeling very proud of that drawing but I ended up spilling soda on the original drawing which is why the photo at the top of the page is just a screen capture of the video. (After some research I discovered that this video isn't of a true Zentangle but I never changed the name of the video because I thought it was a true Zentangle at the time...I guess you could say this was my very first Freeform Tangle.)

That was October 2012. A couple of months later I saw my video had a couple thousand views and thought how amazing that was! I decided to invest in some Pigma Micron pens and start recording all of my doodles and tangles and drawings.

That's the story of my first Zentangle drawing on YouTube and how my channel was "born." Here's the video for your enjoyment...

New Blog...

I've decided to change things around here. If you're looking for the Swap, that can be found here. I'm going to be posting quite frequently with pictures and videos of my tangles, mandalas and doodles for you to see.

So how is this going to be any different than my Facebook Page? Well, I will be telling stories behind the drawings that you've never heard before. You'll probably learn a lot about me as you read along. I'll be going back to the beginning of my YouTube and starting there. It's been 2 years since I started my YouTube and I figured I should write down things before I forget the stories behind the pictures!

I hope you'll join me as I tell my story and leave comments!