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...