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What brings you joy?

Almost every week since the beginning of the year I have experienced delight by enabling others to step into their Zentangle practice and to feel joy too. This meditative art form is a place of beauty, peace, and calm.  

What brings you joy?

As I reflected upon my Zentangle practice and teaching, I realized that it truly brings me joy. I feel totally alive and engaged with my pen in hand.

Zentangle for me is…

a simple (though not always easy) way to bring beauty into my life every day with ease

a lens for viewing life, a reminder to see my life with fresh eyes and new perspective(s), understand that I will make mistakes—it’s part of living—because I try new things and I get them both right and wrong. I am sometimes tired, my best efforts are not always my best work, and working through my missteps—by fixing them or making peace, learning, and moving on, is what enables me to grow. 

art & a science… I bring my own special flair to the guidelines for working with the method.

a reminder to step back and gain a new perspective… there’s always at least one more way to view a situation. I’m always thinking to myself and saying to participants, “Hold your tile at arm’s length and rotate it—90, 180, 270, and then 360 degrees. What do you find as you do so? Which view is most interesting or appealing to you?”

a way to recognize any struggles I’m having and choose a different path.

Poke Leaf is the lovely, organic pattern at the top of this piece.

How often do I say to folks, ”If you’re having a challenge with a particular stroke, try rotating the tile for greater ease.” 

about both comforting and challenging myself. I LOVE and work with about two dozen patterns regularly—they feel easy and comforting. The liveliness of Jetties, the wildness of Squid, the energy of Cadent, and the boldness of Knightsbridge delight me. And, I’m always on the lookout for changing up the way I do one of my “go-to” tangles and for new patterns and media, to keep me sharp and humble… aware of my growing edge.

“What if, instead of just shading the leafy part of Poke Leaf, I use my pen to color in the stem, shade the top of the stem and use the tortillon/smudger to move the pencil lead into the body of the leaf?”

These tangles (patterns) span four 12 inch square canvases.

 

 

“How might I create in a larger space/literally a canvas—how do I need to adapt to the new dimension? What tools will I use?”

a reminder, that there’s a time to put down the pen and walk away from my work… because I have done enough, and doing more may overwork the tile. 

I  caution myself at times, “There’s a time to pause and reflect. I can choose to pick up the pen or pencil again to continue or leave it for now.”

an opportunity to sink into the process, experience flow, and remain unattached to the result. 

There are times that I enjoy the drawing, learn a lot about the patterns and how they fit together yet don’t love the final look of the work. I counsel myself to walk away and return to the piece the next morning, knowing that I may feel differently about the tile then… or I will have learned from it and take that knowledge forward. 

just like so much of how I live my life.

What is your answer to my question, “What brings you joy?” I’d love to know!

If exploring Zentangle piques your interest, please look on my Calendar page to learn about the free class I offer each month and series that is a deep dive into this beautiful art form.

 

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…

My current dilemma is to describe my newest area of work…

How do you talk about what you do for work? 

Or, perhaps a better question is, how do you describe what you do for your clients in your work? Because it’s really all about them, right?

These are very practical questions for me as one who has had many different types of work.  When I was a teacher of children with special needs, a principal in schools, and then an administrator in schools, people assumed they knew what I did. To be honest, I’m not sure they had any idea of what it took to be a teacher of children and young adults with special needs back in the late ’70s and ’80s (but that’s another conversation). I was a constant in the lives of my students, an authority figure who nurtured their social-emotional growth and created an environment in which they could engage meaningful learning. 

Becoming a curriculum developer (or instructional designer in the language of business) was a title that my colleagues in the education field understood. In my experiences in the business world however, the understanding ran the gamut from in-depth knowledge of the requirements of designing and developing curricula/training programs to think that ID’s create slide decks (and training is about reading slides).

I heard these questions, as a

  • coach (“Are you a life coach?”)
  • trainer (“Do you work in a gym?”)
  • facilitator (“So you make facilitate things, make them easy, what does that mean?”)
  • visual practitioner/graphic recorder, facilitator and coach (“How do pictures and words help people communicate?”)

I have faced so many questions—granted, that is a good starting point for a conversation though the frequency with which they occur is alarming. 

What’s your label? Does it really describe what you do?

My current dilemma is to describe my newest area of work. Visual practitioner, visual storyteller, sequential artist, comics artist, cartoonist, graphic novelist, graphic memoirist…when I say any of these terms, what do you think of?

What do you think?

I grew up reading comics and so my idea of “comics” —what they are—is tied up in those memories…Peanuts, Archie, Dennis the Menace, Batman, Spiderman, and more.

Here are some examples of this work from my project/book to illustrate (haha!) my experience training as a chaplain. I feel like I’m straddling different genres and I wonder how much a label matters…

When I visit the Graphic Medicine website and read the description of their work, it makes me change my thinking about the word “comics.”

“Graphic Medicine is a site that explores the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare. We are a community of academics, health carers, authors, artists, and fans of comics and medicine.”

They believe “the graphic is the medicine.” Think about that for a minute or two, the graphic IS the medicine—so cool right?

I think I will choose between these labels for the time being — Visual Storyteller or Comic Artist — the first being more inclusive of my work (graphic facilitator and recorder, observer of life) and the second being more my next move/my multi-panel works about my internship experience.

I’d love to hear your thinking!

If you’re the plant, what’s the sun, nutrients, and water?

There are so many changes possible in 2022 and yet there are some deeply challenging aspects from the past few years that remain.

With an eye on the present, and a desire to take good care of myself so that I can continue to grow and be of support to others, I’m focusing on what nurtures me. 

What’s nourishing you now?

Several times a week I turn to my Zentangle practice for the creativity and calm it provides me. For the past few months I’ve been experimenting with botanicals and last week I added color. 

I’m writing a few haiku almost every day (as part of a year-long program), as it really stretches me. Here’s one of my favorites:

Beauty of first snow

breathtaking and heart-stopping

Vanishes quickly

Meditation almost daily, and a silent retreat for part of this week, are both restful, a respite (from the cacophony of my life), and CHALLENGING.

My daily walks in the neighborhood and a local state park, and my standing desk keep me from feeling rooted in my chair and energize me.  

Happily, I’ve found a few groups of colleagues who stimulate and support me and I leave those meetings feeling inspired and connected. 

 

 

 

How are you growing yourself—whatever that looks like to you?  

What habits have you created? 

What is no longer serving you, that needs to be let go?

(And, just knowing that we need to leave that which holds us back, doesn’t make it easy to do.)

What dream do you have that will move you forward? How will you design the ease, growth, play, calm, or whatever it is that you desire? I’m guessing you know those answers if you make the time to ask and answer the questions and develop a plan. 

If having a sounding board or a partner to ask some of the questions and support you in the design of your own self-care package, please reach out to me. It is a delight and privilege to walk on the path/be a part of the journey with those who want to take good care of themselves and step into more of their dreams. 

New (and old) tools and resources

What’s new and/or different in your repertoire?

Last week, I started an online art course and learned not only new ideas and techniques but discovered tools I had never really used before (okay, a bit of dabbling in the past).

I have to say that I am smitten with Posca acrylic paint markers! They’re juicy, rich, thick-delightful! (It was my first time really working with acrylic markers… I have concluded (!) that I need more nibs of different sizes to enable me to color backgrounds more quickly AND get into tiny spaces.)

 

 

I started to reflect on tools I love and use consistently to make my work more fun (for me) appealing (to me and to others)!

What about you?

What’s new in you’re toolbox?

I swear by my fountain pen with PlatinumCarbon Ink Cartridges. The feel is so smooth and the ink seems to last FOREVER!

 

 

 

And, I was reminded yesterday of my “five-finger sketchpad” (h/t to Clark Strand, haiku editor for Tricycle magazine, for the reminder of how I use my fingers for counting syllables for my haiku every day).


What are the tools and resources you adore using?

What might increase your enjoyment of your daily work or special occasions? I’d love to know!

2022 is looking great!

I am sooooo delighted to be starting a new year! What about you?

How are you envisioning your work and play in the coming year? 

Yesterday, I was struck by the idea of laying out every little bit of my planning for public offerings (okay, that’s an exaggeration) for the first four months of the year… and I’m almost there. Here’s what is cooking in the variety of interrelated areas in which I work and play.

Choose to focus on your area(s) of interest or take it all in!

  • bikablo — visual practitioner work and play
  • Zentangle for focus and calm
  • Appreciative Living Learning Circle for a new look at your daily life, increasing your joy every day
  • Transformative Coaching: Appreciative Inquiry Design with a Positive Intelligence Approach
  • Sharing the Highlights of Our Lives Visually (Creating a Visual Obituary)  (Most recent addition, didn’t make the visual!)

If you prefer to see the big picture and then look at the details, here you go!

If you love a list, here’s the plan… 

BIKABLO Virtual Training Programs

Bikablo Basic Day 1

For sketchnoters, scribes, graphic recorders, and graphic facilitators… those on the path to becoming visual practitioners.

  • Learn to hold the pen, draw clean lines, and structure your space on the flip chart
  • Create graphics and text containers/geometric shapes, objects, and symbols
  • Discover the easy ways the bikablo®  method provides to draw people, roles, groups, and situations
  • Use simple and fast options to color elements and spaces to support the graphic structure
  • Improve your handwriting—make it more legible and attractive—on flip charts… and more!

Training fee and materials, $500 USD

2.8, 10, 15 & 17.22 — First time ever in the evenings! Register here

3.4 & 3.5.22 — Friday & Saturday, Register here

 

Bikablo Basic Day 1 Refresher (for previous participants, 25% discount)

3.4 & 3.5.22 — Friday & Saturday, Register here

Training fee and materials, $375 USD

 

Bikablo Day 2

Continue your journey and take your skills to the next level!

  • Learn rapid drawing techniques—draw icons, symbols, and figures FAST
  • Explore emotions
  • Improve your hand lettering—make it more legible and attractive
  • Discover and practice a variety of headline styles
  • Capture live conversations using a simple, elegant technique for creating visually appealing charts
  • Work and play with mobile elements to create evergreen posters
  • Develop a complex visual presentation—from idea to draft to revisions to final product

Training fee and materials, $500 USD

4.8 & 9.22, Register here

 

Bikablo Advanced

  • Deepen your use of the bikablo visualization technique!
  • Discover the three levels of poster/chart design
  • Work and play with the emotions figures—bring them to life in a wide variety of narrative situations
  • Develop transformation stories in three pictures with the emotions figures
  • Write more legibly and faster—check your handwriting against legibility criteria
  • Add to your repertoire of attractive headline styles
  • Learn new mapping styles to take your scribing skills to the next level—develop meaningful, structured charts
  • Use all the learning steps and methods in concert to create your final project

Training fee and materials, $900 USD

3.15, 17, 23, 25.22 — Register here

 

1:1 Time—Visual Practitioner Coaching with Jill

Are you seeking to raise your competencies in analogue or digital drawing and design? Whether it’s for your personal practice or  graphic recording or graphic facilitation for clients, I can help you see your work in new ways, refine your skills in layout, use of color and lettering or guide you to explore new styles of drawing. 

Package of three sessions—$600. Choose your sessions here. 

(Choose the first date and we will finalize the remaining two sessions.)

Individual session—$250/50 minutes. Choose your session here.

Please reach out to me with your questions about all of this programming!

 

ZENTANGLE

Every session is 7 pm ET for 75 minutes 

Tangling with Our Favorite Memory of the Year!*

12.30.20

FREE

Learn more here.

Register here.

* Previous experience with Zentangle required

 

Learn to tangle!

Intro to Zentangle session — FREE Session 

Begin the journey by exploring the roots of this art and the steps to follow to draw your own beautiful patterns. In the very first class, working with creamy white tiles, black Micron pen, pencil, and a smudger, you will learn how to create your own beautiful Zentangle tiles and leave with a hunger to learn even more!

1.4.22

2.9.22

3.3.22

Register here.

 

Zentangle series

Class 1

Stunning Black Zentangle tiles*

Explore the reverse of all you have learned—we will use black tiles and white pens! With gel pens in hand and white chalk pencil at the ready, we will play with layering techniques to create fascinating new visuals. Black tile and white pens—an awesome combination!

* features black tiles, pencil, white gel pen, and white chalk pencil

Class 2

Introduction to Renaissance Tiles*

In this session, we shift into working with tan tiles, black, and brown pens, and white gel pens to visit the time of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. We will study the iconic characteristics of these masters and use techniques that are similar to make our own works of art.

  • features Renaissance/tan tiles, black and sepia Micron pen, white gel pen, and white chalk pencil

Class 3

The Beauty of Zendalas*

Step into the mystery of circular pattern drawing—it’s relaxing and fantastic! These tiles are astonishing and call for our best creative selves. Learn to create simple designs that pop in this new configuration! Fall into the rhythm of working in the round.

  • features Zendala tiles plus pens noted above 

Class 4

Crossing the Border 

Join in the fun of creating beautiful borders for frames, greeting cards, postcards, and more! Discover specific tangles that work well in this format. We will focus on making frames for photo cards. This is a great way to share your tangling skills to surround a special photo of your family or friends.

  • features notecards plus pens noted above

Series Dates: 1.11, 18, 25 & 2.1.22

Buy the package!

  • Package of all series classes with all materials sent to you one week prior to class (USPS in the USA) — $120 ($96.00 + $24 for all materials, postage, and handling). Register here.
  • Package of all series classes (without materials) — $96.00, Register here,

 

ZIA—Zentangle Inspired Art for Valentine’s Day 

It’s not doodling and it’s not scribbling —it’s Zentangle Inspired Art! Take the art of the Zentangle method for creating beautiful images by drawing repetitive patterns—and change it up! 

In this session, we will draw tangles within representational constraints. Bring your favorite image in outline form—a heart, your initials, your sweetie’s initials—you choose! We’ll fill it with patterns using our pen and pencil, making our own unique works of art! You will complete the session feeling relaxed and calm.

2.7.22

FREE Session, Register here

** No previous experience required

 

Appreciative Living Learning Circle

Imagine what it would be like to…

  • Energize yourself each morning with a positive, productive attitude for the day  ahead…in less than five minutes
  • Transform the negative thoughts and beliefs that keep you stuck and unable to create the life you truly want 
  • Develop stronger, smoother and more meaningful relationships with your spouse, family, friends  and co-workers
  • Recognize the potential good in ANY and EVERY situation  

Appreciative Living Learning Circles were created to do just that! You will learn an easy-to-understand, practical set of exercises that will change the way you see the world and help you become truly happier.  And best of all, it takes just a few minutes a day.  

4.9, 16, 23 & 30.22

Group ALLC – $149 + purchase book on your own. Register here.

Group ALLC for returning participants — $119 (20% discount), Register here.

Package — ALLC course + one 50 min coaching session – $349 (Group experience plus 20 % discount on the coaching session.) Register here.

Package of Group ALLC course + three 50 min coaching sessions – $749 (Group experience plus 20 % discount on coaching package of three sessions.) Register here.

 

Sharing the Highlights of Our Lives Visually 

When we make the time to think about the breadth and depth of our lives, there is so much to be remembered!

In this two-part workshop, we share what we know about writing obituaries and explore the topic of life stories. We learn about creating visual obituaries and use a variety of questions to spark memories. There’s time in between sessions to gather memories, photos, and materials and create your visual. We come together to share our creations and experiences with this life-affirming process.

3. 16 & 23.22

Register here.

 

Transformative Coaching—Appreciative Inquiry Lens + PQ/Positive Intelligence approach 

Available year-round!

Curious to learn more about this fascinating, fun, and life-changing work? Discover if this approach is the right fit for you!

Book a time for a complimentary strategy session, here.