A Creative Way to De-stress: Zendoodles

A Creative Way to De-stress: Zendoodles

Looking for a new way to relax? Pick up a pen and explore your creative side.

By: Shelly Reese

Zen What?
Like doodling, Zendoodling is a fun, light-hearted way to relax that doesn’t require any artistic skill. But unlike doodles, which are pretty much aimless scribbling, Zendoodles are intricate, intentional drawings that have a structure. By following repetitive, simple steps, Zendoodles provide a meditative outlet.

While the result is a beautiful, detailed black-and-white abstract piece of art, Zendoodling is really about the process, the focus and the state of mind you achieve while creating your work. Because you are completely focused on creating a pattern in one small area at a time, without a view for what the completed piece will look like, you’re free to unleash your creativity.

How to Create a Zendoodle

Blank piece of white paper or cardstock
Black pen

Tip: Artist-quality paper cut into squares and black pens with different nib (point) sizes (including at least one fine-nibbed pen) work beautifully, but if you don’t have a lot of supplies and the idea of doing something “artistic” intimidates you, start by using the back of an envelope and a ball point pen.


  1. Begin by lightly drawing a 7 1/2-centimetre (3-inch) square on your paper in pencil. (No need for straight-lined perfectionism here.) This will provide the border for your drawing
  2. Using your pencil, lightly draw a line or several lines to divide your space. Let your line wander, like a stream of ink flowing across the tiny square. There’s no right or wrong here. Your lines can loop, curve twist and intertwine as you wish
  3. After you’ve drawn your lines, your square will be divided into multiple segments of irregular shapes and varying sizes. Using your pen, begin filling in these distinct spaces between your lines with patterns. You might fill one crescent with a paisley motif, while another section might have a basket weave design and a little wedge might be filled with chain links

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Concentrating on the repetitive pattern as you fill in each small block enables you to focus and quiet your mind. You may choose to fill the entire square with pattern or leave some areas blank. It’s entirely up to you and the process may take you anywhere from a few minutes to many hours to create.

It doesn’t matter what the end result looks like, the important part is to enjoy the process and the peaceful state it promotes.

Do you have a creative way to meditate? Log in or register and share it with the community in the comments below!

Shelly is a writer, communications consultant, wife, mother of two and artist. When she's not in her office, she's in her studio with her kids making a really big mess. To find out more about her work visit www.shellyreese.net.

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I like to relax with a great book or in the tub with candles and yummy smelling bubble bath... but some days do you ever want to put on a headband, crank up some good old rock 'n' roll louder than the vacuum and while you vacuum, pretend you're the famous rock star and you just give it your all belting out songs that were rockin when we were younger?? I can't be the only one. Try it! It's a great stress reliever but a tad embarrassing if your inlaws show up unexpectedly lol :)

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