The Mindful Practice of Zentangle with Cathy Boytos

Apr 6, 2022

Have you struggled to stay present with meditation? Do you need a quick technique to help you overcome the stifling feelings of perfectionism? Can you use rhythmic art to help you build self-esteem?


Cathy Boytos has spent most of her life creating art (Fine Art, Mixed Media, Photography and Botanicals). She is an award-winning Graphic Designer, but now devotes most of her time to Botanical Illustration Art and Zentangle® – a method of drawing structured patterns through dots, lines, curves, and orbs.

Cathy left the corporate world as a Graphic Designer and became a certified Zentangle instructor in 2014. She immediately began teaching Zentangle classes in the Triangle area of NC, and although she has spent years selling and displaying her art at exhibitions, her passion has always lied in teaching it.

Visit The Triangle Tangle and connect with Cathy on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.


  • What is Zentangle? 03:26
  • Zentangle as a remedy for perfectionists 11:04
  • Using Zentangle as a practice of gratitude 15:42
  • Zentangle is not like doodling 26:38

What is Zentangle?

Zentangle is more than an art method. It is comprised of a collection of patterns that are made up of various shapes.

The beauty of it is that everything is already structured, and all you have to do is start drawing.

Before you know it, you’re going to end up with this beautiful piece of abstract art that most people had no idea they could do. (Cathy Boytos)

After a Zentangle group art class, all the tiles that the art is drawn on are put together into one big piece. You can then see how everyone interprets and draws things differently, and it develops from an art class into a profound lesson.

That is indicative of how we are as people. We’re all different, and there’s nothing wrong with any of us. We’re all unique. (Cathy Boytos)

Zentangle as a remedy for perfectionists

Because the methodology behind the Zentangle method is a combination of structure and intuition, it can be a great remedy and soothing activity for perfectionists.

It is just art and intuitive drawing. We don’t put value judgments on it or think it has to be a certain way.

Zentangle began as a form of mediation. This is why it does not work well under ego-driven, intellectual, and thought-centered work, like perfectionism.

Using Zentangle as a practice of gratitude

When people find that they can do this, gratitude comes naturally. You become so grateful … [for] your life, your ability to do this … aren’t we grateful that we can do this? (Cathy Boytos)

People experience gratitude by completing Zentangle art because it allows them to focus on their experience in the present moment and see their abilities in a new light.

They see what they can do, and often feel more confident afterward. The Zentangle can therefore also help people build up their self-esteem and self-confidence.

It is all about the process and not the result.

Zentangle is not like doodling

There is a distinction between completing Zentangle art and doodling.

Doodling is like mindless art. You may doodle when you are doing something else like talking on the phone or listening to a podcast.

With Zentangle, you are mindful. You are intentional and present. You breathe deeply, stay present in the moment, and experience it fully.

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Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Visit The Triangle Tangle and connect with Cathy on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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