Early on we wondered how to best support Zentangle's growth. We knew it would grow in different directions and was applicable in many areas of interest and expertise. We considered marketing it directly through stores and had conversations with two people with credibility and success in that field. Each had marketed products that most of you or your kids had (and may still have). They wanted to promote Zentangle. We were honored and had concerns.
We did not want our Zentangle tree's branches to get ahead of its root systems and fall over. In other words we did not want to be a "pet rock" that shot up like a bright rocket and just as quickly fell to earth (did we just date ourselves?) and no, that was not one of the products those two folks had marketed!
We knew Zentangle had an important story and its story was best told by people who understood both Zentangle and their different audiences' languages - not just English, French or Spanish, but languages and vocabularies of interest, perspective and expertise - something no one person could have. For instance, a nurse giving a hospital in-service in Zentangle to critical care staff will have insights and understanding for that audience that we will never have. A fifth grade teacher will bring different insights than a corporate trainer, or a girl scout troop leader, or a lacrosse coach - you get the idea. Since we didn't speak all those "languages" how could we hope to communicate Zentangle from a big-box store shelf and advertising, no matter how cleverly and beautifully we designed our packaging and ad campaign?
We also wanted to maintain our product quality and not be pressured into discounting Zentangle - both of which would be a challenge with major chains.
Thus was born our concept of CZT.
And it's working!
People of different backgrounds, cultures, ages, professions and geographies are translating Zentangle into their worlds with wonderful success. CZTs' skills and training are validated by the accredidation of that title (itself a registered mark) which assures others that they have been directly trained by us in the subtleties and nuances of Zentangle. CZTs can also buy most Zentangle products at wholesale for resale.
Let's do this next part as a Q&A and answer some email questions we've received.
How can I become a CZT?
Successfully complete a CZT seminar taught by Rick and Maria. We say "successfully complete" because we don't want people to feel that just because they paid, they are entitled to passing. However, it has been our great good fortune to attract really wonderful people from all over the world and to date, everyone was has attended has received a CZT certificate.
Can you give CZT training [on the west coast] [in Australia] [etc.]?
We feel it is important for people who will be telling Zentangle's story to see where it started - to experience the magic and hospitality and creativity of our home, studio and gallery. We try to teach by example and we invite you to ask anyone on our teachers' page their opinion of the value of the training and having it here.
Anyone who takes courses like this knows that our costs are very reasonable. We have a great relationship with a wonderful retreat center within walking distance and which we have all to ourselves. To duplicate our presentation away from here would raise the price many times what it is now - and certainly it would end up being more than the difference it costs to travel to Whitinsville, Massachusetts - by the time we transport all our materials, people and add in the much higher costs of other facilities we would have to use.
We're not saying we'll never give a CZT workshop somewhere else, but for the forseeable future we look forward to welcoming people to Whitinsville and to our home.
Will you give CZT training online?
Probably not. We are developing other offerings for our website, but we expect our CZT trainings will always be face to face.
Will you train people to train CZTs?
We have no plans to do that now. Eventually it will be the responsible thing to do, but not yet.
When is your next training?
October 12-15, 2010. We will open registration in early June and announce it in our free newsletter. We haven't scheduled our 2011 trainings yet.
Can you offer more frequent trainings?
Yes, we are planning to.
Can you offer a training in the summer for teachers?
This is a big request and we would like to do exactly that next year - we'll keep you posted.
I'm concerned with legal and ethical issues of copyright and certification. Do I need to be a CZT to share Zentangle with others?
We've discovered that people inevitably want to share Zentangle with others. After teaching Zentangle to our grandson's second grade class, by the next day children throughout the school were creating their own Zentangles!
If you want to share your Zentangle creations or use our Zentangle method with others, we ask that you
- Use our name (Zentangle).
- Use our vocabulary (String, tile, tangle, etc.).
- Mention our website (zentangle.com).
- Stay close to our teaching method. We understand this is an odd request, because the background concepts and insights necessary to do that are what we teach in our CZT training. For now, please understand that all those materials and techniques, steps and names in Zentangle, as playful and frivolous (or unnecessary and limiting) as they may seem, are deliberately that way for specific and studied reasons.
- . . . and never use the "D" word! :-)
If you want to more fully understand Zentangle and learn many subtleties of how to convey that understanding to others, in other words to represent yourself as someone who has been certified to teach Zentangle, then we invite you to complete one of our Certified Zentangle Teacher seminars and become a CZT.
You can read more in our earlier newsletters here and here. (Note that these links are to earlier dates and prices.)
Let us know if you have additional questions and we'll expand this blog entry.