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Friday, April 9, 2010

Certified Zentangle Teacher Training

We are often asked about our CZT (Certfied Zentangle Teacher) training. Now we get so many questions that it is difficult to answer each one individually (and promptly) so we will use this blog to answer. Feel free to comment and ask questions. We will update this blog entry to keep it current.

Some Background
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?
[Added 4/13/2010]
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
  1. Use our name (Zentangle).
  2. Use our vocabulary (String, tile, tangle, etc.).
  3. Mention our website (zentangle.com).
  4. 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.
  5.  . . . and never use the "D" word!  :-)
As long as you do this, we are comfortable with you sharing your Zentangles and the Zentangle method with others.

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.

15 comments:

Carole Ohl said...

Thanks for posting this. Following the thread of your journey the way you have really illustrates the spirit that I have experienced in playing with Zentangles. I'm looking forward to learning more!

Debby said...

Kudos to you for keeping the integrity of your work. It is often easy take the quicker route to "success" but in the end you end up losing all that is unique about your art. I was lucky enough to join your workshop in Framingham a few weekends ago and truly appreciated hearing you both explain the process. What you have created is special and I think it would be destroyed by commercialism.

sunny said...

fantastic information Rick, I am looking forward to October!!

This might sound like an odd thing to say, but I would like to see a "limit" on how many CZT there are - it would be silly to have more CZTs than participants. That might be a long way down the track but I think the integrity of CZTs could be diminished if there are like, thousands of them!! Does that (my thought process) make sense??

Tricia said...

Rick & Maria, the 'zentangle' process is more meaningful to me after hearing you tell the story of the 'birth' of zentangle at the workshop last September. It is admirable that you are not sending Zentangles to a "big-box store shelf" (but I have no doubt that your packaging design would be GOR-geous!).

When you speak (and write) about zentangle, your passion is evident... and contageous, and this can only be accomplished in face-to-face encounters. You are right.

Your philosophy about spreading the news is unique and refreshing, and is a great recipe for continued success.

Tricia

revbyrd said...

I understand why you are doing the training the way you are doing it. I don't even quarrel with it. But I am disappointed because I am disabled and cannot travel.

I am a minister (as my name might suggest) who is semi retired. Currently I do counseling and work with folks on a variety of issues, including self-esteem. Zentangle would fit perfectly and really help many folks, but I am somewhat reluctant to do much because of the ethical issues (copywrite, not being certified, etc.). It's a shame, because I think it would really make a difference.

As you expand your training programs, please keep people like me in mind.

Shelly Beauch said...

Thank you Rick and Maria for your explanation, it all makes sense and I look forward to the whole Zentangle Experience in the future.
I feel very fortunate that you are sharing so much over the internet. Thanks again!

Zentangle said...

We just updated this blog entry with a new FAQ to answer revbyrd.

Also, sunny, I expect the amount of CZTs to organically self-limit, but we understand your point.

- Rick

Jeanne said...

I just read your updates and look forward to taking your class in October. I have been an artist for many (many) years and I'm always on the lookout for something new and exciting, which I find Zentangle to be. I'm also an author and belong to a writere's group in RI. They have asked me to share Zerntangles with them in January of 2010. I am excited at tyhe prospect, since it's a good way to relax, unwind and let one's mind flow. This is wonderful art, thanks.

zquilts said...

I do understand your desire to do training face-2-face but it saddens me that I will never be able to take the training. I live in a relatively remote area and, because of work constraints, cannot afford to travel.
It's not that I plan to teach classes mind you - just that I think it would be valuable to be able to learn what is behind you philosophy of teaching and learning.

I love Zentangles though and will always enjoy playing !

Zentangle said...

Hi zquilts,

Maria and I recently played with costs to take our show on the road. Not only would the experience not be the same by a long shot (we couldn't take our home, our studio, our gallery, our kitchen, our family, the Zentangles drawn on the walls . . .), but by the time we paid for getting there, paying staff, shipping ourselves, staff and gear, facilities rentals and on and on, we'd have to charge nearly $4,000 per person and not even come close to what we can offer here for less than quarter of that. And most (all?) costs for anyone to get here would be far less than the difference for tuition if we went on the road.

Also, all our conversations with people who have taken this seminar is that they agree that (1) it would be impossible to transport this experience, and (2) what they received far exceeded their expectations when based on the (relatively for this sort of event) low cost.

I'm not saying we won't solve this puzzle, but it won't be soon.

We look forward to meeting you some day!

Anonymous said...

My friend, Kitty Hester, just got certified and she shared the website with me. She lives in Arizona, so I can't take her class, but I want to get certified. I am a teacher, so I hope the 2011 dates can fit in my schedule. Maybe the dates will land on our spring break. Keep this up; it is an awesome process.

Deborah said...

Rick and Maria, thanks for the response to my email. I am more of a fiber artist and want to incorporate Zentangles into my art as well as teach others to do so. I will watch the newsletters for the 2011 retreats and hope to attend next year.

Anonymous said...

Here's an odd request but I am unemployed for quite a while and am wondering if I could make a living doing zentangle? I just love doing it and want to share it. If I could make a living or supplement my income I'd consider going to training in Mass. Your thoughts?

Stacie said...

I think I will create my own form of drawing, name it something cool and then offer classes only to rich retirees in select states, with no chance for anyone else to take it online or anything. Wouldn't want to taint the artistic pool by letting just ANYONE take classes.

Anonymous said...

You are true artists. I agree with Stacie. I am an art teacher with an MAed. You guys are jokes. Do people actually pay you to take courses on doodling? For artists every where I am embarrassed for you.