As soon as I heard of Zentangle, I just had to try it!
Unfortunately, it did not have the intended effect of relaxing me… BUT I did learn a lot about myself as an illustrator. For one thing, I am much more technical than I had thought. It was very difficult, stressful even, for me to draw in this free form, intuitive way. So in the long run, I think this may be a very good exercise to loosen me up. I plan to use this type of shaded pattern in an upcoming illustration. In the meantime, you can see my first attempts as well as one of my pattern inspirations (the cup photo).