17.08.2020 Playtime

Date: 17th July 2020
Location: Isle of Wight
Category: Creativity and play

and filling my cup

Here is the story of my weekend and some major “playtime”


A prompt from Jen Pastiloff (@jenpastiloff) on Instagram got me thinking about how I replenish my energies and look after myself (self care). I wrote in my Morning Pages:

My cup feels like it is leaking. No matter what I fill it up with to replenish, it disappears in an instant. I’m struggling to keep it topped up and it’s certainly not overflowing.”

I could feel a funk coming on.

I have a friend who creates the most inspiring and amazing zentangles. I’ve had the idea to learn about this on my mental to-do list for what seems like “forever”. I abandoned my journaling and trusted the nudge to look elsewhere to fill my cup. I followed my curiosity.

5 hours later…

I’d completely lost track of time. I found an video to show me the basics, then went down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest looking for zentangle patterns. I filled 3 pages with patterns that I like – 36 patterns to build on and adapt. In this learning and copying phase, I’m acknowledging that the ideas come from a wide range of other folk – they are certainly not my own – yet!

I’d spent the whole day playing, in flow, unaware of anything around me, letting thoughts come and go as they needed to. I can see why “zen” is added to the beginning o f zentangles.


After dreaming about patterns and possible projects all night, I woke up and jotted ideas in my Morning Pages and immediately started my first zentangle project. 4 hours later, I emerged with my very first completed piece. You can also watch this 22 second video to see how the project progressed.

I am so grateful for the time I have on my hands, for my curious and creative nature, for having the right tools to hand (for a change!). Absolute magic and delight. I feel light, excited, eager – energised and refreshed. This is what play is meant to feel like.

On the surface, this has nothing to do with my photography. But, by turning to something unrelated and immersing myself in pure play, I feel I might have lit a spark that will permeate into ALL my creative endeavours.

Quite simply, I found a way to fill my cup.

What are your experiences with things like this? Has this happened to you? As a creative person, how do you fill your cup?

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