One way the Zentangle Method imposes enough structure to get the creative process underway is to include the string -- what Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas call "the elegance of limits" (The Book of Zentangle 61) -- as an essential part of the creative ritual. A string divides the tile into areas that the artist draws into life, one by one, as each tangle unfolds. A string is simple. You create it yourself with a few pencil lines. After the string is on the paper, the rest of the piece emerges through tangles drawn in pen. In essence, the string serves to untangle the heart and mind so that the hand can do its work.
I want to rename deadlines alivelines to shift the temporal understanding of limitations to a more spacial and graphic perception. While a deadline focuses on the results of a process, a string invites the artist to begin the work and to focus on possibility as it unfolds. Click the link below to see how a tile developed from a simple 2 x 2 grid. The large pattern that looks a bit like ears of corn is called Hi C's, created by CZT Anita Roby-Lavery. Within that pattern, I filled in a few other patterns and added shading for extra dimension.
Have a look at this sequence of images showing how a tile develops