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9. 6. 2018

Seriously ? . . .

When Ina Sonnenmoser of Germany offered “Certified CPT Coach” training in “Creative Pattern Tangling,” numerous people contacted us to express their concern. So we took a closer look.

We were amazed at how much of the Zentangle Method she had copied and presented as her own. And now she was certifying teachers. I began the inevitable conversations with our attorneys. Then someone sent us “Coaching Creative Pattern Tangling Vol 1 v1.0 by Ina Sonnenmoser ©2018.”

As we met to discuss this situation, one of the people in the meeting began to read aloud from “Coaching Creative Pattern Tangling.” Suddenly talk of legalities turned to raucous laughter. Before I tell you what was so funny, you’ll want to know what Ina Sonnenmoser presents under the name of “Creative Pattern Tangling” or as she describes it, her “intellectual property.”

To understand what she presents as part of her intellectual property, I collected and collated the following quotes from Ina’s publications. All quotes are used in the same context as in the source documents. The publications from which I gathered the quotes are:

  • Creative Pattern Tangling – Beginners Guide – Vol 1

  • Mindful Drawing & Creative Pattern Tangling – A guide for creating harmony in the brain through artful meditation

  • Coaching Creative Pattern Tangling Vol 1

With the exception of what made us laugh and one quote that appears to be an interpretation of one of our sayings, all the quotes from her publications are either equivalent statements or direct quotes from our Zentangle books, our Zentangle website, or material that Maria and I teach in workshops and CZT seminars.

Ina appears to claim as part of her intellectual property:

  • Using a “square artist tile,” “draw a border” in pencil to “define the area in which to draw.”
  • Draw a “string” by “allowing your pencil to dance over the paper” in “loops, waves or straight lines to divide the area into sections. The individual areas can now be filled with patterns.”
  • To “create a tangle” use “pigment pens” “with a nib size of 0.1.”
  • “Fill the first section with the pattern.” “Focus on each line, take your time, do not think about the next stroke.” “Turn the tile” “multiple times” “ensuring a comfortable position for your hand.” “Draw all [straight] lines pointing downwards.”
  • Using a standard pencil, add “shades of grey” and “add the finishing touch” so “your artwork will come to life” because shading “adds depth to the design.” Don’t be “overly concerned about the light source” because you “use shading to enhance a pattern.”
  • Use a tortillion to “distribute the graphite” and push “the graphite further down between the fibers” of the paper.
  • “The final step is to sign the artwork.”
  • Patterns are based on shapes such as
    • “line”
    • “S-shape”
    • “The circle or orb”
    • “C-shape”
  • Pattern “Step-Outs” use the Zentangle convention of red and black lines in sequential steps.
    • “Some step-outs contain suggestions for variations (also known as tangleations) of the pattern.”
  • When drawing circles “try drawing the shape the opposite way.”
  • The “importance lies in the process, the tangling, not the outcome.”
  • Tangles taught include:
    • “Crescent Moon”
    • “Printemps”
    • “W2”
    • “Shattuck”
    • “Paradox”
    • “Cadent” Reborn
    • “Striping”
    • Fife, renamed “Flower of Life”
  • also:
    • “aura”
    • “highlighting” (our “sparkle”)
    • “rounding”

There’s so much more — about muscle memory, “putting pen to paper,” pain management, relaxation, about not judging or grading artwork, about walking through a class and praising students’ artwork, about creating a state of “flow,” how to apply these principles to your life — all the things we write and talk about.

And now that you’ve been so patient, here’s the punch line:

Coaching Creative Pattern Tangling Vol 1,” has a chapter “Money, money, money” where Ina describes how she expects Certified CPT Coaches to compensate her whenever one of them gives a class to a paying student. Ina writes (color and emphasis hers):

“. . . the entire concept is built on trust! Karma has a way of biting you in the backside if you are dishonest and cheat ;-)”

Then in the next paragraph:

“As soon as you make money from handing out my intellectual property, I should get my share. Sounds fair? Good!”

When we finished laughing, we read more of what Ina wrote:

“Since we do not need to follow any rules, 
there can’t be a right or wrong.”

Perhaps she was thinking of “There are no mistakes in Zentangle art” when she wrote that. If so, what a misleading mangling of the sentiment behind our quote.

There ARE rules, like the proactive Golden Rule . . .

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

and the more proscriptive and precise inverse, the so-called “Silver Rule”

“Do not do to others what you would not have others to do to you.” — Confucius
“What is hateful to yourself, do not do to another. That is the whole of the Torah. The remainder is but commentary.” — Rabbi Hillel

These rules point to an aesthetic of virtue, morality and ethics that comprise “being a good person” — something each individual understands. To violate these rules inevitably harms your community and shames your self.

Perhaps the “what is right to do” of the Golden Rule is difficult to fully describe. But the “what is wrong to do” of the Silver Rule is much more simple.

Theft . . . is wrong.

Our attorneys tell us that our intellectual property has been stolen.

This also steals from our CZTs, particularly our German CZTs.

This can steal from the reputations of innocent individuals who became “Certified CPT Coaches.”

And saddest of all, this can steal from students the opportunity to experience the full benefits of the Zentangle Method.

When Maria and I formulated the Zentangle Method, we perceived it as a gift. We, our family, and our family of CZTs around the world are caretakers of that gift. The Zentangle Method is so beautiful, so effective, and so magical in its restorative and creative benefits that it is sad to see it mangled so severely—yet be recognizable nonetheless.

We are now at a choice point.

Our attorneys advise us to engage in the familiar pattern of appealing to the legal machinery of various regimes of power to address this wrong. But first, we wish to explore a less familiar but, I believe, a much older pattern . . . the cooperation and collaboration of the community.

Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." — Louis Brandeis

Perhaps the sunlight of awareness can be sufficient in this matter.

Therefore we post this blog as an information source. Please share it with anyone who has questions or might be interested to learn about Creative Pattern Tangling and its relationship (such as it is) with the Zentangle Method. Feel free to contribute to it thoughtfully in the comments below.

If I misinterpreted something, please let me know. I will make edits and additions to the blog with a timeline and respond to comments.

As previously stated, the only quoted material I used which is not related to the Zentangle Method are Ina’s comments on Karma, getting paid, and not following rules. Those limited quotes are included for the purpose of criticism and comment under the Fair Use Doctrine (Section 107 of the Copyright Act).

For your reference, here are the links for the documents quoted above.

Thank you everyone for the letters of concern that you sent us.

And we thank you for your thoughtful, gentle and creative comments below.

Rick and Maria



Before posting this blog we emailed Ina. She published our letter and her response on her Facebook page.

Here are both:

Dear Ina,

After numerous people expressed their concern about your “Certified CPT Coach” training program, I looked at your website and your publications. It appears to us and to our legal advisors that you wrongly traded off the goodwill of the Zentangle Method and brand. Your extensive use of our copyrighted materials (including our step-out instructions) and your certification of coaches to teach our copyrighted materials require a response from us.

We are prepared to respond.

Before we respond, I prefer to have a conversation with you. There are several issues to address. The first issue to address is your program to certify coaches to teach our intellectual property which you misrepresent as your own.

Among other actions, I request that you:

  • End your coach training program

  • Remove your list of “Certified CPT Coaches”

  • Close your “Coaches only!” Facebook group and delete all entries

  • Close your “Students and coaches” Facebook group and delete all entries

  • Announce via your primary Facebook page (/TangleItPatternClub) . . . the wording of which we can work on together:

    • that you have ended your “Certified CPT Coach” program

    • that “Certified CPT Coach” status does not authorize them to use Zentangle Intellectual Property in CPT classes. This essentially means that they no longer can teach CPT as the essence of CPT is the Zentangle Method.

I look forward to discussing this with you. Please respond via email to [address] by 5pm, June 6, 2018 EST (GMT -5).

Thank you,
Rick Roberts