Conzentric was founded in 2018 by three CZTs – Ela Rieger, Katharina Königsbauer and Jennifer Hohensteiner. Together, the three of us threw ourselves into the exciting project of bringing the CZT seminars to Europe. Now, after three years, four CZT-Europe seminars and one CZT Day & Reunion, Ela has left Conzentric for health reasons.
In this blog post, we want to express our gratitude to her.
So much of the beautiful Zentangle artwork on our site, social media and in seminar was done by Ela.
She penned the names on each certificate, created the individual nametags for attendees and staff, and designed the mosaics with “number” tiles that we include in the welcome package for attendees to tangle before seminar.
Ela had many unique inspirations that have become permanent fixtures of the CZT-Europe seminars. To name just a few:
After we opened registration for the first CZT-Europe seminar, registrations came in from Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Hungary….and Hong Kong! Then New Zealand! Ela created this large map of the world, so we could display the countries represented at CZT-Europe seminars at each seminar.
It was also Ela’s idea to have a guestbook for Conzentric. Maria and Rick graciously tangled the first two pages, and at our live seminars, we ask attendees add their own art and words. The guestbook is a true treasure.
One thing attendees have told us repeatedly is that experiencing our very different and distinct personalities makes the seminar that much better. To take a quote from our feedback form:
“The most valuable part of the seminar: to experience the diversity of the trainers, and thus to understand ‘Zentangle’ better.”
Ela’s unique and unforgettable style of presenting different aspects of the Zentangle Method always stood out and was greatly enjoyed. Warm-hearted, passionate and full of colorful phrases – shading is “Musterschmusen” (cuddling with patterns), or referring to the elements of the tangle fescu as “kleine Scheißerchen” (little buggers) – she is a natural story teller. As one attendee said to me at CZT-EU #3: “I could listen to her for hours.”
There are no pictures to represent much of the hard work she did, such as answering e-mails, creating excel tables, negotiating with hotels, recording invoices, reviewing payments, and troubleshooting technical problems. Planning CZT seminars demands a lot of organization, bookkeeping and administration, and Ela did a lot of it.
It wasn’t all work, of course. We had fun behind the scenes, too. There were lovely meals, celebrations, and lots of laughter. For Ela and me, the days in Taiwan for ZenAgain Asia were undoubtedly a highlight. You can see Ela’s video about this trip here.
Whatever Ela does, she does it with her whole heart. The mosaic she created for the CZT Day & Reunion, whose theme was “collaboration”, was very special. There was a slit cut along one side of central star so that the the corner of one tile could slide beneath the star of another.
This mosaic thus embodied “collaboration” on several levels. The words Ela composed on the occasion also apply to the collaboration between me, Ela and Katharina over the past three years. So I will end this post with Ela’s own words:
The mosaic is a work of art in which the star of each artist shines individually, but also contributes to the whole, making it shine even brighter. This means that even if one star fades for awhile, it is still brightened by the glow from the other stars.
If each tile is taken individually, the work consists of separate parts. But pieced together, the tiles create a larger picture that supports itself and sticks together.
In this way, this wonderful mosaic is an illustration of the individual and collaborative creativity of the Zentangle community.