International Coloring Contest!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Hi Everyone,
One of the Zenspirations® regular blog followers is celebrating her birthday on Friday, and I wanted to share the Dangle Monogram card I made for her. Hope you have a wonderful birthday Kristie!


For those of you who would like to create your own Dangle Monograms, check out the next issue of DO Magazine, which will be available on newsstands April 17th. It includes an article I wrote about Dangle Monograms, with step-by-step visuals PLUS some finished Dangle Monogram designs for you to color. One of the things I like best about DO Magazine, is that there’s no advertising– each issue is 100 pages chock-full of informative articles on the latest trends and techniques, paired with great gallery shots of finished examples. Best of all, there are the coloring pages and projects interspersed throughout the magazine. This is the cover of the current edition:


DO magazine is the brainchild of Alan Giagnocavo, President and Publisher of Fox Chapel Publishing, parent company of Design Originals, which publishes my Zenspirations® and Create, Color, Pattern, Play!™books. Alan started the magazine “to serve enthusiasts in three main areas – the adult coloring book/colorist, Zentangle®, Zenspirations and other forms of patterning, and illustrated journalling- including Bible journalling. Some of our readers are interested in all three topics, others maybe only one of the three topics – but they tell us they  find inspiration and helpful techniques in each category. Every issue includes crafts as well – because we know how rewarding it is to take your art off the page and onto the wall, onto fabric or the many ways you can decorate with finished pieces.”

The magazine is sold at Barnes and Noble, Michaels, Whole Foods, and better quality newsstands… or you can order copies and/or subscribe to the magazine at ​Each issue is $9.99, and an annual subscription is $27.99. I’ll be contributing articles for future issues, and would welcome your ideas. Are you interested in lettering, patterning, coloring, and/or something else? If there is anything you’d like to learn about– or see featured in an upcoming issue of DO Magazine– please leave a comment to let me know, and I’ll share your ideas with Alan.


One of the reasons I chose tonight to share about DO Magazine tonight is the Miracles from Heaven Coloring Contest happening this month. Sony Pictures asked if they could use some of my designs to create a promotional coloring book for the movie Miracles from Heaven, starring Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah, which opens this week, and offered to provide prizes for a Miracles from Heaven Coloring Contest. Two lucky winners will be chosen from Zenspirations® blog followers who post their creative interpretation of any page from the Miracles from Heaven Coloring book in the Zenspirations Create, Color, Pattern, Play Facebook group (click here for more information about the contest). 

Unfortunately, I discovered that due to government regulations, only legal residents of the USA are eligible to enter. Naturally this was a big disappointment to me; Zenspirations has gone global– there are more than 50 countries represented in our Facebook group, I want our international members to be able to share their creative efforts. I have been trying to figure out a way to open the contest up so that all the international Color & Creativity enthusiasts could participate, and thanks to Alan, I’ve come up with a way! While it isn’t possible to offer the prize package to residents of other countries, it IS possible to offer an ‘International Coloring Contest’ with a different prize– and (drum roll please!) the winner will have their work featured in an upcoming issue of DO Magazine!


You can find two free downloadable coloring pages from the Miracles from Heaven Coloring Book here.

In order to participate in the contest you must subscribe to the Zenspirations blog (not just read it). You can subscribe by signing up on the home page of my website:

Post your entries in the Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play Facebook Group by midnight, March 31st. Here is the link:  You can get to the albums by clicking the photos button underneath the imagine banner. 

You may post multiple versions of the same design.

VERY IMPORTANT: PUT YOUR NAME and e-mail address on each design before you post it.

When you are working on your pages please keep in mind that this is a collaborative effort— what sets Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern & Play apart from all of the other coloring books on the market is that there is room on each page to add your own patterns and special touches before coloring. While it is fine to simply color the pages, I look at my work as a springboard for YOURS… and invite you to embellish the pages in whatever way you like. I especially encourage you to add text which inspires you… as well as additional illustrations to make the design come alive. 

I am delighted that we can open the contest up to Zenspirations fans around the globe, and hope you’ll help me spread the word by sharing the information with your creative friends and family members. I can’t wait to see what you color and create– and I want to share one of my latest creations with you. It’s something I made this weekend at ‘Camp Widow’ in Tampa, where I taught a workshop Friday afternoon called Color, Creativity, Grief & Gratitude.


I was especially grateful that my daughter, who goes to school in Tampa, was able to come help me with the workshop. Since Sam’s an amazingly talented colorist, I asked her to share some of her coloring techniques with the group. Sam’s first move was to get out her phone and show a photo of a piece she painted using Sakura’s awesome Koi® coloring brushes. 


Then she gave a demonstration on how to use them, after which I gave everyone a ‘Watercolor Colorable’ so they could try the technique for themselves. All the participants took home a design I created especially for this workshop with room to add a name and life-dates. 


Friday was about helping people create an individual remembrance piece, and Saturday I focused on creating a “Forever in Our Hearts” Memorial banner as a community remembrance keepsake. This is a photograph of the finished piece, which is about 30 feet long. It has approximately 175 names, and took me more than 6 1/2 hours to complete.


I started by lettering “Forever in Our Hearts” with a Kuretake/Zig Posterman gold pen.


Then, as each participant entered the evening event, they told me their loved one’s name and favorite color, and I lettered it on the banner. This photo was taken about a third of the way through the project.


Although I hadn’t finished lettering all the names, when it was time for the big ceremony everyone went outside, and stood so we formed the shape of a heart. We each spoke our beloved’s name out loud, held a tribute light high in their memory, and the partially finished banner was unrolled to enclose the group.


Here is a close up of some of the lettering:


Here is a photo of the finished banner, which was displayed at the closing ceremony Sunday morning.


I was touched at how many people photographed the banner– especially where I had written their loved one’s name.


After everyone finished photographing the banner, I decided to take a quick video, which you can see by clicking this link.

When you lose someone you love, it is important to connect with others who are on their own grief journey… and I am profoundly grateful for a weekend filled with camaraderie and support and the opportunity to create such a meaningful memorial. 

Before closing this week I wanted to let you know what tool I used to letter Quwatha’s name… it was an Apple pencil! I like the interaction of ink on paper, and haven’t done much ‘digital’ lettering… but it was kind of fun. Although no one guessed correctly, Ang came the closest, and so I lettered her name the ‘old fashioned’ way– using Sakura’s metallic Gelly Roll® pens on Strathmore® ArtAgain® black paper. I really like the rainbow effect… hope you’ll try it sometime and share what you do.


Stay Zenspired,

9 thoughts on “International Coloring Contest!”

  1. First of all, the banner is so touching and beautiful! Such an inspiration for all the people who attended.
    I am so excited for the next DO magazine issue to come out! The tangle/coloring group I lead has a different challenge each month and I chose Dangled Monograms for April. So I will make sure I buy the issue and spread the word amongst the group as well! As for future issues, I would like to see more on coloring and blending different mediums you use and what tools and paper you use for each one. Personally, I LOVE anything you DO! 😉
    Happy for all the International members! Anxious to see what they create!

  2. Your blog entry today has really touched my heart. What a beautiful tribute to the loved ones gone on before us. In a couple of weeks the date on my calendar will mark the one year anniversary of my wonderful mother’s day to leave this life and step into the next. My complete joy is knowing she is in HEAVEN enjoying all it’s perfection, and that one day I will be with her again. You, Joanne inspire me and I am thankful for how you reach out to the grieving broken hearts. God bless you.

  3. What a beautiful post today Joanne, what a tribute to all those lives lost. It must be so helpful to those who are grieving to get together and share their feelings but also to celebrate their loved ones.
    The DO magazine looks awesome.
    Your international competition is so kind, I’m not too sure I have time to enter this one but it’s a wonderful prize. Good luck to everyone and thanks again for everything you do.
    Hugs xx

  4. Hi Joanne! The Do magazine looks great, I have never seen it here in the magazine store, but I will try the American Book Store (they actually sell magazines ;-)). Let’s hope they sell it.
    The idea behind the banner and the banner itself will sure be a huge comfort to all…
    The news about the international competition is lovely, thank for you thinking through it!
    Sending you a big Belgian hug.

  5. Joanne, I’m so glad the weekend workshop was a success! Although I am not surprised in the slightest, as you are a Rock Star at doing Everything!!;
    I know everyone in the Facebook group appreciate you to no end, and that includes myself.
    Everything you do is so thoughtful & touching & I am so proud to be able to call you “friend”..
    I’m happy the international contest is able to happen! There are So Many from all over the world that you have touched & now can take part in the perks us” locals ” get to do! What a great accomplishment!
    Thank you for being you!!!

  6. Fabulous entry Joanne. You are a Zenspiration! Thank you for helping those of us on the grief journey.

  7. I am so honored to call you “Friend”…. You have the biggest heart & share so much & bring comfort to so many people!
    I wish there was a “human of the year” award, better yet, “Best Human Ever” award, cuz I would definitely nominate YOU!!!

    This I’m sending a link to a song I just thought of “Human of the Year”.. Not really for the song, but because I think you might like the artist. She is ADORABLE & SO GOOD!!!! I hope you like it!

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