The Roots of Inspiration

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hi Everyone,

I was amazed and delighted with all the wonderfully creative names you suggested when I asked for help naming the new technique I’ve been working on. There were so many ‘Zenspired’ options that it was hard to narrow down to a few favorites! But here are the ‘contenders’; the ones I liked enough to hand-letter:

Special thanks to the people who made these suggestions: Kathy McRae, who suggested that I simply call the technique what I titled my last blog post—Rooted in Love; Jane MacKugler & Lanie, who both suggested Wordlings; Terri Young, who suggested Word Trails; and Sue O’Mullan, who made several suggestions based on the word ‘synthesis’, which lead me to come up with Zenthesis. I like them all, but am leaning to Zenthesis because it starts with ‘Zen’, and because I think of the technique as a synthesis of the words and the art, where the words become the art. 

Words have been an endless source of inspiration for me. I love the way words can impact the world. As a young scribe hand-lettering another author’s prose, I saw my ‘job’ as being an interpretive vehicle between the author and audience. Thus I needed to understand the author’s message before I put pen to paper. Today,  I usually hand-letter my own thoughts spontaneously– and revel in being both author and the artist. Some days the words spill out of me… other days I draw but don’t write… but either way I love the interaction of putting ink on paper. There is nothing I enjoy more than beginning the day with a pen in my hand!

I strive to write something every day which will make a difference in someone’s life– that’s part of what Zenspirations(R) is all about and why one of the two tag-lines is Live by Inspiring Others to Fly.

I encourage each of you to share your own core wisdom by writing (and lettering, if you like!) inspiring sentiments to share with those you love.

And for those of you who are interested in trying out this new technique– whatever we wind up calling it– step one is to write the word(s) in a wide, loose, script (please see below). Step two, shown in ‘zenthesis’ and ‘wordtrails’ in the bottom photo, is to double stroke the letters where you want to make them heavier. Step three, shown above, is to fill them in. 


Once again I’d appreciate your input– which of the four options: Rooted in Love, Zenthesis, WordTrails or Wordlings is your favorite, and why? Please leave a comment to let me know (please don’t e-mail me about this because I don’t want to miss any of the votes!).

Jane, Lanie, Terri & Sue— please email me your snail-mail address because I’m going to send each of you a Zenspirations print, and I’ll send a signed book to whoever suggested the name which gets the most votes by the end of the week. Until then…

Stay Zenspired,


22 thoughts on “The Roots of Inspiration”

  1. My preference is "WordTrails" because I think it represents what you are leaving behind when you write. But I also like Zenthesis because it relates to your Zen philosophy! You choose your favorite!

  2. Dear Joanne: Did you ever receive my email with my suggestions?

    • Emboldened Botanicals

    • Wisdom Vines

    • Budding Optimisms

    • Faith Filled Florets

    • Efflorescence (noun) 1. The state or period of flowering 2. An example or result of growth or development)
     Zen-floresence

    • Effloresce (verb) to burst into bloom; blossom
     Zen-floresce

  3. I like Zenthesis because it keeps to your branding of Zenspriations (so we know it's coming from YOU) and also is a cool word. Second choice would be Word Trails. I like Rooted in Love, knowing your background and focus, but that starts with a verb, so seems harder to fit for general use.

  4. Hello Joanne. After reading your previous post where you are looking for names for your technique, I've finally decided to jump in and say something. I, personally, think all the names are great, but the one I like best is "Rooted In Love". The reason I say this is because anytime that someone takes the time to letter something so beautifully, design it, color it, draw, sketch or paint a picture with it, etc., this all comes from a heart that is rooted in love for that individual or for people in general. It is such a loving and caring thing to do, and I don't think that anything else describes it better. In my opinion, it all comes from what's in the heart, not anything else. Whatever you choose to name your technique, I wish you all the best, and I'm sure you will do well with it. Thank you for the tutorial on the technique and for always sharing your heart with us…..Linda E.

  5. Out of the four, I like 'RootedInLove' best.

    There is something about the word 'root' that relates to the foundation of the thought.

    Your messages always have strong foundations underlying everything you are conveying.

    "RootsOfLove'' also speaks to me.

    I will love and enjoy whatever you choose.

  6. "Zenthesis" definitely….. But in the end, it probably doesn't really matter what you call it because the heart and soul of YOU are there and that's what counts most 😉

    I love that you encourage each of us to write and make art!! As often as is practical, I write on paper I have previously decorated when I was in an artsy mood and I too, would encourage anyone to do this! There's just something about the marriage of color, design and text that elevates all beyond the sum of the parts.

    Thank you, Joanne, for including your followers in your creative process!!! ~Susan S.

  7. Zenthesis is ok but I like Rooted in Love the best. The words and feeling behind each word is always rooted in love no matter if it's a tree or flower or what have you. I just think it describes this technique best out of all four choices.

  8. hi joanne, l love ROOTED IN LOVE, because deep down in our hearts , the very root of our hearts is where we find what we love, and it all seems to grow from there, the love for what you do is rooted deep down in your heart, because everything starts with the roots and continues to grow from there, and l also love Linda's take on it to, l feel that another word with the Zen word could get a bit confusing , this is a new idea that should have a new take on what you are doing, the roots of a new beginning

  9. Oh my word… I am so excited – I am thrilled – I cried when I read that you loved the idea!!!! I love love love zenthesis…. It is perfect in my mind…. I can't help it – honestly trying in my heart not to be biased…. It is truly perfect. It brands well with Zenspirations (an added bonus)…. Good luck and truly as long as you pick it Joanne – whatever the name is – it will be perfection because it is your soul – your heart – your synthesis – you – that is the perfection behind all of this!

  10. I am probably to late to get on this but the word "Zenhancements" comes to my mind… I really love the way your art work "enhances" your words! Wishing you all the best in your endeavors! I love following you and your journey inspires me!

  11. joanne- Love your work. I understand the desire to use zenthesis in keeping with zenspirations but I think it requires explanation to make the connection (synthesis/zenthesis) I like "rooted in love" better. Zenthesis can also be read zen-thesis as in a theory.

  12. I like zenthesis for many reasons. Mostly
    because it draws back to your basic structure
    and well known name.

    zendrils….like tendrils might be something in your pocket
    for later.

    so glad you are in the world doing what you do.

  13. Rooted in Love is the best. That phrase brings so many images to mind, deep roots of love, family trees, connections to others. I could go on and on, but my vote is definitely Rooted in Love.

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