Totem Animals, Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA)

Totem Animal: Bear

The bear is a common favorite as far as animals go. They are strong and dominant. They have such power that anyone would quiver with fear in the presence of one. At the same time, you just want to run up to him and give him a big ol’ woolly bear hug as you lovingly bury your face in his fur.

Zentangle inspired art, Bear totem

You probably shouldn’t go around hugging bears though. Instead, I decided to show my love by using the bear as the subject for my latest zentangle piece. I was excited to start it. Upon working on the piece, the fur became very distracting and I struggled with how to represent it. It came out quite busy. It’s busier than I usually go for but with each piece is a new learning experience. I am also dismayed with the colors. Unfortunately, I need to re-up on pencils so my color options were limited. I didn’t have the shades I would have preferred. Despite so much conflicting me with this drawing, it still came out pretty well. With such a contrasting highlight it makes the bear look like it has golden fur. Still, I will probably make a second attempt to see what else I may be able to put together.

So what is bear’s message anyway? Bear tells us that we need to slow down and relax. Perhaps you feel as though you’re between a rock and a hard place. Circumstances have left you overwhelmed and not knowing what to do next. Bear says that you do know. It is now time to hibernate if you will. Go to your quiet place, close your eyes and go to the silence. Go to the dark. The Void. Your mind needs time to collect itself…yourself. You know all the answers to your problems, you’re just not listening to yourself. Stand firm and grounded, like bear, so you can act in confidence. Harness the raw power that you already possess. You know what path will lead you to happiness. Now just quiet yourself and listen! Like the bear who wakes in the spring from a long deep sleep, we too will awaken from our own sleep. A sleep that we created. A sleep that prevents us from knowing the know, ya know? Bear takes the time to enjoy the sweet honey in life. We should do the same and be greatful for how sweet life can be.

It may seem simple but in a time when we feel like we have no time, we could all learn from bear. Thanks for stopping by this week! I hope you enjoyed my latest piece. Stay tuned for more totems. I have recently finished moose and have started working on raccoon. I wonder what lessons they have in store for us.

Until next time,

” I passed on the wisdom of his story to my people. The story of a boy who became a man…by becoming a bear.”


Sources: Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson

Bear Meaning

3 thoughts on “Totem Animal: Bear”

  1. “It came out quite busy” Perhaps bear was trying to tell you something. You captured the message of bear very well in the face, especially the eyes. Going inward, a solemnness, with a hint of sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am happy with how the face came out. Eyes have always been my favorite to draw, as you know. 😘 Bears do have a gentleness in their eyes, perhaps that’s what compels me to want to hug them!


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