Maldivian Artist Creates Lifelike Creatures Through Zentangle Art

If you’re not aware of what Zentangle art is, the stunning creations of Mahi Abdul will certainly clarify your mind. Zentangle method involves drawing structured patterns, called tangles and is easy to learn. However, what this 18-year-old Maldivian does is something really out of this world.

Abdul’s expertise lies in creating pattern-adorned animals and fantasy creatures that look incredibly lifelike. However, what adds to their realism is his color choice and the use of decorative patterns. Just have a look at his range of creations, from majestic phoenix with stunning plumage to dragon-like chameleon with beautifully patterned scales.

Abdul is completely self-taught, but seeing his intricate work, it’s certainly difficult to believe that he does all this by hand. He considers this back-breaking job a sort of Zen experience that has helped him introspect and know himself. So meticulous is he in all his creations that it becomes difficult for him to know when to stop! He shares on, “I often ponder over ‘finished’ drawings, wondering if it’d look better if I spend another couple of hours on it, which empowers me to better myself every time.”

Abdul uses black ink to create tangles in the image of the creatures he wants to draw. He then fills up these structured patterns with colored pencils and shades the relevant portions. He does all this with such finesse and details that the creatures seem to come to life in their 3D avatars.

As to why this artist loves art, he explains on, “…I see art as my way to escape onto elation and bliss. (This is) what keeps me going forward. I try to be optimistic about life and art keeps me set in a positive mood.” According to him, his passion is to draw, to create, and to appreciate every little detail in life.


Abdul’s art is influenced by many artists, such as Ashley Wood, Debra Hampton, Iain Macarthur, James Jean, Minjae Lee, Rupert Smissen, Vania Zouravliov, and many others. He pays homage to creatures inhabiting the Earth through his incredible creations. It’s not surprising that he enjoys a following of over 94,000 fans on Instagram alone.

Mahi Abdul


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