I had been making ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) the last year and after attending my CZT Seminar Training this June, I realized that it all comes back to the basics... THE STRING.
Without the string there is so much more thought involved... the whole reasoning behind the string is to alleviate the thought process to free your mind of creating to let you just feel the process not the outcome.
To recap this basic first step that is so important - you start with a pencil to create the foundation of a tile .The magic part is that the string usually disappears after you apply the patterns/tangles. Next time, try closing your eyes and drawing a string. Ohhhhh fun.