The prompt for my International Zine Month 2020: Zine A Day project for Day 22 was Mandala. For me, that meant using found images to improve my pattern-drawing skills…
What is a Mandala?
A Mandala is a circular illustration representing the universe as seen in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism. In their traditional form, Mandalas are circles that are arranged into sections that are ordered around central point. Traditional Mandalas are drawn on paper, embroidered into cloth. Some are created using sand, and are then simply blown away into the wind. In this way, their ephemerality is their beauty, and they typically represent the impermanence of human life. While Mandalas are beautiful as visual artworks, they often hold symbolic and meditative meaning beyond their vibrant appearance, and are used as instruments of meditation and symbols of prayer.
Why do you use Mandalas?
I use Mandalas to practice my intricate pattern-drawing skills, as well as to develop new ideas for different patterns. I also find them incredibly relaxing, and they are a perfect calming method to soothe my anxiety.
What is your Mandala process?
In this zine, you will see me take found images as inspiration for creating my Mandalas. I will either flick through magazines, use my own photography, save images I enjoy from the internet, or look at the real world around me. In this zine, I have flicked through a couple of magazines to find the images for my jumping off points. I find that having an image as a starting off point is helpful in settling me into the Mandala drawing. It also ensures that I do not just draw the same patterns over and over, and ensures I have fresh ideas. After finding an image that speaks to me, I prepare my desire medium, usually an ink pen on paper, which is what I have used here. I then just let my hand do all the work, and try not to think too deeply about what I am drawing! I think that is the most important step, just let yourself create and try not to overthink it. In that, I hope to find new doses of inspiration, and create work that I can use in my patterned portraiture. For me, Mandala drawing is a really useful sketchbook exercise, and tool for improving my art. I would highly recommend you give this a go, especially if you have art block!!
Drop me a comment below, and let me know what your tips are for art block, and for improving your skills as an artist?