The lovely designs of rangolis and mehandi have always fascinated me. When I was introduced to mandalas in 2017, my reaction was no different. Somebody told me that mandalas help reduce stress but that thought skipped by mind until it came again during a discussion, prompting me to order a Mandala colouring book.
I filled colours in some designs, however, I wasn’t pretty satisfied with the end results. They did not look visually appealing to me. I have always been a seeker of perfection (even though I know it can’t be achieved).
This Sunday, I participated in a Mandala workshop and made my first Mandala design from scratch. With a pencil, a blue gel pen and a compass in my hands, I began drawing the circles on a white sheet. I was upset that I couldn’t make the circles as per the measures given.
In the first 15 minutes of the workshop, it was worrying me that I was lagging behind. And worst of all, I messed up the outline of one of the circles. But after 15 minutes, all the tension eased and I began to ask questions about what kind of pens should we use, about the variety of designs and other things while focusing on drawing.
In between, we were asked to show the progress of our designs. And I was surprised how the artist was appreciating every single person, without suggesting improvements (I seek perfection, remember?).
When she told me the first time that my design was good, I was a bit dissatisfied. With further appreciative comments, I realised that it was meant to be a beginner’s workshop and criticism won’t have helped everyone (No matter how much I would have appreciated the constructive criticism on my design).
Once the workshop was over, I told the artist that we should have a follow-up workshop.
Here’s the messy yet beautiful design I made:
Lessons I re-learnt during the workshop
- Gel pens aren’t good for making mandalas. But it’s okay to make use of the resources that I have and take that first step.
- Ruler is not as important as I thought. Mandalas can be of any size. I should let my creativity flow.
- Unsymmetrical images don’t look that bad. Sometimes you can find peace in chaos and beauty in mess.
- It’s okay if my design is not perfect. Practice will help me improve.
- Enjoying the process can be more important the end product. (I’m wondering if I should say “should be” instead of “can be”.)
- I would have never drawn a mandala design on my own if I hadn’t signed up for the workshop. I would have never written this blog if I hadn’t signed up for the workshop. You never know where ideas and opportunities come from.
PS: I don’t know if I’ll draw a mandala design again. It’s probably the reason why asked for another workshop 😀