I’ve been on a mandala kick for the last little while. I’ve discovered they are a great way to get into the creative zone. Add some visual journaling and…WOW!
Exploring the Mandala
My obsession started when I purchased a copy of The Mandala Guidebook by Kathryn Costa out of curiosity. In the book, she suggests a brilliant journal exercise that I’ve fallen in love with. I’ve hung mine in the studio as a reminder of what I need to bloom when my creative soil feels dry.
Because what feeds us is different for each of us I want to share what I did so you can give it a go. If you decide you like the mandala form as much as I do, I highly recommend getting a copy of the book for your own library.
Make your own mandala journal page
First step is to create a flower mandala. I like working in a large, hardcover sketchbook. I used a math compass to get a 6″ circle but you could use a plate. The size is determined simply by how large your paper is and what you want to do. Trace a second circle the same size on a piece of scrap paper, cut it out and set it aside for now.
Add some smaller circles inside your first circle to act as guidelines (Fig 1).
You can divide your circle in to twelve equal sections by using a protractor but it’s easier to take your cutout and fold it in half and crease. Then fold that in half again and crease. Finally, fold it into thirds and crease. When you open it up you have the guides you need to create a 12 part flower. Easy, right?
Place your guide over the top of your first circle, mark the points and remove the guide. Using a ruler, connect the points. Be sure they cross the center of your main circle and adjust if any seem a little off center. (Fig 2)
Begin designing your mandala in pencil so you can change your mind and make corrections. You can see from the picture (Fig 3) that as I began to design I added a few more smaller circles but you could also freehand the smaller elements of your design if you choose.
Once you’re satisfied with your design, outline the permanent lines with a fine point black marker. (Fig 4) Erase the pencil lines and you have your very own 12 point flower mandala. (Fig 5)
Now the fun starts. Choose colours that speak to you. Don’t second guess yourself. When you’re done, Google the meaning of the colours you chose. I’m often surprised by how much they reflect my current journey.
For my mandala I used the amazing Chameleon markers Kathryn recommended in her book. They make shading simple and magical. Now I have another obsession!
Once you’re happy with your mandala, it’s time to connect with your inner Muse. Ask her, “What keeps you blooming?”
In other words, when you’re feeling low, what perks you back up? Some of our answers may be the same but there will be some that are unique to you.
I wrote mine in pencil first and I’m glad I did. I rearranged the order a few times and re-thought a couple of my choices. When you’re satisfied, use your black marker and add them to your mandala. I had fun with the lettering style and added some final details.
My only recommendation is to do it YOUR way and trust your intuition.