|My new book! Available on Amazon.com www.amazon.com/gp/product/1440… , Amazon.co.uk www.amazon.co.uk/The-Mandala-C… and Barnes and Noble www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-m…|
|I get the same questions in my in box each week.. so, I have decided to write a short FAQ that covers the most of them. Please do feel free to continue to ask a question if it's not listed here.. These are just some of the more popular ones. Some can be answered by Google .. but I'll try save the bother by putting it all here...|
1) WHAT IS A MANDALA?
The Encyclopedia Britannica defines a mandala (MUHN- da-la)as “a diagram representing the universe, used in sacred rites and as an instrument of meditation. The mandala serves as a collection point for universal forces. By mentally ‘entering’ the mandala and moving toward its center, one is guided through the cosmic processes of disintegration and reintegration.”
Basically, mandala is loosely translated from ancient Indian Sanskrit to mean circle.
2) WHEN DID YOU START DRAWING THEM?
I started drawing them spontaneously during a dark period of my life when I was suffering with depression and was undergoing psychotherapy. I later found out that this happened a lot to Carl Jung's patients (Swiss psychoanalyst). He thought the mandala symbol referred to the mandala as "the psychological expression of the totality of the self."
3) WHY MANDALAS?
Well, like I said previously, the whole 'circle thing' for me was random. But looking back I can see it was aiding my healing. The colours and symbols I use in today's drawings are very different from how they were when I first started! It is proven that working with mandalas (either drawing or colouring) helps lots of health conditions.. such as stress and anxiety to reducing blood pressure. I still suffer with anxiety and when I draw mandalas they make me feel calm... and my confidence and self esteem has risen since posting my first few drawings
4) HOW DO YOU START TO DRAW THESE MANDALAS?
I have made a template which I use to start with. I start in the middle and make my way outwards. I use two mirrors in the shape of a wedge to see how the mandala will look when it's fully drawn. I start with a 1mm pen and when I'm happy with the basic pattern I continue to build up the drawing with finer nibbed pens.. 0.5mm, 0.3mm and 0.1mm. To attain the perfect symmetry I sometimes use a lightbox.
5) YOU USED TO WORK IN B&W. WHY HAVE YOU MOVED TOWARDS COLOUR?
Two answers here.. I guess my life has become more 'colourful' since I started. And, my family have been telling me to try colouring for ages.. I eventually gave in and have never looked back although I still love my original b&w drawings and will always submit them too for those that prefer them.
5) WHICH MATERIALS DO YOU USE?
Easy one this : mandala-jim.deviantart.com/art…
Mostly Copic, Edding and Staedtler for the drawings. Because of the long standing problem with my arm I found it difficult to use colour using pencils and so I'd import the drawings into Photoshop and colour it manually that way..Now that I have had the operation I will attempt the pencils again All drawings are done on 60cm board and the mandalas are 56cm in diameter.
6) DO I HAVE ANY BUDDHIST CONNECTIONS OR DO I CONSIDER MY WORK SPIRITUAL IN ANY WAY?
I'm not religious.. but If I had to choose one it would be Buddhism. And yes, I do consider my work spiritual. 90% of the time there is no preplanning. I draw a segment and reflect it.. and rotate to form the complete picture. Most of my work comes from my unconscious. The colours I do 'think' about.. but even then I sometimes choose colours that just 'feel' right (except the rainbow colouring which always follows the same rotation patterns).
7) I NEED FEEDBACK
Don't get me wrong I love it when you say you love my work, it's amazing, etc. What I would really also appreciate are your interpretations of what you see in my drawings. What you like and what you don't like is very helpful if I'm to get any better
8) WHY DON'T YOU SAY THANKS FOR FAV'ING OR WATCHING ANYMORE?
Mostly a lack of time. I ALWAYS appreciate fave's, and watches and especially constructive criticism. If you do any of these three you can guarantee I will look at your site Don't worry about the Llamas. It's the feedback that counts. If you are a WATCHER i'd really appreciate a FAVE as well on new work (if you like it of course!)
9) YOU HAVE A PUBLISHED MANDALA COLORING BOOK?
Yes. It's available now on Amazon tinyurl.com/mt9fzgn and Barnes and Noble . Please consider a purchase. It's not that expensive but living as an artist isn't easy. If the book doesn't do well I might have to get a real job and cut back on the drawings. Just imagine having 100 Mandalas to take with you and colour wherever you like!
Just search for "Mandala Jim" to find the book
10) CAN I USE YOUR WORK ON MY BLOG, ALBUM COVER, APP, ETC.
If you wish to use any of my drawings please contact me first for permission.
Thanks for reading all this. I hope I have covered the main questions that you have been asking me. If there are any more please feel free to send me a message!