and to support your creative journey.
After publishing the number 1 tip for dot mandala painters on my blog a few weeks ago (make sure to give it a read), I now pen down the list of my other 5 important tips for you.
Before I get to the tips I’d like you to know that almost none of them talk about technical issues or provide you with fast dotting solutions and tricks to use on your work. None of them will make you work faster or help you become a mass-producer of art pieces.
However, I frequently use these tips in my daily work and they have largely contributed in making them so successful. I am not exceptionally talented or gifted in any way. I am simply willing to explore, experiment and learn while painting. I take my time and dive into my art.
The greatest gift my mandala painting journey has gifted me
is the knowledge of these tips (and more). Following these tips benefited not only to my creativity and art but also to various aspects of my life- my family, my marriage, my financials, my self-esteem, and my happiness.
All these tips affect more horizons than it might seem in the beginning. Whenever I confront a new obstacle, a new challenge, they re-appear in a different subtle form and remind me that I can successfully deal with anything thrown at me.
1. Paint non-sketched mandalas.
If you aren’t doing this already, make it a point to paint non-sketched mandalas.
The non-sketched mandalas are the best kind of mandalas to practice and keep a high level of accuracy. It all depends on YOU to paint and maintain equal size and distance of the dots, so it grows out evenly from the centre.
This adds to your vision of symmetry, which you can later apply to sketched or partly sketched mandalas.
Count the dots: If you have accurately maintained the size and distance, the number of dots around the multiple centre dots should be the same (or with very small differences).
Counting the dots not only helps you to check and ensure your symmetry but also puts you in that meditative state we talked about in the slow down tip post.
2. Dedicate time to learn a new skill once in a while
Enhance your technical abilities and learn new ways to dot (tools, toothpicks, brushes, cones etc.)
Invest time and energy to hone your dotting skills and try to remain persistent. Having said that, take a break from time to time and do not try to finish as many pieces as you can in the shortest time. Such a balance will help you improve and become better.
You are not here to compete. You are here to learn and grow. Open up your mind. Practice new techniques.
The web is full of tutorials as well as free and paid courses. Look for the ones teaching something new about the techniques and not only different patterns to follow. Push your limits and step into uncharted territories. Not only would you be amazed at your progress but also won’t believe that you were afraid to try it.
You can check out my courses here:
3. Be flexible while painting - “listen” to your art.
Paint is just paint, colour is the one that leaves an impact on you- listen to it.
Paint can be cleaned up or painted over. Don’t make a fuss if things don’t work out– this is a game of creativity which you’re supposed to be playing and enjoying. It is neither a punishment nor something to be suffering from. Sorry “the forever suffering artists” I don’t buy it, just like I don’t buy that love should be painful or distractive. I do, however, feel that through art and creation, we vibrate those emotions we consider undesirable. We dwell upon them to clear them up and just like a good cry, release them at the end of the process (but that is a whole book chapter to write one day).
Take breaks ranging from five minutes to whatever time you need, may it be hours, days, weeks, or months. Let the piece you work on, call you back (in the meantime you can paint other pieces).
Breaks give you time, time gives you perspective, and perspective opens and enriches you with new ideas.
Let the piece tell you what it needs next. Don’t be a know it all and as a result, block the creative flow of your creation. Give it time- TAKE BREAKS.
Change the colour
Let’s say you decided to paint in a particular scheme today and you keep having problems. Your dots don’t come out as you wish, the distances are unequal, you feel you are stuck and can’t seem to get it right.
This might be happening because you are fixated on the wrong colour frequency.
Try this: Throw your stone in a bowl of water, let it soak, and then clean it. Breathe in, relax, and mix new paint. Start over with a different colour.
You might have consciously decided for pink today, but in reality it is your blue day or green day, or whatever other colour combination day. Don’t settle, let it flow and let yourself go with that flow.
A change in colour can help touch on all other parameters of your ability to paint.
4. Don’t compare your work to others
(I wrote about it in another post, but the message is quite significant therefore I am elaborating on the subject.)
We often look for inspiration on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., and while it is indeed the sweetest place to go for some inspiration, it could become a double edge sword.
Eventually, it all comes down to the state of mind we are at, when approaching the net for inspiration.
We feel the need for inspiration either because we are very excited about making new and different stuff or because our well of ideas and muse is dry.
In this case, looking at another creator’s work might cause the exact opposite effect of what we expected and wished for when we turned to search for it in the first place.
We suddenly see the capacity of another person, THEIR progress, where THEY are at, with their skills, prices, ideas, quantity, and abilities. This might cause us to close within ourselves even more, feel smaller and find ourselves in the worst trap for creators – the comparison trap.
“Oh why do I even bother…”
Be sure to always concentrate on YOUR PROGRESS. Compare YOUR past work to YOUR present work. Acknowledge YOUR growth and improvement.
Wondering how to do this? Here is an idea:
I keep a couple of stones in my drawer from the days when I first started dotting. Once in a while, I take them out and look at them closely.
Do this! You will start to notice the changes and be overwhelmed by your accomplishment. You’ll know precisely how you have improved and recognise how much you have evolved. It will all be very obvious to you.
This will put you right back on track. It will transfer your state of mind from a thirsty, empty, needy, and lost victim, to an excited, curios and a “what’s next” adventurous discoverer.
This is the starting point you want to be at when starting an inspirational search.
5. Declutter - let go of your finished mandalas.
Creativity is energy. I’m sure you are aware of it, but maybe you don’t understand how it works, or what you can do to help keep this energy flowing and give a boost to your art.
It is beautiful, simple and basic. It is a natural law. Not only in art but in all aspects of life:
- You need an empty container to be able to fill it.
- You need to be away from a dear one (take space) in order to miss them and be happy to see them again.
- You need to be hungry (have an empty stomach) in order to enjoy food again.
- You need to rest in order to be active again.
- You need to earn money in order to be able to spend it.
This constant filling and emptying of our container is the natural law and cycle. They cannot be classified as negative or positive. Both emptying and filling are neutral aspects of life.
Sometimes I like to imagine watching the world from above and seeing the multiple filling and emptying motions happening simultaneously everywhere and on all levels of life; it feels amazing! Anyway… coming to the point:
You need to create space in order for something new to arrive.
This space is the womb. It is the landing track on which the new particle can softly and safely land and start its life’s journey.
I am not telling you to get rid of all your creations:
You can definitely keep some, so that you can compare them later with the new ones you create and witness your progress, like in Tip #5.
You can sell some- exchange energies, so you can buy new materials and tools to improve the conditions of your creative space.
You can gift some as presents and influence other people’s energies as well.
No matter what you do, make that space! You cannot fill a cup that is already full. New creation can happen only when there is space.
Actively and consciously, say goodbye. Express your gratitude for being the tool through which this creation materialised and send it away, making space for new inspirations to shine on you.