December 6, 2018
I've always thought of inspiration as relative. There is no set standard for what truly inspires an artist. For instance, sometimes the colors I use or the designs I go for are probably what "came to my head at the time" and there are no other strings attached to it. Not that I am mauled with questions as to what inspires me on a daily basis. If I am being perfectly honest here, my mother asks me that more than anyone else, if at all! But the point isn't whether or not you are being asked what inspires you, it is if you yourself are aware of it. And if you aren't, who cares?
A number of my mandalas are taken from designs that I've seen around me or in a movie. I am a very "spur of the moment" type of artist, in that sometimes I don't really know what I'm doing almost ever. I don't plan color schemes until the very last minute, which often results in me considering what Bollywood actress wore in what movie.
However, that is not to say that one should not at least have some idea for where they want to go with their mandalas. The beautiful thing is that, even if you are not sure what inspires you, there are still a myriad of places you can draw ideas from. Maybe it's a beautiful dress you saw someone wearing, a certain combination of flowers you spotted, the feathers of a bird, the color of a car, or even something you saw someone else doing online. You have so many places to draw inspirations from when it comes to how you want to color your mandalas! And another amazing thing about it is that every mandala is different and creating your own unique style is a lot easier than you think!
When I first started creating art, I definitely took inspiration from artists online. I would watch their videos, observe their craft, see what fit my style, and worked with what intel I had gathered. Remember: the intention is not to copy someone else's work, you have to stick with your style because that is what helps you stand out and avoid plagiarism at the same time. It's like said: one can draw inspiration from many, many avenues and for many different things, sometimes even down to what sort of acrylic paint to use or if you should stick with marker.
Even though I sound like I'm breezing through all of this, I want to make it clear that, even as a side hobby/hustle, trying to get your work out there, and working on your craft takes you putting your heart and soul into it. Even if the process is frustrating and messy at times, it should still be something you love to do. Call yourself an 'artist' and willingly talk about your art to anyone that asks, and make sure that you never compare yourself to those you may draw inspiration from. Everyone is at different stages, it's basically comparing apples to oranges.
This post was meant to be introductory, so there will be an "Inspiration Pt. II" soon! If there is anything specific that you want me to harp on, shoot me a message on here. I'll try to touch on what inspires me to take risks and how far I'm willing to go when it comes to the platforms that I draw on. Hint: yes, I have drawn on a person before!
That's all for now, thank you for stopping by!
xo - MP