What is a Mandala and How to Draw One

what is a mandala and how to draw one

What is a mandala?

The word mandala literally means “circle” in Sanskrit, but they are so much more than that. Mandalas are beautiful geometric images that represent the circle of life, the universe, divine power, synchronicity and more.

Evidence of mandalas date back to the first century B.C. However, they are likely much older than that. Mandalas have been found all over the world, from India to South America. They are a common symbol in many religions including Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.

Christian Mandalas Rose Window Sainte Chapelle Chapel in Paris
Rose Window Mandala in Sainte Chapelle Chapel in Paris

Today, mandalas are used around the world as a meditative art practice. They utilize a combination of radial balance and abstract patterns to mesmerize the artist and viewer alike.

Why draw mandalas?

Drawing mandalas can be a tranquil and meditative experience. They are often used in Art Therapy as a way to disconnect from stress and anxiety. They help the artist concentrate on being present in the moment.

Drawing intricate patterns is also a great way to improve hand-eye coordination.

Drawing mandalas is easy and fun, and the end result is unique and beautiful.

How to draw a mandala

There are many different ways to draw mandalas.

You can draw them completely free hand, or use a template. You can create your own template by using a compass and a ruler, or you can download the templates I created here.

Generally when drawing a mandala you start from the center and work your way out.

mandala drawing template
Drawing a mandala using my template

Incorporate different geometric patterns into your mandala as it expands outwards.

You can use many different materials to create mandalas. Pen and paper is the most obvious. However, people create mandalas from sand, rocks, leafs, crochet, yarn, and many other materials.

yarn mandalas diy craft project kids
Mandala made with yarn. aka Ojo De Dios or “God’s Eye”

It’s a good idea to keep a sketchbook or even a Pinterest Board with different patterns to refer back to for future mandala drawings.

Learn more about the history and religious uses of mandalas here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about mandalas, and how and why you should draw them!

Cheers,

Julie

Artist Interview and Collab with FleeBee Phone Cases

Blue and gold mandala pattern iphone case

Hey guys! I recently had an opportunity to collab with FleeBee New York, a cell phone case company specializing in high quality phone cases for Samsung and iPhone.

Not only are they featuring my designs on their phone cases but they interviewed me for a blog post on their website. Read my interview and artist’s profile here!

mandala phone cases

This is an exciting opportunity for me to work with a start up company and grow with their brand. Their cases are affordable and the prints are vibrant.

Check out my full collection here.

You can also use my promo code juliesartxfleebee for 30% off! The code works for my designs only.

Shop more products featuring my artwork here.

Cheers,

Julie

How I’m Breaking the Mold as an Artist

Hey guys! Today I’d like to share with you a little bit about how I’m breaking the mold of being an artist in the 21st century.

Throughout history, artists have had to fit certain molds to have their work accepted by galleries and the art community.

But the greatest artists were the ones who broke the mold.

In Medieval Europe, art was controlled by the Church. Artists had to create work featuring religious characters and stories in order to sell. Artists found ways to work around these limitations by inserting the faces of their patrons into religious scenes.

The great art of the Renaissance was a rejection of these restrictions. In fact, there has been a constant back and forth throughout history, with each art movement being a reaction to the one that came before.

Impressionism was a reaction to Realism. Monet and the Impressionists were originally shunned by the art community in Paris. Of course they are now widely loved and celebrated (not to mention, the art is worth millions).

In 1917, Marcel DuChamp submitted an upside down urinal as an affront to the so-called “Society of Independent Artists”. This move has gone down in history and gave rise to Dadaism.

Marcel Duchamp Fountain 1917

The greatest historical artists we know today were the ones who broke the mold and pushed back against the establishment. These artists were ahead of their time, controversial, and often under appreciated until late in life or even after death.

Artist Gustav Klimt The Kiss

So how can I follow in the footsteps of the great artists of the past?

Today, there are once again pervasive ideas about what being an artist should look like.

Many of my professors at University scoffed at the idea of selling art online on fashion and home decor products. They held the belief that a true artist should suffer for their work, and should only show in established galleries, otherwise they’re “selling out”.

Another pervasive idea is that art should only be understood and accessible to an elite few. I think that idea is bullshit and needs to be smashed like the patriarchy! I hold the belief that art should be accessible to all.

The internet and the ability to self represent has completely changed the landscape of being an artist today. We can spread our work around the world all on our own, and become business men and women in our own right. We can create any kind of artwork we want and find a market for it.

All artists should be taking advantage of this and starting a new movement. Our movement doesn’t have a name yet but one day people will be reading about this time in history. Just like we read about the “Renaissance” “Impressionism” and “Dadaism” movements of the past.

This is how I’m breaking the mold as an artist and doing what every other great artist has done before me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what being an Artist in the 21st century means to you. Leave your comments below! Please note: I’m not an art historian and have definitely over-simplified some aspects here, so feel free to point out if I’m completely wrong.

Thanks for sticking around long enough to read my rant! I really appreciate it. Head over to my gallery to check out my artwork, and make sure to subscribe to my blog if you want to follow along on my journey.

Cheers,

Julie

Motivational Quotes for Entrepreneurs

Hey guys! Anyone else feeling a lack of motivation today? I needed a little pick-me-up so I decided to put together some motivational quotes in Canva.

This goes out to all you entrepreneurs and small business owners out there who hustle hard and need a reminder to keep doing what you’re doing!

Motivational Quotes to Inspire You

I love this quote because it reminds us that wherever we are in life we can always keep working toward our goals and dreams.

start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. Motivational quotes.

I recently read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and this quote of his really resonated with me.

the hard road often becomes easy, and the easy road often becomes hard - motivational quote robert kiyosaki

Sometimes taking risks pay off, other times they don’t but we’ll never know unless we try.

Be brave, take risks

People will always be jealous of your success and some will try everything in their power to tear you down. Don’t let that get to you. Just remember, if you have haters, you’re probably doing something right!

if you have #haters you're doing something right. #quotes

When all else fails, sometimes we just need a reminder to not give up. Take a break, step away from something, but always come back and try again.

when all else fails just don't give up quote

I hope you’ve enjoyed these motivational quotes! I’m already feeling a little better after creating these.

Let me know which one you like the most by leaving a comment below!

More quotes to inspire you:

Beautiful Colour Palettes to Inspire Your Art

Tropical sunset colour palettes blue purple lilac

Hi guys! Today I’m sharing a collection of beautiful colour palettes I made using my own photographs. Feel free to use them as inspiration for your art or colouring pages!

I always find myself struggling when it comes to colour schemes so I thought making a few of these would be a great resource to refer back to.

Turquoise blue summer water swimming pool colour swatches

Feel free to share these colour swatches on Pinterest or anywhere else you like to collect this sort of thing.

Crocus flower bright purple colour palettes

Another way I like to use these is for coloring mandalas. There are many more ways you can use these including inspiration for home decor!

Color swatches from a lake in British Columbia Canada

Make your own colour palettes using the Canva Color Palette Generator!

Sunset in Mexico colour scheme

Let me know which one of these colour themes is your favourite by leaving me a comment below!

Want to see more of my photography? Check here!

Use these colour schemes to colour in one of my free colouring pages or even to draw your own mandalas using my template!

Cheers,

Julie

What to do When Sales are Slow in Your Print on Demand Store

What to do when sales are slow print on demand stores

Hey guys!  Today I’d like to share with you my thoughts on what to do when sales are slow in your Print on Demand shops and online stores.

In retail, whether online or brick and mortar, there are sales cycles.  This means that sales slow down at certain times of the year and peak during other times, like at Christmas.

It can be frustrating and confusing to go from making several sales in a month to barely any, but that is totally normal and just the reality of retail. It does not mean you’ve failed, so don’t get down!

Think about how you personally shop. What times of the year do you spend the most money and when do you save? You will most likely find this reflected in your sales.

Here you can easily see the cycle peaks and lows during the year from my Redbubble analytics:

sales cycles on print on demand online retail stores

You can see my sales peak in November and December and drop down in the spring. Then they steadily climb back up until August when people shop for Back to School.

Now this sales cycle is totally normal and something you will need to get used to and prepare for, especially if your sole income is through online retail shops.

Instead of getting frustrated and throwing in the towel, there are lots of things you can do during these low times to get your shops ready for when the sales start to rise again!

Here is a list of ideas:

  • Work on your website or blog. Start one if you haven’t yet.
  • Continue creating and adding new designs to your shops.
  • Find new ways to promote your shops. Start using Pinterest for example.
  • Grow your social media followings.
  • Go through your stores and fix or delete under-performing designs.
  • Go through your designs and update keywords.
  • Enable new products you haven’t offered before.
  • Do a brand overhaul: new logo, banners, etc.
  • Promote sales. If your sales are slow, so are the websites you sell on and they will often have really good sales during slow times to get people to buy.
  • Ask others for feedback. You could ask friends or other Print on Demand artists for feedback on your stores and/or designs.
  • Network. Find and join support groups with like-minded individuals. There are lots of Print on Demand groups on Facebook.
  • Learn new business and marketing strategies through YouTube or other sources.
  • Take a break. Sometimes we need some time away to replenish our creativity.  Go on a holiday or spend time with friends and family and come back with new ideas.
  • Open a new store. There are lots of print on demand sites out there, perhaps there is one more suited to your style. Here is a list of Print on Demand sites to try.
  • And most importantly don’t give up!

Looking for more? You can find lots more tips about selling your art through Print on Demand websites in the resources section of my blog.

Happy selling!

Cheers,

Julie