Inspirational quotes flood my Facebook and Pinterest walls and for good reason...words have power. They have the power to inspire, motivate, and lift the spirit. I collect quotes (you'll get a peak at a couple of pages in my journal further below) and incorporate them into my blog posts and art.
If you are looking for some fresh inspiration for your mandala practice, start with a quote that speaks to your heart, lifts your spirit, inspires you to say YES to life.
Pictured above is a mandala I created in response to the quote:
"One must have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star." Friedrich Nietzsche
When I read this quote it spoke to how I was feeling at the moment. My head was swirling with so many ideas. I knew instantly what I wanted to draw in my circle: lots and lots of brightly colored swirls, twisting and tangled with one extending beyond the boundary with a star tethered to it. I often draw tight little spirals that represent my creative ideas. They show up here in the dark background. I see this mandala as my brain filled with lots of ideas and the orange ribbons are the ideas that I'm thinking about and getting my attention. As I worked on this mandala, it gave me time to sort out which of my many ideas I wanted to focus on next. Drawing this mandala was so much more than making a pretty picture, it offered me a tool for brainstorming. By the end, I found some clarity as to what my next step and project would be. In fact, I uncovered in this tangle mess my next "star" project.
I completed my mandala feeling energized and empowered.
Micron 01 black pen
Prismacolor colored pencils
There is Always Something You Can Do
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you CAN do." John Wooden
20 years ago I became ill with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. These are very debilitating autoimmune conditions and as yet there is no cure for them. My whole life changed. My life became very "limited." So many of my goals and dreams had to be set aside. New goals (tinier ones) had to made. Frustrating, depressing, very tough! But over the years I have learned that the above quote is so true. There is always SOMETHING you CAN still do - I chose to do what I could with the limited energy and strength that I had. I learned that "good enough" is just that! Whatever your challenge is right now I encourage you to choose one thing you CAN do, and take one small step in that direction today. With much love, Angella
To emphasize the message of my quotation I did a quick and simple organic mandala. I used 300gsm watercolour paper, Inktense pencils and water, and a Sharpie fine and ultra fine black marker.
Angella de Jager, South Africa
I am a self taught artist and have been a professional arts and crafts instructor for the last 15 years. I fell in love with creating colourful mandalas last year! angelladeedesigns.blogspot.com
Light Through Darkness
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
It's a mandala (the first one) for my beloved son Florent who passed away six years ago. I know and I feel that Florent showed me the way to the magy and power of mandalas. With his brother Benjamin, Florent helps me, guides me and gives me strength to go on and see hope and light in the darkness. It's usually not easy for me to draw on black paper, I find it quite difficult. But for this mandala, it happened by itself. I drew 4 white circles. No lines. No marks. Yes, Florent guided me.
Pentel pigment gel ink pen (white - 1mm)
Pigment ink metallic pens (pink and violet)
Edding 750 pen (copper - 2-4 mm)
Faber Castell ruby metallic pen (pink - 1,5 mm)
Free Your Heart
Free your heart. Travel like the moon among the stars. Buddha
Patricia J. Mosca, New York, USA
Patricia Mosca is an artist and the author of “Permission Slips for your Heart and Soul,” her mandala style journaling has been seen in several national magazines. Painting mandalas and interpreting them allows her to listen closely to the whispers of her heart. http://soulfullyjournaling.blogspot.com
Pictured above is my journal where I glue in random images and record inspirational quotes. Here are a few that may inspire your next mandala:
"I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living." Anais Nin
"Only one this has to change for us to know happiness in our lives: where to focus our attention." Greg Anderson
"Each think she learned became part of herself to be used over and over in new adventures." Kate Seredy
"The souls should always stand ajar, ready to welcome ecstatic experience." Emily Dickenson
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and look like work." Alva Edison
"Art offers...sanctuary to everyone willing to open their hearts as well as their eyes." Nikki Giovanni
Here are a few sources for finding inspiring quotes:
One gorgeous book filled with inspirational quotes and art is Inspirational Quotes Illustrated: Art and Words to Motivate by Lesley Riley. Get it. It will definitely inspire your mandala practice.
My inspiration for creating mandalas inspired by quotes came from the gorgeous and interesting journal entries shared by Jackie Fuller from Adelaide, South Australia. Pictured here is one of her journal pages that she posted in our private Facebook group (The Mandala Sharing Circle) back in March. Jackie, thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration to us all! I love how you express yourself creatively.
About the 100 Mandalas Challenge
If you are just discovering the 100 Mandalas Challenge, welcome! The challenge is to create 100 mandalas in 100 days (those don't have to be consecutive days). Learn more about the challenge at 100mandalas.org.
Each week (either on Sunday or Monday) a new theme and/or art technique will be shared. Think of these as a weekly vitamin, a dose of inspiration to get your creativity fired up. You may like what you see and want to try it out, or you may be groovin' with a particular medium and want to go deeper with it. We love exploring and diving deep and encourage you to follow what interests you.
So you don't forget to take your vitamin, sign up to receive Kathryn's e-mail newsletter. You'll get a weekly update with a link to the current theme.
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I love how many of the mandalas in this post are "off the grid." I know some of you are feeling stuck in your mandala practice and find yourself making the same type of design over and over. This week, I challenge you to "get off the grid" and design an asymmetrical design freehand! You may start with a quote as we did here or you may start drawing right now.
I'm so looking forward to seeing where your mandala practice takes you this week.
Kathryn Costa, Collage Diva + Creative Dabbler
Kathryn Costa, New Hampshire, USA
I started the 100 Mandalas Challenge to explore the creative possibilities within a circle and discovered so much more: creating mandalas is a powerful tool for relaxing, healing, and cultivating joy. When I'm not creating mandalas, I enjoy collage and art journaling, photography, and Ikebana (Japanese Flower arranging). I live in New England with my Brazilian husband, Fernando. www.truenortharts.com