My first attempt at making art outside of an arts and crafts class as a child was in college. I hadn’t taken art classes or even considered that I might be visually artistic. I was a theatre girl. Something made me sign up for it as my first elective, and I was hooked. My mom and brother were the artists in the family. So even picking up a pencil to draw something made me feel like I was moving in on their territory. But that changed with the first drawing. It exceeded my wildest dreams. I mean, for someone who had never thought of herself as creative, the resulting image made me feel good. And I think it was less about the product and more about discovering that I could express myself and find meaning in my expression. After that first one I was hooked.
That first drawing was a mandala. Mandalas mean different things to different people. For some, they are something pretty to look at that happens to be in the shape of a circle. For some, the mandala can be an opportunity to peer inward at some part of the self. For others, self expression is less important than meditation.
After creating that first mandala in college, I became curious about the circular artform and began studying them. This led me on a journey of self-exploration which has developed into a personal practice and spilled over into leading of workshops and meditative classes.
I decided that I wanted to set aside space here at The Art of Collecting Yourself to pay homage to the product and process which first brought me to the visual arts. I hope you enjoy my mandalas. They have been an important tool for my own personal healing.