Interview with Saudamini Madra
The Harmony of Circles
Saudamini Madra,Mandala Artist
Mandala means “a magical circle”. It is a complex abstract design that is usually circular in form. Generally, it has one identifiable center point, from which an array of shapes and symbols are formed.
Sometimes words are not enough to express what we know deep within ourselves. As they say, “When words fail, art speaks.” Mandala art can help us express ourselves through art and increase self awareness.
Saudamini Madra is a Mandala and Zentangle artist based in the US. She is an apparel product manager by the day and views art as an escape from the everyday chaos of a 9-5 job. Her awe-inspiring work has caught the eyes of viewers from all across the globe.
Since when do you practice art? Who or what inspired you to pursue it?
“Ever since I was a little girl, drawing books and I have been inseparable. My parents encouraged and helped me cultivate this hobby. I studied various art forms and mediums for 3 years (1999 – 2002) and have been practicing since then.”
What made you to develop a liking towards mandalas and zentangles? Do you practice art full time?
“About a year ago, I came across some hand drawn mandalas. The intricate designs drew my attention. My friend encouraged me to draw my first mandala, and I have been obsessed since then.
I am a full-time Product Manager and draw in my free time.”
“Mandalas help us pull together the scattered parts of life and find order.”
Can you guide us through the process of creating Mandalas?
“I start my mandalas with a basic grid. For the patterns, I just go with the flow and enjoy the process of creation. I love seeing how various patterns come together in perfect harmony to create a beautiful mandala.”
Do you connect with mandalas on a spiritual level?
“Yes, absolutely! I view art as an escape from the ordinary. I always lose track of time when I start working on a piece. Mandalas help us pull together the scattered parts of life and find order.”
Mandala art therapy is practiced widely to deal with stress and anxiety. Has this proven helpful to you?
“I feel any form of art is therapeutic. It has proven to help people dealing with stress and anxiety. It definitely helps me relax, meditate and get lost in the process.”
Is there any particular reason why all your art work is in Black and white? Do you experiment with colours as well?
“I LOVE black and white, even in my clothing choices! I admire the beauty in simplicity. It’s amazing how 2 colours can make such beautiful art pieces. Having said that, I enjoy working with colours too, but I do it rarely.”
Can you elaborate on the symbolism of mandala art, and the individual symbols used?
“The literal meaning of the word “Mandala” is circle, and circle mandalas are also one of the most commonly available forms of mandalas. Circles have very powerful significance in Hinduism and Buddhism.
Their emergence was first found in regions across the Himalaya and India, where people used the artistic expression of mandalas to form symbolic relationships between the universe and the spirit.”
What medium and tools do you use in mandala creation? What medium would you recommend for a beginning mandala artist? And is it sufficient for a beginner to learn from books and use his/her intuition?
“The tools I mostly use for my mandalas are pencil, protractor, compass ruler and a pen. A pen or pencil is a good medium for a beginner to start practicing. As they get comfortable and more confident with the flow, they can experiment with different mediums.
Everyone starts somewhere! There are so many books and coloring pages available that could be a great starting point for a beginner. Your intuition is the best voice to follow.”
What advice would you give for budding artists?
“Follow your intuition; there are patterns and inspirations all around us! Go with the flow, enjoy the process of creation and cherish the final result that comes together.
Always give credits to the original artist who’s work you have been inspired by.”
What are your thoughts about us (Stoned Santa)?
“Firstly, love the name!! Stoned Santa looks like a great initiative and platform for connecting artists and customers. Gifting is an art and Stoned Santa makes it easy for any customer. The best gifts are personalized, so it makes sense that a marketplace for custom artworks as gifts would do well!”
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