Meet the Makers – Mandala Arts
Tell us about yourself?
I am a mixed media artist, who is obsessed with colour. For many years I owned and operated Mandala Art Centre in North East Calgary, where I taught people of all ages and abilities to find their creative soul. I loved teaching kids and adults to trust the process of creating while providing them with support along the way. As a trained Art Therapist, I know the absolute benefits of creating art. Art has always been my favourite way to unwind and to relax, but I didn’t know that it would save me. After losing my art centre due to the downturn of the economy, heartbroken and not knowing which way to turn, I returned to my first love and focused on creating my own art to heal my soul.
What do you make and create?
I love painting and creating. I make multi layered artworks using a bunch of mixed media including but not limited to watercolours, acrylic paints, inks, and stamps. The fluidity of watercolours and mark making allows me to lose control and to let the mediums create. Acrylics then let me be the control freak I really am. It’s a beautiful blending with a give and take – creating one of a kind layers. I am also a huge fan of silhouettes and use them regularly in my work. I like how the silhouette allows the art to tell the story about the artwork’s subject.
What makes them uniquely handmade?
Each piece is handcrafted by me in my home studio. Each piece takes on its own life and I really don’t know what it will be until I see it. By creating on the entire canvas and by making layers, nothing becomes too precious and so many amazing patterns and imagery emerge. Each piece is one of a kind and even if I try to replicate it, they are never truly the same.
When did you first get started in the handmade world?
I’ve been an artist for most of my life. My mom was a stained glass artist when I was growing up, so I was always making something. I also love sewing and creating my own patterns.
What made you or how did you get started in the handmade world?
Growing up in Ontario, I was always doing something crafty. When I went to university, I was going to go into fashion design at Ryerson. During this time, I joined an artist cooperative and sold glass mosaic items. Since then, Ive always been creating and making art.
What or who inspires you or your business (creations)?
I have several family members who are very artisitic – my mother for one. But I also had a very creative Grandmother and Aunt who really encouraged me to keep making art. They have both passed on, but I feel them when I am creating and especially when I owned my art centre. I felt them there all of the time.
What are your hope and dreams for the future of your business?
I hope that I can keep making art every day. That to me is something to truly aspire to. If people like my art – even better! I would love to do this full time. I also have an incredible husband who has really helped me and been incredibly supportive on my journey.
Do you have a “motto” or “mantra” that helps you get through days when things aren’t going quite right?
“Keep breathing” is something I regularly say to myself. When I am stressed its like I forget how to breathe. Seems silly but the mantra really helps.
What is one fun fact about you or your business?
My dog LuLu sits in her little bed beside me when I create. When she is tired of me working she will jump up and bark at me to pay attention to her. She’s pretty hilarious.
Where can we find your handmade products? Online or In-Store
I do a lot of custom orders, where people can email me or contact me via my social media platforms. I also have an Etsy shop that I have recently opened. I am also going to be in several shows over the next few months. Typically I will post where I will be on my facebook.
Share your social media links.