A Perfect Circle
By Charelle Evelyn on March 10 2016
The intricacies of Nicky Kumar’s work would suggest a meticulous level of planning and foresight before putting pen to paper.
But the mandala artist said she doesn’t know what the finished product will look like when she starts.
“I just put the pen down and begin,” Kumar said. “My mood and mental state shape the mandala.”
Kumar found herself drawn to the centuries-old art form heavy with symbolism for the Hindu and Buddhist religions, finding the circular, geometric drawings soothing at a time in her life when she needed emotional and physical relief.
What began as a personal outlet has turned into a commercial enterprise. After taking the leap and posting her work on social media Kumar now has a steady stream of commissions, print sales and even representation by an agent handling commercial art licensing.
Kumar spoke to The Scene about her mandala journey.
The Scene: How did you get your start in art?
Nicky Kumar: I have enjoyed creating art since I was a little girl. It was something that always came naturally to me but I didn’t think I was very good at it. I just knew I enjoyed it. I thought of it as a hobby and nothing more. … My mom, who passed away four years ago, thought I should choose a career in art. I thought she was crazy. I didn’t have the confidence in my talent and thought it would be impossible to earn a living making art.
TS: You left a career in vehicle sales and became more focused on art. What prompted that change?
NK: I enjoyed it for the most part but always felt I was trying to be something I’m not. This summer, I burnt out physically and mentally and had to take time off work. I was too stressed, and it manifested in a very painful physical way as bile gastritis, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and really painful esophageal spasms.
TS: How did you discover mandalas?
NK: As part of that healing process I started colouring in adult colouring books because I heard that they are good for relieving stress. The colouring book I was drawn to was a mandala colouring book. Within days, I began drawing my own mandalas. I began gaining patience that I didn’t have before. I inhabited a sense of calm. There is something about mandalas – they really are a magical thing. The more I researched mandalas the more I fell in love.
TS: How else did they help you?
NK: I liked being a manager and leading a team but part of that is negative – telling people they haven’t done a good job or didn’t meet their targets. That’s just not me. I don’t like making people feel bad. Mandalas help to bring spirituality, calmness, and tranquility to people’s lives. I think my mom was right. I’m here to share my art and help make a positive impact in people’s lives.
REPORTER FOR THE PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN
Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.