All posts filed under: Inspiration

Ideas, techniques, and prompts to inspire your mandala practice.

Do you have a muse?

All my life, friends, family and acquaintances have said, “You are so creative!” I feel like I can’t take credit for my creativity. The creative process may look like a solitary act on the outside, but it isn’t. I often feel like a creative conduit where the ideas flow through me. The best way to explain it is to share a story. Each month, I host an interactive online journal class. Participants get an envelope in the mail with a few items tucked inside to use during our time together. A new theme is explored where I work in one of the four elements, air, water, fire, or earth and I invite an animal ally to join us. The design of the envelope picks up on elements from the theme. Invariably these envelopes design themselves. Sounds a bit crazy, right? Read on as the story behind the latest workshop envelope may be evidence that the creative process is a co-creative act between the artist and something divine. For my next journal workshop, it was time …

Let’s Play in Our Journals

My journaling changed ten years ago when images and words from magazines added color, interest, and inspiration to the otherwise boring straight lined pages in my notebooks. What started out as play, turned into a way to create a vision for my life that inspired me to build a life and business that I love. That’s why I call them vision journals. What’s a Vision Journal? Think vision board meets journal. It’s a place to dream, brainstorm, and make plans. It’s where you gather inspiration and have sacred conversations with your soul. Vision boards are often created as a one time activity often at the beginning of the year. The vision journal is an ongoing process that keeps you connected to your vision. It supports you to go from dreaming to doing. In my interactive online workshops, I show you how to recycle a catalog and use magazine images and other ephemera to create your own unique vision journal. Journal Workshops These fun interactive online workshops include: Gorgeous Envelope. You get real mail! Tucked inside …

Gallery: Creating Mandalas for an Inspired Year at Kripalu

To inspire your mandala practice, I collected a selection of mandala art that was created during the “Creating Mandalas for an Inspired Year” program held on New Years Eve weekend at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, MA. I asked participants, “What would you tell someone about this program who is unfamiliar with creating mandalas?” The comments are found throughout this post in blue. Honoring 2017 Our weekend started with a meditation to help us make the transition from our busy lives to being fully present to this gift that we gave ourselves – a weekend of nourishing our body, mind, and soul. After a couple warm up exercises, students created a Seed of Life mandala and incorporated journal writing, symbols, and colors to represent the year that was coming to a close. Under the mandalas are words to name their year. “Kathryn Costa’s mandala program introduces you to a grounding practice that helps you tap into your creativity, inner wisdom, and spirit.” “If you enjoy the meditation and joy of coloring, this …

Solstice Mandala Calendar

21 artists from around the world submitted mandalas for this Community Mandala project. It is a count down calendar to the Solstice. Each day starting on December 1st and finishing on December 21st a different mandala is featured. When I was a child I loved my Advent Calendars that counted down to Christmas. Each day I would eagerly await to see what the next picture would be. There were some years when my brother and I would get those cardboard calendars with the little chocolates behind each window. My brother would invariably gobble up all of his chocolates by day three while I was patient and would enjoy the little treat each day. Inspired by this fun memory, I designed a countdown calendar only in this case we are counting down 21 days to the Solstice. This mandala project is about creating something beautiful as a community that will light up and inspire all who see it. As we create mandalas during this Solstice season, may we recognize the light within ourselves and the light …

Spreading My Wings

“You’re fired.” These were the words that were in my head as I was writing my letter of resignation. It’s a dream that so many have and here I was doing it – firing my employer! Nine years ago, I started blogging about my creative life. Collage, art journaling, mixed media, photography, Ikebana (Japanese flowering arranging) were some of the mediums that appeared over the years. More than the creative projects, it was connecting with people from all over the world that changed my life. Readers loved my art but loved even more my words and reflections on life. I found that when I was most vulnerable, others resonated and found comfort in my words. To my amazement, deep, meaningful connections were happening. I was a 40 year old single mother when I started blogging while working at a day job that barely paid the bills. It’s what I needed at the time. Being a single mom was scary and exhausting and this day job was easy. I needed easy. Those first blog posts were …

80 Mandala Pumpkins and Gourds

To inspire your muse this Halloween season, I rounded up 80 pumpkins and gourds embellished with mandalas. Halloween is a big deal here in the states so much so the National Retail Federation anticipates that Americans will spend 8.4 Billion dollars in 2016 on candy, costumes, and decorations. How will you be celebrating this holiday? Mehndi Mandala Pumpkins by henna artist Vineeta Rajani Tangled Pumpkin Lace Inspired Pumpkin Mandalas by Nicole Barton Black Mehndi Mandala Pumpkin by henna artist Vineeta Rajani White Mandala Pumpkins Paisley Mandala Pumpkins Carved Mandala Pumpkin Peruvian Gourd Mandala Mandala Gourd Purse Celtic Pumpkins Pumpkin Mandala Coloring Page For more inspiration check out my pumpkin and gourd mandala board on Pinterest. Want to get started drawing mandalas? Check out these links: Read my how-to guest post on the Cloth, Paper, Scissors blog. The Mandala Guidebook – Download the first chapter for free! How to Draw Mandala Videos

Blessings Jar

I was a single mother for many years. My son and I had a nightly routine that began with four familiar words, “It’s time for bed.” As soon as I would begin to utter this announcement, we’d race headlong to my bed. The first person to get there would exclaim, “Name three things that made you happy today.” We’d take turns recounting good things from our day but the last person to get there had to go first. Here’s what we discovered: We started looking for good things in our day. We knew we were going to report on it later in the day, so we collected good things to bring back home. We noticed patterns in our expressions of gratitude. Often they involved connecting with other people, accomplishing a goal, finishing a project, or learning something new. The blessings were not always big things, but were more often something really small like smiling and being kind to a store clerk and noticing how it would brighten their day or the smell of coffee and …

A Gratitude Mandala Exercise for Those Challenging Times

It is easy to count our blessings when everything is sunny and cheery, when the kids are behaving, and the bank account is flush. We need our gratitude practice the most during challenging times. In this exercise, think about an area in your life where you are struggling. Maybe you are having a difficult time at work or with a specific person? As you work on this mandala design, think of eight things you are grateful for about this challenging situation or person. When you are done, I guarantee you’ll feel a greater appreciation for the situation, and you’ll have had fun making this mandala. Bloom Where You Are Planted Step 1: To create this mandala, I drew two circles and divided the outer ring into eight equal segments using a protractor and ruler. (45 degree increments) Step 2: Fill each segment with doodled patterns using a black fine liner pen. Be sure to leave spaces for writing words and short phrases. Step 3: Fill the shapes using bright juicy colors. Color has a way …

80 Mandala Pumpkins and Gourds

To inspire your muse this Halloween season, I rounded up 80 pumpkins and gourds embellished with mandalas. Halloween is a big deal here in the states so much so the National Retail Federation anticipates that Americans will spend 8.4 Billion dollars in 2016 on candy, costumes, and decorations. How will you be celebrating this holiday? Mehndi Mandala Pumpkins by henna artist Vineeta Rajani Tangled Pumpkin Lace Inspired Pumpkin Mandalas by Nicole Barton Black Mehndi Mandala Pumpkin by henna artist Vineeta Rajani White Mandala Pumpkins Paisley Mandala Pumpkins Carved Mandala Pumpkin Peruvian Gourd Mandala Mandala Gourd Purse Celtic Pumpkins Pumpkin Mandala Coloring Page For more inspiration check out my pumpkin and gourd mandala board on Pinterest. Want to get started drawing mandalas? Check out these links: The Mandala Guidebook – Download the first chapter for free! How to Draw Mandala Videos Join the 100 Mandalas Community

Mandalafest Coloring Contest

Mandalafest 2016 Coloring Contest Gallery

Mandalafest 2016 was a hit! Three winners were randomly selected to win a copy of The Big Book of Mandalas Coloring Book and one of three art supplies: gel pens, brush markers, or electro-pop Sharpies in the coloring contest. Thank you to our prize sponsors: North Light Books, Art-n-fly, and Steve the “Coloring King” from the 100 Mandalas Community. An even bigger thank you to everyone who participated in the contests and activities throughout the weekend. What fun! ~ Kathryn Costa PS – Click on the images below to see them enlarged and to read the name of the artist.