Mandala Madness

I am obsessed with mandalas. It started with a Dover coloring book, but I quickly discovered that I could get a more striking mandala if I scanned those in and colored them in Photoshop. That quickly turned into a lesson plan for my kids; they loved the assignment so much that I took it step further and introduced them to the vector version in Illustrator. Suddenly, my students were more fluent in Illustrator than many of the graphic designers I used to work with. It was a success!

But then I returned to my artsy roots and decided to build them from scratch the old-school way with paper and pencil, which of course escalated into a new addiction to Copic markers (much to my husband’s dismay). I spent hours tangling designs, in and out, laying out elaborate color schemes and artistic themes (I have to say, my Jack Skellington mandala is a masterpiece!)

So that left the final frontier. How hard can it be to create them from scratch digitally? I would think it would be pretty easy with Illustrator’s Rotate function.

Turns out, I was right. So if you want to give it a try, watch the video below.  If you’re interested in making your own the old-school way, I highly recommend Zen Doodling Mandalas. Two of my handmade designs below are straight from the book; it’s a great resource.

You can work mandalas into all kinds of lessons; the cross-curricular possibilities are endless. Math, science, social studies, art, and computer tech are all covered; just choose your “angle.”

LOL. See what I did there? Geek humor.

Namaste, friends.

How to make a Mandala using the Rotate Tool in CS6 (works with CC, too!)


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