Published: 09th October 2019
Life in a mandala: How Sangeeta Prayaga got her circular groove back
Sangeeta Prayaga who makes beautiful mandalas and posts them on her Instagram handle has over 6,000 followers
Many times, sadness or loneliness can take a toll on a person to the extent that it starts affecting their studies or work. Sangeeta Prayaga believes that the best way to beat stress is to create mandala artwork. She and mandalas go way back. When she was pursuing her Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Maryland in the US, she felt rather lonely in a foreign land and that’s when her friend suggested doing mandala designs to drive away her blues. And it worked; ever since then, Sangeeta has been exploring more of her creative side.
The part-time artist, who is currently working as a UI/UX designer at a Bengaluru-based start-up, says, "After I returned to India, I had stopped doing mandalas for some time. Recently, I took it up again and began doodling them on paper. But when my friends saw my work on my Instagram page, they asked me if I can do the same on the walls at their homes. I agreed and now two huge mandalas adorn their walls. While drawing on the walls, I use pencils and Faber Castell Brush Pens to fill in colours inside the mandalas. It makes it much easier to draw fill colours in each individual design."
Mandalas own the world map: Mandalas are believed to have originated during the period of Gautam Buddha
Sangeeta is of the opinion that good quality pencils or pens, 500 GSM brustro sheets, a protractor, ruler and markers are enough to make magnificent mandalas. She has created more than 50 mandala works so far, out of which the one that represents a happy classical dancer set against a huge mandala design on the background is her favourite. Another one of her favourites includes the world map with different designs of mandalas engraved inside. Sangeeta has also done an experiment by drawing mandala designs on a turtle and a dragonfly. These two works are also one among her favourites.
Recently, she created an artwork which is based on the concept of ‘left brain versus right brain’. While the right part of the mandala is filled with different colours, the left side is only black and white. Explaining about this work, Sangeeta says, "The right side indicates the creative part of the brain which deals with creative pursuits like dance, art, writing etc while the left side is dedicated to logic, and that's why it is black and white respectively."
What's on your brain: The left side of the brain is the logic centre and the right side is responsible for creativity
Apart from drawing mandalas, Sangeeta has also created a cartoon character, a cute baby elephant she called Ganpat Rao. When she was in the US, she would watch a lot of animated movies to pass time. Watching elephants in these movies always made her happy. This is what led her to create an Indian cartoon character called Ganpat Rao. Gradually, she created Ganpat’s female counterpart, Gaja Lakshmi. "Earlier, I used to draw Ganpat Rao and Gaja Lakshmi on white paper. Now, I draw them on iPad using design software. Many people liked both Ganpat Rao and Gaja Lakshmi on social media. Now, I am waiting for the right opportunity to get them published in a book. Every cartoon that I draw also has one or the other message written on it. These are motivational messages for my followers on Instagram," she adds.