Life has its many shades and patterns. Nicky Kumar has made a career out of studying and shaping them. She has connected the healing properties of art - the making of it and the appreciating of it - into her full-time occupation. She can now share it with the world inside her new book Colouring With Intention.
As a professional artist, she spends hours a day, day after day, working with blends of colour and light but she also sinks her creative mind deep into the connections between graphic design and personal wellness. Her specialty is mandalas, the Hindu/Buddhist geometrically patterned images that represent universal diagrams.
Making, observing and colouring mandalas has a meditative quality. Kumar has done the initial part, the creation, and her book hands the next two parts to the interested public.
"I created the book because I have felt the positive power of mandalas and want to share that with as many people as possible," Kumar said. "This book is unique because each piece was created as a finished work of art. A lot of the pieces have very fine details and shading. So it's perfectly ok to purchase the book just to remove the pages and frame the art. But the amount of detailing adds a depth to the mandalas when coloured that you just don't get from traditional colouring books."
Kumar has refined her mandala skills over several years of work. She was on an exclusive contract to produce the images for an international company, and that established her talents through repetition and professional feedback. Once that contract concluded she re-signed but on a nonexclusive basis. She was therefore able to collect a selection of mandalas into a series for her debut book.
"I decided to self publish through Amazon which has been amazing," said Kumar, who now lives in Vancouver but Prince George is her hometown. "I'm in complete control of the concept and execution which I'm grateful for because I had a clear vision of how I wanted my colouring book to turn out. I hired one of my best friends Heather (Giese) from PG Web Designs to do the graphic design and layout of the book."
Part of the layout mission Kumar built into the book was audience flexibility. It is equal parts passive or active in its presentation.
"I want this book to be more than a colouring book," she said.
"I'd love to see people cutting the pages out and gifting mandalas to their friends. Each mandala has an 'intention' or 'mantra' stated on the back of the page. I have a lot of customers who purchase copies of mandalas to give to friends because their friend is going through a tough time or can relate somehow to the intention. This book gives you 25 of those mandalas that could potentially be gifted. The book is 8.5 x 11 inches and there is a dotted line on the back of each page to assist with where to cut the page out specifically for the idea of gifting or framing the mandalas.
"I want people to carve out time to really make their colouring experience special and meaningful. I suggest that people use the provided intention or choose an intention that is important to them and really allow that intention to ruminate in their mind as they colour."
She also teaches mandala seminars and does commission work. To follow her activities or to see a huge array of Kumar's work, she has an active Instagram page with more than 90,000 followers. She can be contacted there at @nickykumarart, her website is www.nickykumar.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colouring With Intention can be ordered via Amazon or contact your favourite local bookstore.