Mandala lovers: I think I have the Holy Grail for you! Lize Beekman, a South African singer-songwriter of Afrikaans music, has developed a high quality meditative colouring book which brought her much needed peace in her darkest times. When music just couldn't cut it she put her pen to paper and created these stunning mandalas, losing track of time as the creative process healed her from the outside in, hoping it would do the same for the colourist.
Each hand-drawn mandala has an complex lacy quality, reminiscent of delicate doilies and fragile paper cutting templates. I do enjoy colouring mandalas from time to time, but usually they have to have a theme for me to be interested in spending a lot of time on them. Lize's work immediately drew me in, despite being that series of repeating patterns I don't usually get on with. Have a look at them here:
This book may only have 10 images inside, but boy do they pack a punch! The size of them for a start- 24.5cm in diameter each! Not only that, but they are printed on opulently thick 200gsm paper, which I'd classify as card. The book has a firm cardboard backing, meaning you don't need anything else to lean on whilst colouring and gives it a sturdy feel. The pages flip up from the bottom, so you can tuck the cover behind and not have it flapping back at you like some conventionally opening books do! This also makes them super easy to remove and frame, which they are unequivocally worthy of.
The mandalas are so beautifully detailed, giving you hours of colouring time but without ridiculously small spaces that make your eyes cross. At the bottom of each one there is a caption where you can add your name as the colourist, alongside Lize's name as the illustrator.
Lize's books have been piloted in maternity wards in South Africa to calm expectant mothers in labour, and have been fantastically received. It not only relaxes the Mum, but gives the parents a nice keepsake of the birth. Check out this interview explaining the process (most of Lize's interview is in Afrikaans but the first half is in English).
The price is something to think about if you usually spend less than £10 on a book like me. The price is a little over £15, with around £13 postage from SA. So it is quite a bit more than I would normally pay, but if you're serious about mandalas and want something of extremely high quality to spend time on and display, this is for you. I think of it as a portfolio of artwork rather than a book.
Here's my mandala that took me 3 evenings and a bit of pottering in the days to complete! I used Faber Castell pencils, Sakura Gelly Roll pens, a white blending pencil and metallic gel pens. I used the clear Gelly Roll pen to add an embossed texture to the coins, seen in the second picture.
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. You can purchase your copy on Lize's Etsy page.