In this “Meet the Artist” blog series we want to showcase some of the artists whose work is featured in our coloring book. The artist featured in this post is Tamara Elizabeth. When the folks at I Still Matter had the idea to create coloring book we knew we wanted it to be a collaborative effort so we reached out to both local and international artists. I Still Color: Creating Your Happy, features the artwork of 52 artists from 8 countries including Canada, Mexico and Japan!
Meet artist, Tamara Elizabeth. In 1999 Tamara’s journey as a Life Coach and Conflict Resolution Specialist, took her to the Middle East. She was involved in a harmony project for “The Women of Conflict” in Israel and Palestine. Moving to the Middle East introduced her the world of art, because it was there that she met an amazing Mandala artist and friend. She encouraged her to draw her first mandala.
With time and perseverance, she completed it…and hasn’t looked back. Immersed in her creating, she discovered the wonderful world of Zentangle®, a meditational method of art form of doodling (or Tangling) with repetitive patterns to form intricate tiles of art, as individual to each who creates one, as the budding artist within themselves. She incorporates this intricate drawing method within her mandalas, experimenting with colour, inks, paints and various art mediums.
Here is the beautiful mandala Tamara made for our coloring book.
Could you explain how you chose the artwork for your submission?
I Still Matter Mandala – is created with all the following images to represent:
Pearls of wisdom
Waves of peace
Sunbursts of Happiness
Cobble Stones to our Journey
Kaleidoscope of dreams
A weave of strength to bind us all as ONE
Do you have a personal story about living with mental illness that you feel comfortable sharing?
PSTD is very prevalent in the Middle East with a constant conflict being a way of life. I saw very disturbed and trouble children calm to a point of complete balance by practicing my method of art “doodling”. For myself, art was a way of survival. During conflict I lost myself in my work as a meditational healing to keep me balanced and whole. I watched children with ADHD who had been kicked out of school and sometimes home for their erratic behavior calmly sit for 2 and 3 hours at a time practicing their tangles. So for me art takes our emotional demons and gives them wings to fly thus freeing us to live and learn – to be free if only for the time we are at art.
What did it take for you to finally be able to get to a point where you felt comfortable saying “I am an artist”?
I grew up being told I would never be an artist because I couldn’t colour inside the lines. As I got older and faced the journey of life, I soon discovered that you are never able to colour inside the lines if you rise too the challenges of living outside of the box. So I just colour anyway and the art method of Zentangle helped me to explore art just as I am. Michael Angelo said that the statue was already inside the marble slab. He was just the portal from which to unveil the art piece within. I believe that I am an artist only as far as I am a portal from which the universe channels the art already meant to be created.
Thank you for being a part of our coloring book! We appreciate the work you do and love your artwork!