Zsuzsanna Szász Mihálykó
Mandala Dot Artist
Zsuzsanna is a talented artist and writer from Transylvania, Romania. She published a book about mandala art that's available in Romania now and will be released to the United States soon.
First of all, tell me a little about your background and how you got started mandala dot painting?
Zsuzsanna: “I have no background in painting, in fact, I was convinced that I can’t draw or paint at all. It was a very sudden thing, not a gradual process. One day I just had this almost uncontrollable urge to paint. I put on my shoes and bought the first paints I found in the closest shop next to our place. Those were some awful quality acrylic paints intended for preschoolers, but I didn’t mind. Bought some paper too and got started. I painted everything with dots only, when I showed some of the pictures to my mother, she told me it was a thing called dotilism. So I looked it up online and found dot mandalas. I learned a lot through Kristen Uhrig’s videos and also by following the works of other amazing artists on Instagram.”
What is your creative process like?
Zsuzsanna: “It’s mostly spontaneous. I have an idea for a new design and I just sit down, get my art supplies and start painting. I like to finish in one sitting, but of course, it’s not always possible. Sometimes my daughter joins too, she loves to paint rocks with me. My only requirement for creating is music. I can’t paint if there’s no background music for some reason! “
What are your favorite art tools to work with when you’re creating beautiful mandala painted rocks?
Zsuzsanna: “When I first started, I had no idea dotting was a thing, so I used whatever I got my hands on toothpicks, pencils, just everyday objects that had the potential to make dots! I got some dotting tools later on, but I have to say, it’s just as easy to use whatever else, and the results are the same. I always tell my students on my workshops not to worry if they can’t afford a dotting tool set, or they can’t get one – just use what you can, don’t let it hold you back! “
What’s your art workspace setup like?
Zsuzsanna: “It’s under construction right now, but according to my plans, it will be a sanctuary of peace, a place where you can relax and create and let go of your everyday worries. Lots of colors, with a minimalistic setup of just a table, chair and shelves for the supplies and artwork and fresh flowers everywhere. “
What’s your best time-saving painting shortcut or hack?
Zsuzsanna: “If you want to have beautiful dots, you have to paint them on a dry surface. So I just paint my backgrounds in bulk, so I just have to paint the dots next time and I’m ready with lots of rocks in a short amount of time. “
What inspires your creativity?
Zsuzsanna: “The answer is simply nature. If you go out in nature, you’ll notice a mandala in everything. The sacred geometry is everywhere. The colors are amazing too. Nature will never fail to inspire me with its vast beauty and majesty. “
Besides mandala dot painting, are there other forms of art that you like to do?
Zsuzsanna: “I tried my hand at making things out of polymer clay and I’m hooked. I’m not quite good enough yet to be ready to show everyone, but I’m learning every day. We have lots of fun with my daughter in the meantime, making her favourite figures, toy food and things like that. “
How do you choose your color palette and design?
Zsuzsanna: “It depends on my mood, it’s quite spontaneous. It might sound crazy, but the colors call me. I just do it intuitively, really. The designs are never something I plan on in advance, except if I’m learning a new technique. If I paint I just let my imagination take me wherever it wants to and it usually works. “
Do you keep a sketchbook with your designs or is it more of a free-flowing art?
Zsuzsanna: “I don’t keep a sketchbook if I have a specific idea, I write it down but also paint it as soon as I can and for me, painting means an unrestricted creative flow, I just do what feels and seems right at the moment, and make corrections later if necessary. “
Can you give beginner rock painters some advice on how to create mandala dot art on rocks?
Zsuzsanna: “My advice would be that don’t be afraid of your creativity! You have so much in you, don’t let self-doubt creep in. So what if it’s not perfect at first or at the tenth time? It will be at the 100th! Just keep at it. Rock painting is great for everyone because it can give you so much sense of pride and accomplishment while being a relaxing activity you can do alone or with friends, family…The possibilities are endless and you don’t have to worry about what gifts to give either! It’s cheap, you don’t have to buy hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of supplies and gives you so much joy!”
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers & fans?
Zsuzsanna: “I’m working on a really exciting project, a book! This book will be one of a kind, it will contain 20 spiritual tales and 20 mandala designs to color. The idea came to me when I was painting one day and unlike I always do, I listened to Mooji and not music. Mooji told a spiritual tale and I just had to stop the video and paint in silence for some time to process the story’s meaning. Then I tried it and the two things just compliment each other so perfectly, you read a story and then color a mandala, while reflecting and thinking about it, letting your thoughts take you far far away. It’s therapeutic really. and I hope it will give people as much joy as it gave me while writing it!”