Repetition and Geometry

Repetition and Geometry

I know! What on earth am I doing writing a post about repetition and geometry a site theoretically about creativity? As you may know two of my ‘things’ for this site are to overcome the objection that ‘I can’t draw’ and another is that creating should be relaxing so your mind can quietly be freed to do what thinking it needs to do. Bizarrely repetition and geometry make both of these possible.

A lifetime ago when I complained to my mother that I couldn’t draw she produced a pair of compasses and helped me draw a circle with flower petals inside. I soon adapted the design many ways to create sub-petals and leaves. For quite some time the geometric flower design was my ‘brand’ for my pattern designing mini business.

When I started to research how to draw mandalas, the first site I found showed a very similar flower pattern, so was hooked. It also included concentric circles as well as outlining 6 ‘petals’ for the segments of the design. Now the process really had my attention! It quickly became clear that it didn’t really matter what shapes or forms you drew within the segments of the pattern, providing you committed to repeating them in the same space in the other segments around the circle.

The other surprise was that while maintaining the design across 6 or 8 segments requires a high level of diligence to create the repetition, the rows almost demand you ignore them! Drawing beyond the lines takes some guts when you’ve used technical, ‘mathy’, tools to draw them. I soon realized that it was creating forms that extended beyond the rigid structure that created the most interesting overall mandala designs. (Getting back to being creative and not being too structured!)

As with so many other things in life, mandalas needs to have a structure and rules in place. Having absolutely every option open is never the dream it seems to be. By creating rings and segments, you have to obey some rules (repetition), and deciding when to break the (geometry) rules is where the freedom actually lies. A mandala provides us with the needed structure to let our creativity fly, and to create intriguing patterns. You can see the results in my book, Creating Mandalas for Fun and Relaxation.

So repetition and geometry may not sound very appealing, but they can give a structure for great creativity!

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