I’m Mansi (phonetic spelling: Maan-see), a creative coach drawing inspiration from my daily living. I have been described as a soulful, emotional, intuitive and thoughtful artist who combines poetry, journaling, and color play into mixed media pieces.
As a kid, I’d spend hours transforming photographs into watercolor paintings, losing myself in another world. There were no expectations, no parameters, no pressure. It was just me, my paintbrushes and my tubes of color.
Circuitous Path to Art
My poetry, however, garnered more attention from magazine editors and publishers. When it came time to choose a career path, writing trumped art — I distinctly remember being told by the interview committee at a prestigious art institute in India that I’d be better off pursuing writing, since I was “clearly not an artist.“
That set my career trajectory in motion and I went to The University of Iowa for my master’s in journalism. A 15-year stint working as a communications professional for various higher ed and non-profit organizations ended when I embraced motherhood.
I was smitten by my latest creation but it was also a time of deep despair and loneliness as my daughter had severe allergies that required her to stay in a safe cocoon. With no playdates or park visits, no social interactions or local support groups, I felt myself falling into an abyss. I questioned everything, from life decisions to my self-worth. I contemplated suicide. I had birthed a broken child and I didn’t know what to do.
But as I spent more time with a drooling, teething baby, I started seeing the world through her perspective. Art came easy to a toddler who didn’t know anything about color theory or the rule of thirds. Scribbles turned into stories, thumbprints became art marks and messy fingers bore testimony to days filled with creative explorations.
Art made her smile. Art gave me an oasis — an escape from my reality, a safe space to explore, express and exhale.
It prompted me to explore a different approach to art — one that relied heavily on intuition and combined words with visual imagery. Motherhood has been, and always will be, a priority for me, but in the midst of raising a human being, art helped me find my self.
I was hesitant to pick up the paintbrush because the interviewers’ voice from two decades ago still rang loudly in my head: “you’re clearly not an artist.”
So, I took to fluid acrylic pours (which were the trendy new thing back in 2014). For someone who had never done abstracts, it opened up a whole new world!
I had zero expectations from myself, no professional reviews to worry about, no skills to master. I could just be.
Within two months of pouring paints on canvases, I started getting orders from friends and former colleagues. A new path had emerged and I found myself walking down it boldly, working from a little corner of our family room.
MansiMakes was born and my paintings found their way in local gift stores, cafés, restaurants and our local library. I picked up my paintbrushes again in 2020 and haven’t looked back.
In the last six years, my art has been exhibited at the Los Altos Library, Rick’s Cafe, Urfa Bistro, Red Berry Coffee Bar, Red Rock Coffee, Hillview Community Center, and the Lexus Showroom among others.
Art as an Extension of the Self
Today, I create art, for myself, my soul and my heart. Some people are drawn to my work and want to learn how to tune inwards, not just create art for media consumption.
I welcome them with open arms. I firmly believe that art heals…it is a safe sanctuary that can help you discover and re-discover your self. It is a tool that can introduce a pause into your life.
As much as I love creating with authenticity, I love sharing my knowledge and being by your side as you reconnect with your carefree inner child, listen to your intuitions and learning how you, too, can just be.
Whether I’m teaching an online course or an in-person class, my goal is to encourage free-spirited creations.
As I cultivate a community of confident creatives locally and around the world through my classes, I am helping my students feel the rush that comes from experimenting, getting messy, and creating with their hearts, rather than their minds. It’s a form of self-care that is often ignored.
If you are interested in my favorite tools, supplies or local/online classes, please visit this page.
Thank you for joining me on this adventure as I experiment, learn and continue creating with my heart first, hands second.