Updated: Jun 20, 2020
Today is the Summer Solstice!. Also known as estival Solstice or midsummer, occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere (Northern and Southern). For that hemisphere, the summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight.
International Yoga Day, a sacred day in Stonehenge in England and many places around the world and in general the prevailing of light against the darkness…
It is also the BIRTHDAY of my career!..yes, that is the story i want to share with you today, the story of the 21st of June 2013…
So seven years ago, i was driving to work, and i heard on the radio about the Summer Solstice and all about that this is the biggest day of the year, and this is an eternal circle of the Earth from the 21st of December to the 21st of June.. every year… since like, forever!.. so because the studio during summer months is kinda slow, i had time to draw that day, and i made one of my first complete mandala designs and with a lot of ignorance, i upload it on Instagram and announce that i will commit of creating one each day for the entire Solstice!
Oh i was so unaware of how much work this will be for the next six months, i haven’t even count the days/designs that i will have to deliver!.. it was 184 days, and these days changed my life..
Because first, i did it, i stick to my promise, and i finished it. So it created a sense of completion and an overall boost in my psychology
It was the time before iPad Pro, all the designs are handmade!.. To find time to make them everyday, i started waking up at 5 am and spent 3-4 hours drawing before going to the shop. A morning habit that sticks to my everyday routine till today! (i am writing these words, and it is 6:30 am !)
After the first 20 days, i hit a wall: i realized i had 164 days left, and i was already feeling that i was doing very similar designs every day.. That was the day that i started looking for references in nature photography, religion books, skulls, etc. And that was the most important outcome from this book project: it gave me my identity in mandala designing, straight out of the daily repetition and the need of new ideas… ( so much productivity and self-improvement theories that i apply without even knowing!.. i will analyze them in future newsletters!)
After the first week, the project became viral, and in the end, i had gained more than 50.000 followers, and i had established my self as a mandala specialist in the tattoo world.
With Helen and Harry’s help, (graphic designers and old friends from London) we created a beautiful book that went sold out in the first six months!.. Tons of limited prints, magazine interviews, even special events in conventions to sign the book!
Fast forward to today, i still design mandalas daily, because the most important lesson from the Solstice Mandala book is that only repetition and everyday improvement can bring results.there is no talent and no “god-given” gifts.. it is just hard work… another topic that i will expand more in the future!
Enjoy the photos below, taken from those early days of social media
(🤦🏻♂️ those insta filters!)