Elle’s Mandala

I have always envision my life as a painting – each event in my life is a artistic ray stemming out of my center of being. Each event shapes my entire being and my entire being is the sum of so many different elements – like mandala art!

A mandala is a representation of the universe – it begins with a circle and extends outward with different patterns and designs in an infinite numbers of way. This is why I fell in love with mandala art – its originality and never-ending possibilities allows me to create different artwork that represents my universe at any given time.

I create my mandala artwork on my mobile phone using the Autodesk Sketchbook app and a stylus. I doodle. I rearrange. I remove. I release all of my everything into the little digital canvas and when I’m nearly satisfied, I transfer the result into Adobe Illustration and tweak it some more.

I try my best not to go insanely detailed at this stage to allow me (and other participating artists) creative freedom when I start the painting process. Also, since I engrave the graphic, smaller details tend to blur or disappear into ashes when I transfer the digital design onto a wooden canvas.

I rarely begin painting from the center circle of my mandala – I tend to choose plainer offshoots where I can add more details with a black fine tip marker. I water down my acrylic paint color to a pale pastel and add on more layers to create an almost watercolor effect –  a blurry representation of my feelings and memories. Then I mark up the design with little repetitive lines and curls to unite the colors and pull the body of the element back to the center circle.

Unlike other artwork I have done, I find myself coming back to indulge in my mandala art. I use them to relax, to dream, or to reflect.

Have you had a chance to indulge in mandala art yet? We have workshops! Check out:  Arts Workshops


Fashion In Progress – WCFW 2018

We are so very excited to announce that we are working on a piece that will grace the runway of Western Canada Fashion Week! It’s all hush, hush at the moment, but we are working with a Calgary designer team to create a beautiful and edgy fashion garment for the upcoming Autumn season.

Elle will be drafting the pattern, while Ames will work on pulling the pieces together into a spectacular ready-to-wear women’s outfit.

Stay tuned for more updates and follow us on Instagram to see our work in progress!

News Projects

Vul-Con Win for Betsuni!

Every year at Vul-Con (a Star Trek convention in Vulcan, Alberta), there is always something that surprises me and keeps me coming back – usually it is the people, but sometimes it’s just the pull of the little town feeling. Vulcan is  just outside Calgary and has a rich history dating back further than the Star Trek fanfare it is known for today.

So, after coming to the event for the last four years, I decided that it is probably time that I get into uniform – despite my sci-fi geekdom, I haven’t truly gotten into the spirit of this convention just yet but became inspired to cosplay when I came across a Starfleet jacket design on Pinterest (Original Artwork by GaugeX). This was the piece that called to me.  Sleek in design and subtle enough to be a jacket that I could wear even outside of my cosplay world. I just knew we had to make it.

It was a long process because we had to design this jacket from scratch. First, I drew it out in a sketch book to determine the pieces we would need – that part was the easiest.

Drafting wasn’t too hard either since we use the power of technology to speed our process. The problem was we have never made a jacket like this before, so we ran into a few hiccups with the measurements.  We crafted two draft patterns before starting on on the jacket itself.

If I had to speak out about one thing that I had to really focus on, it was sleeves.  Sleeve curves are one of the most difficult things that I have ever dealt with in sewing so far.  Though by the end of this, I think I got the hang of it.  Learning through deadlines really burns it into the brain.

May Anne featured on the Left in her vest and myself featured in the center

So, during the drafting and design process, I put my feelers out to see if any other club members were interested in having a costume piece made for Vul-con.

Almost immediately one of our members, May Anne reached out to us.  She commissioned us to have a vest made that resembled the vests from the Deep Space Nine series.  Suffice to say, the U.S.S. King Edward NCC-74206 was certainly looked sharp at the event this year.

Early Saturday morning, our crew met up for breakfast in our hotel. Outside, as we were eating, the local chapter of the Klingon Assault Group was swarming over and claiming the park, so my crew went to see what was happening.  As we walked up, we noticed a cluster of costumers ready for the costume contest. My crew gave me the gentle nudge I needed to step forward and represent my team.

betsuni - Star Trek Jacket by Ames Hagon
Project Lead: Ames Hagon

The costume contest judges approached and questioned each of the contestants and upon learning about the process of which Betsuni uses to cut our clothing patterns (ie. laser technology), it was clear that my design had a bit more of an edge.

I won second place in the contest
out of about thirty contestants.


Dilliam Ben Knauert, First place winning costume

First place winner of the Costume contest was Borg Fashonista, Dilliam Ben Knauert , a cosplayer who has been making costumes for himself for three years now.

Craftsmith Cosplay
Cindy Burkholder (Featured center right) and Clay DeBeurs (featured left second back)
Third place was shared between the loving couple, Cindy Burkholder and Clay DeBeurs – also members of the Klingon Assault Group and who have been cosplayers for as long as I’ve known them.

Vulcan is a place that I like to call a home away from home.  Great people, great food, and wonderful memories.  I can’t wait for next year.

Read More: Vul-Con Attracts An International Crowd – HighRiverOnline