It all starts with a dot

...and ends with one.

It all starts with a dot
Zine by @dare_artwear

Recently I came across the "It all starts with a dot" zine by @dare_artwear. It highlighted the importance of the dot in the traditional art form of the kolam. The zine held a beautiful series of messages and inspirations with an invitation all around this traditional art form.

I was fascinated to learn about how a series of dots form the basis of the most beautiful and intricate of patterns of the kolams, a tradition of drawing patterns with rice powder in front of home entrances, long upheld in households across South India.

Kolam by Saraswathy

Some of the creators of kolams begin with a pattern in mind and others find their flow through the process. In all of the cases, the key was to start with a grid of dots and then bring together the design. I could not help, but draw a parallel to the art of writing.

A dot, the simplest and most fundamental element, is a great starting point (pun intended). Faced with a blank page, the dot represents a new beginning. Anyone can start with a dot. Once we place our pen on the paper, that single stroke marks progress.

The dot calls to the artist, the writer, the thinker to embark on a journey of discovery, to venture into the unknown realms of imagination. With the placement of that first dot, no longer is the page a void, no longer is it daunting or scary but rather we are invited to explore further.

The key is to start somewhere and let the journey of discovery lead us where we need to go. The dot expands to a letter, a letter to a word, a word to a sentence, a sentence to a paragraph and soon we find ourselves weaving a story together.

This very idea echoes in the words of Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian painter, who once said "Everything starts with a dot." The dot, as he suggests, serves as the foundational starting point for all painting, symbolizing the beginning of artistic creation.

படத்தைப் பற்றிய குறிப்பு இல்லை.
Wassily Kandinsky: Circles in a Circle

Expanding on that idea, Kathryn Vercillo had framed it perfectly: "Once a dot has been made, the painting has commenced. Additional dots can be added or the original dot can be expanded to create various forms and shapes. It all begins with that dot and the possibilities for where you take it from there are endless."

From that initial mark, whether on canvas or page, artists and writers alike can embark on journeys of exploration, expression, and discovery, all beginning with a single stroke, a dot.

A special thanks to Dare for allowing me to use their art work and inspiring me to learn more about the practice of kolam. Check them out on instagram: @dare_artwear.

To be continued with further explorations...