Helia is one of our newest Makers, located in western Canada. She is an artist, with a passion for creating beautiful mandalas. For those of you that don’t know, mandalas are a geometric symbol and are often associated with spiritual guidance. Found within Buddhist and Hindu circles, Mandalas can be used to establish a sacred space and as a visual aid for meditation.
Helia found her passion for mandala art at the age of fifteen when her auntie registered her into an introductory workshop. From there, she began practicing and drawing pieces by hand, beginning with simple patterns, and later creating very intrinsic pieces.
Helia is originally from a small village in the Côte D’azur southeast side of France, called St. Paul de Vence. As a child, she attended an alternative education elementary school which incorporates more open learning into the education system, allowing children to have the freedom to follow a variety of different interests. This type of school system focuses on showing children the outdoors, experiences within other communities, and provides children with the freedom to follow creative pursuits.
Helia spent her childhood drawing abstract pieces and curiously delving into the arts. Before going to high school (age 16-18), children in France must choose a field of focus during their college years (age 12-15). With the support of her family, Helia decided to apply for the field of art and design during these years. Realizing her growing passion for the arts, she prepared for entrance into fine arts school after finishing high school. Successfully gaining entrance, Helia had the opportunity to study textile design for two years. She studied hard and learned a variety of new skills within this artistic field. After this time focusing solely on education, she was feeling drawn to the idea of travel and new experiences. After two years, Helia decided that she wanted to keep art as a passion rather than pushing it to be work. So, she began travelling and gave herself time to explore and connect with herself.
Helia couldn’t shake the feeling to travel and booked decided to book a flight to Hawaii. She began travelling three years ago, first living in Maui before making her way to Canada. Living with a relative in Maui gave her a unique perspective to a new country as a local which allowed her to slow down and fully embrace life and new experiences. She loved living under the sun in Hawaii but eventually wanted to continue her travels and experience a new country.
After holidaying with her uncle in Big White, she fell in love with British Columbia and knew she wanted to spend some time living in a ski resort town. When she came to Canada almost two years ago, she decided to live in Whistler. She was drawn to Whistler for the beautiful natural landscape, welcoming community, and endless year-round activities. She spends her winters skiing in the snowy mountains and summers by the lake, hiking, camping, and sitting around campfires with friends. She is inspired by her life in the mountains and was able to rekindle her passion for the arts. She began drawing mandalas as a hobby and is now taking her art to new levels.
During the Covid lockdown last year, Helia began focusing on drawing every single day. She found the best way for her to deal with this time alone was through art, focusing on creating beautifully intrinsic mandala pieces. Becoming more and more passionate about creating art, she realized she wanted to do something more with her artistic side. Although it is a hobby, she hopes to also have this as a small business pursuit, sharing her art with the world.
Helia began an Instagram account, where she is able to scan photos of her hard-drawn pieces to share them on her page. She hopes to also begin an Etsy store in the near future where she can sell her pieces. Her mandalas make great framed art pieces, but she hopes to also have cards available and perhaps printed onto textiles as well!
Recently, Helia had the opportunity to partner with a local company in Whistler that printed her art onto skis! A creative way to get her work out there while holding up to her hobby and lifestyle in Whistler! These limited-edition skis were released in October and will be available all winter.
If you want to see more of Helias work, check out her Instagram here!