Designed in January completed in February 2020, Ik Onkaar followed on from Emblems where my Hamsa was designed to provide the protection for the year, and Ik Onkaar is there for the blessings. (And I also promised I would design a second version too!)
So it was quite different from version 1 naturally, which originally was designed for my sister's wedding invite (and looked incredible printed - Pantone Gold onto a 300gsm silk coated white stock - print lovers, appreciate this moment with me!) so version 2 was always going to be pending.
Version 2 for me was significant for it resembled blessings, enlightenment, progression - a number of things which when I write them out, probably don't initially make sense, but let me take you on a thought trail.
So completed in February 2020, I was actually the happiest I had been for so long again (2019 ended quite weird and topsy turvy to be honest because of a few personal matters), but around end of January/beginning of Feb, I was so happy. I reconnected on a deeper level with my soul mate and we decided to make each other part of one another's lives again as partners, work was hectic but I was job hunting and interviewing at the time which made it bearable and to be honest, theoretically there was nothing wrong (other than ongoing matters personally still which played a part). It was the year that my mum decided we were going to play our prayers daily 24/7 and well, to be honest on reflection - it was the most accurate year to do it too given how 2020 turned out. But in myself I was feeling complete again, feeling whole and turning towards growing myself spiritually again = enlightenment reference.
I always promised I'd do a version 2 and those who follow me on social will remember this from when I released version 1 that one day I'll go back and make another - this was it. And this for me marked the progression element. Because weirdly enough, the first Ik Onkaar Mandala I ever released is still to this day a bestseller, particularly the black version on my redbubble (can shop here), but I felt it lacked detail. The gold in it is what made it shine through and feel complete, but that one was the very beginning of my mandala artistic journey, v2 marked me when I'm a little more established, working with more and more detail, and again, it had to be with a lotus (again, more enlightenment).
We've already worked out I only do lotuses when it's a change process or a new chapter in that spiritual journey of some form, but for this piece it felt needed. I felt it symbolised our (referencing as a Sikh) path to enlightenment in a religious form - now this for me is slightly different because I have mixed views with religion and most know this, but for personal reasons, experiences and also consideration to everyone else I choose not to share these views - with the lotus being placed at the bottom and the Ik Onkaar placed above - white lotuses symbolise enlightenment, representation of the highest form and achieving nirvana where for Sikhs, this would be meeting divinity - souls merging with God and achieving eternal bliss. For a lot of Indian religions/cultures/theories (I honestly cannot think of the right word for this so take 3), it's common to believe that a soul goes through multiple life cycles - life and death continuously over and over in variations, either as all humans or starting out from the smallest animal working your way up to human form (which with some viewpoints, is believed to be the highest form before nirvana) - my small input onto this, it reflect what a Sikh's kara represents (which mainly represents that God has no beginning or end, God is timeless and without form) - the circle of life, the fact it's never-ending - a soul cycle will be continuous in different life forms.
It was a piece that when I completed, I felt peaceful and happy. It wasn't the peaceful extent I had with Synergy or Reborn - my 2 meditative mandala pieces - but peaceful how I feel whenever I visit the Gudwara and sit there in my own thoughts. It felt simple, but effective, strong enough in it's own sense that even the outer ring of the mandala felt like it reflected sun rays to combine with the perception we always see within our artwork of halos or sunshines resembling brightness and that 'white light' concept marking God's presence.
There's no story behind my name, because it felt wrong to name it anything other than what it is - Ik Onkaar - and what it symbolises. All I can keep tagging on is version numbers so alongside every other journey and form of progression I share with the world, adding this piece to my collection is another way to reflect back on my own spirituality and journey that's taken and hope that these Sikhi pieces help others achieve their own path too with the light, guidance and blessings of Waheguruji, however that path forms.
For those who wish to, you can purchase Ik Onkaar V2 here.
Thank you for reading & keep your eyes peeled for future piece meanings being shared across the blog and also socials. Feel free to share your thoughts, comments and even your own interpretations in the comments below or if you wish to let me know privately - I'm always social on emails and my social media channels.
One love - Simmy. x