Meet the Maker


Hello there, I’m Zarah, the creative alter-ego behind Z-Dot Designs. I am a self-taught, dot mandala artist, pattern designer, colour enthusiast, and a laugh out loud, gentle hearted quiet warrior just trying to navigate my way through this adventure called ‘life’. Thank you for popping in and welcome to my little corner of the ‘inter-world’. I have a few battle scars from my worldly spirit walk, so my humor is a little warped at times – please don’t let it scare you.

I am the very definition of left brain – right brain. My everyday, working for the man, adult responsibilities, pay check living, world is filled with numbers, measurements, conversions, time zones, exchange rates and problem solving. At the end of the day, my mind is literally racing. Dotting and mandalas are a way for me to shut that all down and let the creative side of my brain take over and shut down drown out all of that noise.

Art and creativity weren’t really things that were encouraged in myself or my siblings to excel in growing up. Not for any reason in particular, I just don’t think it occurred to our parents to do so. It was just another subject that we all had to participate in at school. Being a total and complete history nerd, Art history lessons were a favourite. It is interesting that we have all grown up to successfully follow our artistic endeavours, art is a part of all our lives in some form.

I never really had any particular artistic style, but I was always pulled to symmetry, repetitiveness and patterning. When I found my art journals from years and years ago, I realised that I was drawing mandalas (without realising at the time that they had a name). I found serenity in the repetitive process of circle upon circle and designs in and around those circles.

Then in 2005, my Auto Immune condition kicked in. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis which affected both of my hands to the point that I could no longer hold a pencil for any length of time. I needed to find another creative outlet. In 2017 I stumbled across Elsbeth Mclean’s beautiful mandala stones (I’ve actually been trying to buy one for years now! Every month, I just miss out – LOLOL).

I pulled out some cheap, gloopy, gluggy paints, found an old set of drill bits to use as tools and started dotting.

And the result…..ABYSMAL hahahaha

But I kept going. Practicing, improving, using better paints, using better tools and practicing some more. While I would get frustrated with my results, I found the whole process of dip, dot, dip, dot, dip, dot, so relaxing, and it  didn’t hurt my hands! With no downward pressure needed, I had found something that would get me creating again.

Henri Matisse said “Creative people are curios, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play” This is one of my most favourite quotes and it is how I like to live my life. I have always felt swept away by people and places, immersed myself in cultures and travel, embracing the world as a place to explore – and then write about, sing about, photograph or capture in some way.  All of my piece are in essence a reflection of a memory that is special to me, just captured in dots and mandala form.

I create my pieces for the pure joy of trying to achieve texture in colour and for visual effect.

The next evolution of my passion is to share this artform with as many people as possible, as it is such a relaxing and meditative process that is easy to learn and master, allowing you to make beautiful pieces of art that you can display at home or gift to family and friends.