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I'm sandy!

I’m an artist, self-taught designer, and educator who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to get started with Islamic geometry.

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Beside writing super useful blog posts I also teach how to create Islamic geometric patterns



Are You Afraid of Painting?


I’ve always loved art and everything that has to do with it but I spent the majority of my life just drawing because I was afraid of painting. 

Yes, I said it.

When I was younger, I used to draw hands and people’s faces. Back then I was only using my carbon pencil, and I hated colours both because I was in my Goth phase, where I was avoiding anything that wasn’t black, and because I just didn’t know how to use colours.

Later, when I was 23, I started drawing mandalas. Again, the black liner was the only thing I was using for drawing. I was fascinated by other artists using colours, but I couldn’t figure out what kind of paint to use in a way that I would have enjoyed.

Then in 2016, I discovered Islamic geometry, and I don’t know why but something changed. I started to use watercolours straight from the beginning. Like, you can’t do Islamic geometry without colouring the pattern with watercolours. I know it sounds stupid, but for me, that’s how I realised that before Islamic geometry I was only pretending I didn’t like colours when instead I was afraid of painting and ruining everything.


I didn’t know anything about watercolours: wet on wet, wet on dry, artist-grade, professional-grade, you name it. But finally, I was using colours, and I was enjoying it so much. So far, watercolours are the only type of paint I’ve used.

During these years, I’ve received a ton of messages from people afraid of using colours. Some of them are afraid of ruining the drawing, others are afraid to be laughed at. Many of them don’t know how to choose a colour palette, others don’t know what kind of paint is best for them.

All these fears make you feel stuck and anxious. So maybe the following words can actually make you feel more comfortable with colours and discover why you should actually use them.



The use of colours is a real therapy. You can explore your emotions, improve self-esteem, manage addictions, relieve stress, improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, and cope with a physical illness or disability.

Colours make life funnier and prettier. This is why kids are used to painting since they are little. So bad that we lose this habit when we grow up, and it’s so sad that most of us think that painting is not something that you can do when you are an adult.



If you are a colour lover, it would be a pity not to try painting, right? Try as many mediums as you wish maybe on drawings that you don’t care about like drafts or bad constructions.

Little by little you will get more comfortable in using them and you will be ready for the real thing.

If you are in love with watercolours just like me, then start painting with it. Try with a cheap version just to be sure that’s the medium for you and then invest some money into the highest grade you can afford. We are born to see colours, so why shouldn’t we use them to create something beautiful?



If you are one of those people afraid of doing art, listen up. It’s not a giant spider, nor a cliff you have to jump off of. It’s a pencil, a brush. Grab that thing and create something.

You won’t lose money. No one is going to give you grades. They won’t make jokes about you and if that happens, punch them in the face.

If you are the one judging yourself, stop doing that. It’s not fair to be so strict with yourself. Allow yourself to make mistakes. I don’t draw like Picasso nor like Michelangelo. I draw and paint like Sandy. And so you do.

We are all artists in our own way, and comparing yourself to others it’s not only harming you but the whole world. You might be the world’s next great artist, and you don’t even know it. Until you try. You don’t need to show it to anyone. You can secretly paint in your room without anyone knowing it. Paint, make mistakes, throw the paper away. Do it until you are satisfied. You will be happier, I promise.


If you feel like you want to relax a bit and paint something different than geometric shapes I highly suggest Youtube tutorials by Jenna Rainey.  She draws mainly floral motives but I think that following someone’s tutorial without having to think too much may be the right thing to get you started.


Are You Afraid of Painting?

June 18, 2020

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  1. Shirley says:

    Thank you! I have been afraid to paint my constructions because I feared I would ruin them. I have used colored pencils, but they aren’t as brilliant as the paint. You have inspired me to get going on painting.

  2. Tarannum says:

    Hi Sandy,

    I so needed this post right now! I just started learning about islamic geometry and I AM scared of using colors because i somehow feel I don’t choose the right combination! And I see your art and am so so amazed and in awe! Hoping that some day I can color half as good as you do.

    Thank you for this post and looking forward to all your tips and advices!

    • Vivien says:

      I’m certainly no expert, just a simple person who likes looking at art and doing some islamic geometric art. Sometimes I look at my own work, or at others, and I think, maybe a different colour combination might have been more pleasing to my eye. But rarely do i think “yuck, that’s horrible”. So my advice is don’t be afraid – just get out and do it, and maybe after you have finished painting a piece, you might decide to use different colours the next time. But I’m sure your original piece won’t be terrible.

    • Sandy Kurt says:

      Hi Tarannum,
      never be afraid of colours. Whenever I’m afraid of doing something I ask myself "what is the worst thing that could happen?"
      If the answer is a matter of life and death, ok probably you shouldn’t do it but in any other case just go for it. You will love it, I promise

  3. Shazia Khawaja says:

    This one is for me! I am always afraid of ruining my pattern by coloring. I really have to get in the mood and try out different palettes before i start coloring. Looking forward to reading your blogs as I have a few unpainted patterns that i need to get to!

  4. […] I’m not talking about colouring the shapes (you can read more about colouring your artwork here) but using different colours for the construction […]

  5. Katy Ahrends says:

    Thank you, it was very reassuring to read your wise, encouraging advice

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I’m an artist, self-taught designer, and educator who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to get started with Islamic geometry.
I've been in the game since 2016 and trust me when I say that one year from now you will wish you had started today.

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Hey! I'm Sandy Kurt