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Sarina Mantle on creating a self-love colouring book for Women

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

We spoke to illustrator and painter Sarina Mantle about her love for patterns and plants and how this led to her creating and publishing her first colouring book (of hopefully many). Her publication Women + Patterns + Plants was born out of a love for nature and the healing qualities it holds and a search to bring this into harmony with the body. From tribal markings to shamanic healing; Sarina is interested in how patterns identify and inform culture, community and tribe; and create visual language in our homes.

Something that comes across almost instantly in your artwork is a love of pattern. Has that always been a staple or something you’ve had to build gradually? 

Yes, I am very inspired by patterns in my design work and I would say it’s been a staple interest that has deepened with time. 

Since my BA degree in fashion design at Westminster University I have loved print-making and repetition through pattern. I love how patterns and colours combined with the natural world of flora and fauna are seen throughout world cultures.

Sacred geometry in particular introduced me to the interconnected nature of the natural world and humankind. I was moved by the link between physics and mysticism, where the infinite lives within finite forms, and how symbolism and sacred meaning to geometric shapes transform our understanding of life.

In your opinion, what’s the relationship between self-care and the act of colouring? 

I feel the relationship between the two is about being present in your body, it’s about stillness, relaxation and inner peace. In these moments of contentment I believe you can tap into your inner power and inner wisdom. You can hear yourself and make deeper conversations so you can navigate easier towards your bliss.

I feel that in today’s society we are generally under a lot of stress– whether it be systems set in place where routines of work and bills are ongoing, past or present relationships, finances, the environment or other general struggles. I really do feel we can transform our wellbeing, mentally, physically, spiritually by actively nurturing ourselves through self-care routine.

Liminal 11

What led you to creating your own self-care colouring book?

I travelled to Peru and spent time around indigenous women of Shipibo heritage who are master embroiderers and painters. I was surrounded by plants, textiles and women, and I felt deeply inspired by Mother Earth. I decided after my own self-discovery that I wanted to create visually through illustration; I wanted to make drawings of women reconnecting to Mother Earth. It has been my way of contributing to the collective consciousness that are returning to sustainability, nurturing plants, growing food and spending time in nature.

What do you want people to feel during/after using Women + Patterns + Plants?

I guess, ideally, I could say; motivated, inspired, fulfilled, accomplished and at peace. 

I know everyone’s reason and journey for colouring is personal and maybe there are no answers other than just doing the action and letting the universe do the rest.

I personally coloured a page of the book and was addicted! However, it made me escape for a little while, away from all the responsibilities that come with life.

What would you say were your biggest challenges were in both the creation and publishing of this book? 

It think with the challenges it’s where personal life and work cross over. I had to find a routine and consistency in order to create while my daughter Luna was at nursery or asleep, or usually late at night when it was quiet. I think also time truly does fly by when you’re having fun... I felt like I had to create every day to meet my deadlines. My publishers Mike & Darren from Liminal 11 made the process of creating really smooth, and they were patient with my questions and inexperience. Working with other people who believe in you is fundamental to growth and evolution.

I know everyone’s reason and journey for colouring is personal and maybe there are no answers other than just doing the action and letting the universe do the rest.

What are the future plans for your art? 

A dream would be exhibiting my art and canvas paintings internationally someday. I see myself working on new project collaborations with other creatives, mixing mediums. I’m very interested in sustainability, plants and environmentalism and hope to steer more in this direction. I would also love to illustrate on different surfaces, such as ceramics and textiles.

Liminal 11

Where can people buy a copy of Women + Patterns + Plants?

Women + Patterns + Plants is always available direct from my publisher by visiting It’s also in South London shops Diverse and United80, Gosh! Comics and The Atlantis Bookshop in Central London and at several Triyogastudios. The book is now also available at This Is Book Love at Brixton Market on Sundays. We've been picked up by a distributor, so copies are making their way into more bookstores like New Beacon, Newham Books, Housmans and Pages of Hackney and online retailers. You can also ask any bookshop to order a copy in for you! Just give the ISBN: 978-1-912634-05-7(RRP £8.99).

Photography by Liminal 11

Words by Aisha Ayoade


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