Tag Archives: Fred van der Zee

20181215 Indicator Life

Get Involved in Digital Thangka painting

I have always regarded my thangkas
bigger than myself

I am not an artist, I am an artisan: I create dharma products for use in Buddhist teachings and practices. This deeply-felt conviction is the source of my mission:
“to offer the global community thangka images, firmly rooted in Tibetan painting traditions but with the perfection of the digital age.”

In 2017 I took a big leap of faith: I quit my job, sold my house and possessions, to become a fulltime thangka painter. I had some unemployment benefit and hoped I could muster enough sales and donations to live from.
In the beginning of 2018 I took a next step: offering my digital thangkas for free, and try to live solely from donations. In this way everyone could enjoy and use my images, regardless of country, wealth or social status.
March 2018 I started a campaign on patreon and offered five of my thangkas free to download. At the beginning all went quite well, but after that the rise of my number of patrons slowed down. My monthly recurring support is – at the time of writing – $179.

Logo Hand inlineShort interlude for my current patrons and donors: thank you very much for your support! Our combined effort makes it possible to support the dharma through my thangkas.

So, last year my income consisted mostly from unemployment benefit, supplemented by my patrons’ support and an occasional donation.

From February 1st 2019 however, my benefit will stop!

So it is time for a new approach and I urgently need more of you to get involved in Digital Thangka painting!
I have done some calculations and for a bare minimum of living, I need 364 patrons more based on a monthly pledge of $1 (or 182 with $2 etc., you catch my drift).

There is one important detail: I only need this for a limited timefrom February 1, 2019 to November 1, 2020. So for a mere $ 21 in total, you will participate in the creation of beautiful thangkas, for all to enjoy and to use in Buddhist practice!

But wait, there’s more…

Starting last week of September 2018, I will release more of my digital thangkas as a free download. Every first day of the next month I will add more, until at the January 1st, 2019 all my thangkas will be available for free!
For me this is another big leap of faith, but I trust there will be 364 patrons out there somewhere.

So get involved in digital thangka painting and support me on patreon!

If you like to give a one-time donation, you can follow this link to paypal.
For other ways to support me please contact me.


Free downloads:  https://www.digitalthangka.com/free-downloads/
My portfolio: https://www.digitalthangka.com/portfolio/

My Facebook workshop, where you can follow the creation of my thangkas: https://www.facebook.com/DigitalThangkaArtistPage/
My Facebook gallery with my finished thangkas and some pictures of clients: https://www.facebook.com/DigitalThangkaGallery/


Quest part 3

Quests, Levelling and Achievements – part 3

Achievements on a different path

It took me over a year to bounce back. Luckily I had help, both from family and friends, as well from professionals.

I have always been out of sync with society and its perception of what is ‘normal': I had a somewhat deviant view on career, politics, society and wealth;  add Buddhism and my stance on animal rights in this mix and it’s clear I had it coming.
My mental make-up doesn’t make it easier as well: highly intelligent, highly creative and if you want to have your kitchen installed: “I can handle that”!
These talents are not uncommon on their own, but  I learned two important things last year: first that my talent combo is very rare, and second that I should stop trying to fit in – didn’t work for me in the past, will not work for me in the future.

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Quests, Levelling and Achievements – part 2

Levelling… and life’s lessons

This is Part 2 of a three-part blog on my quest for the perfect thangka.
Read part 1

From day 1 I started out drawing my thangkas entirely in a vector-based drawing program called Xara; still, all my images are firmly rooted in Tibetan painting traditions. Andy would supply me with all the grids, basic drawings of garments, jewels , lotus thrones and other elements, and – last but not least –  explanations of Buddhist iconography, mantras and pujas. And let's not forget the meditation sessions that started off the day. I would attend his courses at least twice a year, in spring and the 10-day summer course.

Drawing Process Namgyalma
Drawing process of a digital thangka, in this case Namgyalma

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Quest Part 1 Blog Post

Quests, Levelling and Achievements – part 1

Digital Thangka Painting - Starting Area

I started drawing digital thangkas in 2008, but my quest line started a few months before. In November 2007 the Maitreya Institute in Emst discovered that I was proficient in computer graphics. They asked me to do a drawing of the stupa they wanted to build.
Since I didn’t have a clue about stupas (or any Buddhist art form for that matter) they told me to go to their centre in Amsterdam for a weekend. There I could receive basic instructions on the construction of a stupa by a renowned thangka painter. I should bring paper, pencil and a ruler.

Stupa Drawing On Paper
Drawing a stupa with pencil and rulers. On paper....

This is how I met my teacher Andy Weber – and the only time I used paper and pencil in one of his courses. Ever.

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