Rika Scholtz is an artist from Secunda, South Africa. Though she excels at whatever medium she touches, we came to know her for her breathtakingly intricate mandalas. Her passion for life and color is evident when admiring her circular creations. No matter how many times you revisit them, you always see something new. Rika joined the Daejeon Arts Collective in 2014, but has since moved back to South Africa to pursue her dreams. We decided to check in and see what she’s been up to since moving on from Korea.
Can you tell us about your work and what inspires you?
Rika Scholtz: Before I went to Korea in 2014, an Afrikaans magazine show had an interview with Lize Beekman, a well-known South African singer. She was going through a tough time and her therapist suggested drawing mandalas. I instantly fell in love with her work and decided to pack my markers for Korea.
I have been fascinated with circles since I was in 8th Grade. My Technical Drawing and Art teacher, Brenda Koper, showed us a few tricks with a compass. I still find it fascinating and use this exact trick to start every one of my mandalas. I find inspiration pretty much anywhere. I’m constantly taking pictures of interesting patterns and colors. Fabric is always a good source of ideas.
Did living in Korea have any profound impact on your work?
Rika Scholtz: Absolutely. If Christopher Maslon hadn’t persuaded me to join the Daejeon Arts Collective, I probably would not have come as far as I did. Just being in Korea always gives me a confidence boost which then leads to more daring work. I have done things that I never would have dreamt about doing. Pottery classes with Jin Jung, group and solo exhibitions, to name a few.
What have you been up to since leaving Korea and what has the transition been like?
Rika Scholtz: Last year I taught Tourism at two different high schools. While being there, I realized that I don’t want to be a teacher. It made me quite desperate to get out of the system before I got stuck again. The result; I opened my own little art and design school (like a hagwon) where I teach kids and adults art. Thanks to Jin, I also offer pottery classes. I also just self-published two mandala coloring books which are available on createspace.com and Amazon. Korea has given me the courage to take on the unknown.
I was born and raised in Secunda, South Africa. From a very young age, I loved drawing and painting. When the time came to choose a high school, I chose the one that offered Art as a subject. I studied teaching and specialized in Art. My fascination with the Far East lead me to teach English in Korea in 2005, 2009 and again in 2014/2015. Now I’m taking on the very scary prospect of not working for a salary and owning my own business.
My Art School’s Facebook group:
Elements Art and Design School
They will also be available on Amazon from the 23rd of January 2017.