I study traditional thangka painting with Ang Tsherin Sherpa as well as assist him on some of his contemporary works. The more I work with Tsherin, the more I contemplate what it means to preserve tradition as well as break away from it yet attempt to keep its essence intact. For example, I remember Rinpoche saying we shouldn’t visualize the deity with the trappings of Indian royal jewelry like you see in thangkas but to “modernize” them. As a thangka painter, it’s challenging request but seems necessary since the traditional style isn’t matching what your guru is saying. Anyway, it’s a very interesting time for Buddhist artists right now.