Recently we were treated to a conversation with our resident artist, Anna Jankowska. Come on a virtual journey with us to India. As we explore her love of the country, its culture, and how it influenced her work with Livity Yoga. Meet the art sensation behind our Mandala Cork Yoga Mat.

Interview with Livity Yoga Resident Artist

Where are you from?
I am from Poland
Backstory
I did my M.A. in Indian Philology in Poland and then studied Hindi Literature in India. I have a diploma in fashion design and a PhD in cultural studies (fashion studies). I took part in artist in residency programs in Poland, India and Taiwan and truly enjoyed all of them.
Sweet Naivety watercolor flower pattern Design by Anna Jankowska
What do you love about yoga?
I took up a yoga course while studying in India, there the level of practice is more serious and a pretty intimidating. I was under the impression that you have to be a Himalayan Sadhu, practicing it for 40 years to really get it.
Recently, I ditched that belief, realizing that even the most skilled are still learning. Now I have a perfectly imperfect practice. I love working with the chakras to clear my system.
What is your dream vacation?
I would love to go to the state of Gujarat, India and travel from 1 place to another. I want to learn more about the printed and woven cloth crafts of the region. Then I’ll end my journey in Diu, a mysterious seaside town, once owned by Portugal.
As for now, I would love to hit the road with my little dog and take him to the sea.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love traveling and exploring cities with friends. Learning stimulates my mind and vital curiosity.
I like being in nature with my animals; watching and feeling the light, sun, and wind.
I am an avid observer of the world of plants. Looking at every plant as if it is a complex, architectural object. Then transforming it with pencil to paper…
What type of art do you do?
I am a textile and fashion designer.
I still don’t think about myself as an artist. I have that designer meets scholar identity. Sometimes when those 2 aspects meet, there is that curious art spark. It sets light to that need to express, to catch something and try to understand it.
Floral Fingers watercolor nature patterns by Anna Jankowska
Medium of choice?
When it comes to fashion design: fabric, pattern-cutting, draping, and structure making.
In the case of surface pattern design and textile design: watercolors, water-based pigments, and natural dyes.
Where do you draw inspiration?
Ideas, narratives, stories, and shapes inspire me the most.
Favorite work of art?
It would be hard to select one. It always changes…
For a few years, I was fascinated by art with elements of innovative imitation, of repetitiveness. I like paintings by Paul Klee who was also an amazing teacher and art/design theorist. But I also love surrealist painters and photographers, especially Max Ernst and Edward Steichen.
I love outsider art, that authentic curiosity and exploration. There is a hunger of expansion, to understand and wildly express. That’s why I also love the art of  Louise Bourgeois, Tracey Emin, and Lee Krasner. There are too many artworks and art ideas to mention.
I love music as well. Erik Satie comes to mind and other musicians that experiment with rhythm and tempo.
We should understand that sustainability isn’t only a fancy hashtag, it’s a necessity.

All About the Mandala on our Cork Yoga Mat

How does Livity Yoga inspire you? 
It’s been great! Livity Yoga is a brand with the mission that is dear to me. I know that Livity treats sustainability in a very serious way.
What future designs do you want to incorporate into Livity? 
For the past few months, we have been designing packaging for the first line of Livity Yoga products. We want them to be recyclable, ink-light, but also express the brand aesthetic.
How did you come up with the design for the Livity Yoga Mandala Cork Yoga Mat?
The word “mandala” is derived from the Sanskrit word for “circle.” In Buddhism and Hinduism, it is a symbol that represents the universe and its energy. Mandala’s symmetrical, complex designs are used in mindful, meditative practice. Each mandala is usually drawn with an intention and provides a focal point for meditation. We can understand mandala as a never-ending narration about balancing space, boundary and energy.
What do you want people to get out of using the Mandala during practice?
The mandala and geometrical lines were drawn with the intention to keep a yoga practitioner concentrated and centered, but also cheerful and positive. The outline of the mandala is subtle light to keep the practitioner more focused on space and energy than on the boundaries.
Connect with Anna Jankowska!
Anna Jankowska in her studio