Every once in a while we come across a piece of artwork that moves us, shakes us up a bit and shows us how imperfectly beautiful life can be. Perhaps what is even more magical than the art piece itself is the story behind it, or in this case, the person. Which brings us to the subject of Anahata Katkin and her breathtaking designs, each carefully develop with adept skill and tact to tell an enchanted story. As the owner of retail stores PAPAYA! Living and Jupiter Row, the self-taught creative teaches us a thing or two about life as an artist.
For Anahata, creative living isn’t anything out of the norm. Art is a part of her everyday world and is a lifestyle, rather than a career or hobby. Anahata confesses, “I love the place where pretty and gritty meet. Where flowers, faces and ink run together. It’s the intersection of things that I find interesting.” For her, inspiration is a muscle and a practice, “Inspiration is having a relationship with your surrounding world and identifying how it resonates with your interior world. That is endlessly personal and that’s where the spark is.”
Of course Anahata faces challenges just as any other businesswoman would, she shares, “The greatest struggle for me is finding the time to create. As my life and business have evolved I do find it harder to be in the mindset needed to create quality artwork. I started scheduling more studio time.” A schedule doesn’t always mesh well with the artist mind but Anahata makes it work and emphasizes the importance of intentionally making space and creating time.
Balancing life as a mother, entrepreneur and artist is, of course, a journey. Anahata explains, “When my son was very little he wanted to be by my side every moment. So I did my artwork right in the middle of everything. He grew up in glitter and paint and scraps of paper. It has been a way of life. I think as a mother you just have to own what you’re doing and who you are.” As if motherhood isn’t already a full-time job, she fuels two brands, “I try and stay balanced by moving between roles. Working between the two types of business models has been a wonderful outlet both for my creativity and my lifestyle.”
When she’s not working, creating or caretaking, you can find Anahata practicing barre, yoga and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, which just so happens to rest behind her home. She reminds us that social outlets are key in balance, admitting that, “being social is a wonderful stress reliever and allows a break from all that internal creative time. I spend a lot of time with my girlfriends. And I travel.”
Outside of her many roles, Anahata hopes to empower women to feed their creative selves, “I feel that women are in a wonderful, empowered time. Never in history has it been easier to have a career in the arts, and women are especially attuned to this.” There’s something incredibly empowering in a woman embarking on a creative journey. Anahata leaves us with a bit of advice to fellow artists when she mentions, “don’t get lost in the sea of content out there… stay your course. Know your heartbeat and your essence. Let that be the guide and try not to oversaturate yourself with ideas.”
Get to know Anahata
What’s your favorite book? Initiation by Elisabeth Haich
What’s in your record player now? Ali Farka Touré
Favorite movie? I Origins; The Grand Budapest Hotel
Beauty product you can’t live without? Rose Oil from Jodhpur, India; Orange Blossom perfume by Santa Maria Novella; Jurlique Rosewater
Favorite guilty pleasure? Lemon, lavender shortbread ice cream sandwiches and reading gossip mags on airplanes
Favorite clothing designer? Camilla from Australia and Indah
Something no one knows about you? I didn’t let anyone call me my real name, Anahata until I was 18!
Favorite place you’ve visited? I’ve lived in Belize and been visiting for 12 years. My boyfriend of seven years is also Belizean, so it has a special place in my heart.
Next place on your bucket list? PAPAYA! is heading to Chiang Mai, Thailand this fall and we’re really excited! Looking forward to night markets, textile heaven and tons of street foods!
Words by Charissa Lauren Livingston
Images by Lindsey Bolling, Tiffany Kirchner and Anahata Katkin