While creating our new Sacred Path collection we were inspired by the lifestyle and philosophy of the indigenous peoples of North America – the Hopi tribe. The name of the tribe literally means ‘peaceful people’, and the idea of peace, mutual help and order is deeply rooted in the culture’s religion, spirituality, and its view of morality and ethics. In their language the idea of time does not exist: they have only ‘now’, and the time is just a continuous flow of energy without past, present, or future.
For many centuries ancient Indians have prayed to beings of a great might called ‘Kachina’, which means ‘spirits of the invisible powers’. Rituals are performed on the holy mountain called Oraibi from the winter to the summer solstice, which is from December to June. To always remember the powers of the gods, Hopi carved out wooden dolls that represent the spirits of nature powers as well as all living beings – plants, trees, birds, animals, and the spirits of their ancestors.
Hopis live in pueblos that are made of stone and mud, walls of which keeps a lot of secrets. Their underground chambers found in pueblo homes are called ‘kivas’ and are still used to talk and have religious ceremonies in. The Indians believe that if they climb to the surface on the stairs of the temple and get out through a small opening in the ceiling, they will find themselves in a new and different world. Such sacred ritual remind them of the perfect world, and help to never forget about our close relationship with the planet.
Hopi believed that image of a maze is a talisman, and walking in it is a metaphor of life: the way a maze changes unexpectedly, sometimes distracting us from the main goal, but ultimately leading to the center. Labyrinth is a sacred space in which time slows down, and we feel the potential for growth, progress and change. When one reaches the center, he is left alone and has the opportunity to discover something important and significant that would eventually change his direction. When we come out of the maze we are different from those who we were when entering it. It is thought that we can find our dreams and goals, and when they come true, we are reborn for a new stage of life.
In this interview our friend and the talented nature tattoo artist Sasha Kiseleva told us about her lifestyle, dreams, and hobbies.
How did you eventually become an tattoo artist?
In my student years, people asked me to draw sketches for their future tattoos from time to time, and when they sent me the results, I was kind of disappointed with what I saw. Almost every time I felt this way, therefore I thought that if someone entrusted me to make a tattoo sketch, it would be perfect l to give people this so-called ‘eternity’ myself, starting with the idea and ending with its implementation. But my plan was to stay an artist, paint the walls, canvases, doing illustrations, like it was in the past, and only sometimes, on request, to be able to make the most of their own tattoo pattern. And you can see the result: my main occupation now is the art of tattooing, which is fantastically interesting to know and learn from the inside. Now it is an integral part of my life.
Where did you study?
I had a teacher – it was damn informative, but quite expensive. And I knew from the beginning that the starting point of becoming a tattoo artist will not be easy. From his lessons I learned the basics and fundamentals of all the technical side, but lines technique I studied in practice by trial and error making tattoos to my friends. They, of course, were fully aware that it will be not perfect tattoos as I was only learning but still they gave me the chance to try tattooing on their arms and legs, which was a kind of ‘blank canvas training’ for me. That time I did not have a studio and tattoo was just a hobby, and I took charge only for the materials. It was 2.5 years ago. Now, according to my calculations, about 600-700 people inked by me are walking around the globe. My head starts spinning when I am thinking about it.
How do people usually learn about you: via Instagram or just see friends inked by you?
It’s true. Most of my clients come to me because they found me on Instagram: as soon as I upload a photo, several people are requesting the tattoo by me. And, of course, word of mouth still has its powers by bringing new friends quite often. I try to respond to everyone, but I am not accepting each request. I’m concerned with a story that is put into the new job, and I trust my imagination and hands.
Which patterns or objects do you do more often in your tattoo designs?
Mostly people come to me for mountains and forests, for nature, to be precise. I, myself, never chose this topic – it chose me itself. For example, recently I have realized that I rarely do sketches for tattoos with flowers. There’s nothing personal in that, I’m just not interested in doing it. Much more, I love to portray animals. I was once asked by my friend to draw mountains and, apparently, I was able to somehow miraculously get to the point precisely right. Thus, almost immediately when discussing tattoo ideas, there appeared the phrase ‘your mountains’. Just the other day some guys traveled be train around 1000 km, the whole night – 17 hours, traveling by train, so that I could do mountain tattoo for them. I have no words to express my feelings! It’s just fantastic.
Which techniques do you use in your work and which ones do you like more?
Lines, dots, but it is not ‘dotwork’. I use the ‘noise’ style, too. I do not have clear rules for this style. I like the color tattoos, but only in combination with clear contours. I’m still in search of how to combine color with my style. In the meantime, my life is all about black and white tattoos.
You have a non-standard way from fine artist to tattoo artist. What would you like to spend more time on?
Actually, I would not call my way unusual, it is now more like a trend: many run on the way from paper to skin. I want to once again be a fine artist. I feel so bad about those unfinished canvases which give me sad look when I walk past to open the door to the next guest. And I also want to learn Japanese, do not know why but I insanely want to at least to try it. But the problem is that it require a lot of attention and time for learning, and learning it just a little bit does not make sense. So, I still weigh all ‘for’ and ‘against’. But I do like Japanese culture, mentality, thinking, nature, writing and calligraphy. As I am a visual, I feel that their aesthetic touches me deeply. I find beautiful everything that is connected with Japan so I want to learn more about it. I want to go to Japan so much!
What are other places on the planet you wanted to go to?
My list for today: Japan, Iceland, New Zealand, and States again. Of course, I like Asia, too. This spring, I wandered around rice fields of Vietnam, had my soul rest in the Bayon temple complex in Cambodia, made a couple of tattoos in a bungalow on the shore of the Gulf of Thailand, and had a lot of coolest adventures with my best friend! How one can possibly not love Asia? There lives the magic, for sure.
Do you like living in Moscow? Many creative people are leaving this city. Have you ever had such thoughts?
I constantly have the desire to leave but only to experience living in another country, as long as there is no obligation. But in Moscow I have My Forest Ink, which is only one year old and is still being renovated. Even one month ago, everything was different, and month by month something is changing very fast and I do not want to leave my studio during this active time. Now some guest artists come, so there is always something interesting going on here.
What kind of music do you listen to and what movies do you watch?
Only today I realized that this year I went to movie only twice. I liked Captain Fantastic from what I have recently watched. And a very cute movie What We Do in the Shadows. Actually, I rarely watch something and mainly listen to my old music. But currently I discover a lot of new bands and songs thanks to online sources. Sometimes I like to listen to my old hip-hop playlists, and while drawing, I turn on electronic music with broken bits and natural sounds. Among my favorites are Alt-J, Glass Animals, The Album Leaf, and my most loved ones are Bonobo and Nujabes.
What are you reading now?
I have just begun ‘Cloud Atlas’. From the last book I read I liked ‘The Book Thief’ – one of few books that I want to keep in print edition. ‘Martin Eden’, ‘The house, in which…”, and for inspiration – ‘Lust for Life’. My own rating of books is based on unstoppable desire to illustrate what I have read, but it appears not every time.
Tell us how you got to know Aloha Gaia.
I love silver and different symbols in jewelry, it just makes my soul feel warm. Honestly, I do not remember how I found you, probably via Instagram. I realized how close your jewelry was to me when saw your Tipi ring. Actually, tipi is a tiny element that is on one of my very first tattooes. Most often I wear Mawu ring, and I also have a ring Stardust, which is amazing. I love the phrase inside the ring which says ‘Make a wish’. Actually, I found it not on purpose: it was in the plane on my way to Asia. So I wished that trip to be great, and it really was incredible!
Which of our jewelry pieces would you like to purchase?
I really like the suspension Supermoon with a large moon! One of the earliest jewelry pieces made by Aloha Gaia. In general, all I like all jewelry as they are easy to combine with each other.
What would you like to see in the upcoming collection by Aloha Gaia?
I stopped wearing earrings long time ago and never put them on again. Previously, I liked massive earrings, especially with feathers, but the last time I wore stud earrings. It would be great to buy some small earrings.
Autumn is the season for warm sweaters and pumpkin latte. This is the time for comfort and relaxation. We would like to present you our new melodic and tranquil playlist ‘Memory Lane’ by our friend Dmitry Titov. Turn it on tonight and hear the story of love, separation, farewell and forgiveness. You will hear the Icelandic romance, St. Petersburg electronics and saxophone interlude.
The popular blogger and talented illustrator Vicky Od shared her story of the life journey and inspiration. She believes that art can help us to relax, learn and even reveal something new about ourselves. In artworks Vicky creates her own world with its own history.
When did you start getting involved in illustration art and at what point did you realize that this is your cup of tea?
I fell in love with it ever since I have attended an art school. I liked illustrations in any format in magazines, books, or animations. At that moment I could not even imagine that the illustration art would be such an important part of my life. During my studies I began trying my hand at different art styles and finally fell in love with illustration art during one project in my institute. After graduation, I already knew that I want to be an illustrator for sure.
Do you have a degree in arts or you just learned everything by yourself?
Fine art has always been a huge part of my life. I went to school where we learned not only general subjects but also some art classes. After that I studied in a private studio for two years, and then I was admitted to the Institute of Architecture, Design and Visual Arts to the bachelor’s program in design. When I studied in school, I did not see myself as a ‘classical’ artist who always sits with a paintbrush in front of an easel. I’ve always liked cartoons, and now I like them even more than movies. And I have always wanted to be a woman who comes up with interesting ideas and creates cartoons! I did not know how and where I could learn to do that, but I really wanted to. As time passed by, the moment when I had to choose my specialty came. The most suitable for me was design. After studying for two years, I realized that the chosen specialty was very broad. This is what I liked about it mostly: I had an opportunity to get a deep insight into almost every art and to choose something that I thought suited me better. This is how I finally came to illustration art, and then over some time I realized that everything happens for the best. Now I can create a ‘world’ and characters exactly as I want them to be, even though they are static.
Are illustrations your main activity or do you have any other projects in addition to your personal blog?
I devote most of my time to Illustrations. But fine art is such an incredibly vast field that I get different tasks each time. And in addition to watercolor illustrations, I do graphic design and painting. Sometimes I have a desire to take all paints, a big canvas and express all emotions on it. I think that we should not get stuck on one thing only. It is necessary to use fantasy and let our hands and imagination do the work. It helps us relax, learn and may even reveal something new about ourselves. Now I’d like to improve my language and be able to write beautiful texts. I have a channel on YouTube where I practice to edit videos and compose a scenario for my future text. This is what I really like. A I often remind myself that I have the blog and the website, and need to update them as well.
What is the most enjoyable thing in your work?
The ability to express myself and thus to show others my perception of everything. I come up with my characters exactly as I want them to be, and with each of my works I create my own world with its own history. I believe that by looking at my illustrations people can get an idea of my personality. Also, one of the advantages can be the new people I meet who are somehow connected with art or just interested in it. New friends, new work as well as an opportunity to grow professionally.
What inspires you?
Nothing. Really, there is nothing certain outside that inspires me to create something. The key thing for me is my internal harmony, this warm and calm feeling. It appears thanks to a lot of things, but I lose it, I know how to get it back! For example, a pleasant conversation, funny stories or a comfortable silence. Also, delicious food, exciting activities, watching movies or life stories of other people can help me to feel my inner peace.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
Walking around the city, drinking coffee or tea. It’s always a pleasure at any time of the year. Especially I like walks on a sunny day or in early morning, which is, unfortunately, a very, very rare thing for me. I am for having a walk with my friends as well as just being alone. Actually, I love it when I have ‘time slots’ of free time for myself. That’s when I start to deal with everything put off for the future. I create something, write, learn, or read… And, of course, there comes a girly time when I treat myself with aroma oils, facial masks and other miscellaneous beauty secrets.
What are your favorite song and a movie?
It is very difficult to choose! I love watching cartoons and documentaries as much as I enjoy watching movies about nature and natural phenomena. What concerns my music tastes, I cannot point at anything specific as I like different genres. But here is an interesting fact: most of my cute illustrations were created when ‘heavy’ music was playing.
When and how did you learn about Aloha Gaia brand?
About 3 years ago I found your Instagram page with a lot of inspiring photos. It was the love from the first sight. I liked everything: colors, design, photo composition… Each photograph of your jewelry just fascinated me. I realized that I have always wanted to see exactly such jewelry on my body. And it seemed as if I just look into my own perception of jewelry design and someone had just made all my wishes a reality. You know, it is like music: it plays in my heart and head, and when I hear something close, I can say with certainty that it’s my ‘inner’ music. It’s so exciting!
Which jewelry piece by Aloha Gaia is your favorite?
My favorite jewelry piece is Athena ring.
Which jewelry or maybe other products would you like to see in Aloha Gaia?
I like absolutely everything, that’s why I will be so glad to see something new in your catalogue. What it will be – does not really matter. In my personal jewelry collection there are no pendants and necklace so maybe it would be nice to have them. All in all, I fully trust Aloha Gaia team and support their thoughts and set of mind! I always look forward to seeing something new, and each time I do that – I wonder and admire.
This summer Aloha Gaia team went on a journey across Europe. In Paris we have met up with our friend and talented photographer Anna Pavlova. She shared her story of getting to know the jewelry created by Aloha Gaia.
Is your trip to Paris somehow connected with business or you came here just for leisure?
Almost all of my trips happen unexpectedly if they are not business-related ones. And this time I came to Paris for the presentation of the smartphone, which I will write about in my Instagram account. Short trips like that bring me pleasure but consume a lot of energy because apart from exploring the city, I must firstly concentrate on my work.
Name your favourite places in Paris, why do you love them?
Unfortunately, I had only 24 hours to explore Paris, and most of this time I spent in Versailles, which I liked a lot. Also, I think the Eiffel Tower is beautiful only from a distance.
Which things you cannot imagine your trips without?
Without a camera, a laptop and a notebook. Perhaps last two items would remain unpacked in my suitcase, but I need a laptop for sorting and editing photos during my trips. It is very convenient, especially when there is no break between one journey and next one.
I am inspired by the people who write me that they like my works. Their feedback gives me energy for a long time, and I want to go on making people happy. And it’s so nice when our views and attitudes coincide! And, of course, my family and friends who are always ready to give me a “magic kick” when I really need that. Thanks to that I never sit on one place and am constantly involved into something new. Who knows where I would be now if I did not have all those people in my life.
How did you find Aloha Gaia brand?
I got acquainted with the brand two years ago. It happened in Monoroom store in Moscow. I saw the beautiful jewelry and chose Luna ring. It deeply touched my soul even though I did not wear rings so often at that time, but eventually this spontaneous purchase made me pay more attention to jewelry in general.
I cannot say that I like all jewelry by Aloha Gaia but I found something very familiar and unique for me in your jewelry designs, and I believe that everyone can find something special for themselves as well. For example, Tipi ring is basically my home, which is always with me, and Gala ring reminds me of my grandfather, who knew a lot about various stones and gave me jewelry with moonstone that suits my horoscope. I usually wear a combination of Tipi and Kokon rings. And I also have Compass earrings with moonstone that I almost never put off.
Which jewelry piece by Aloha Gaia you would like to buy next?
I am thinking about buying Iris pendant with moonstone from the new collection Sunlight. I think it looks very concise and feminine.
Which jewelry would you like to see in our future collections?
I would like Aloha Gaia to create more concise thin rings for every day, and I also want to see more pictures with your jewelry shot in beautiful places around the world in your Instagram account. I love to take pictures of your rings when I am travelling – they perfectly match the design of my Instagram profile.
Every time you take a picture of our jewelry from various beautiful places on our planet, you fill our hearts with happiness and joy! Travel with Aloha Gaia and tag your photos with #alohagaia_everywhere!
Let’s go on a musical journey to the mysterious country of Agharthy today, which is located on the other side of the Earth. According to the legend, there are endless fields and hills covered with flowers there, keepers of traditions live in this country as well as true teachers and rulers of the world. In this magical place people have their own Sun, which gives them warmth and light. Reaching Aghartha is impossible for those who are not sanctified – only for the chosen ones this country is approachable.
Take moment when May begins can not be compared with any other. “Stop & Smell The Roses”. Look at the world through the flowering incredible kaleidoscope and be tickled pink about everything that’s happening! It’s time to take short trips, even if it’s just a small park downtown or the destinations in the neighborhood.
There’s something about the city that worms it’s way into your heart. Whether you’ve been there all your life or two months, if you’ve made the city your home, she has given you a piece of herself to resound within you, forever. – K. E. Fitzgerald
Enjoy our new playlist called “SELF” & Share your favorites in comments
Freshening up your “dull” interior with wallpaper is easy! Is it time to transform your gloomy interior? Summer is quick approaching and what better way to enjoy your home than with a super-easy, fresh new look!
Great tips from our amazing guests, two sister in-laws from Vancouver @anewalldecor (web). Anewall creates original wall art decor with the highest of quality standards. Their products include large vintage art prints, canvas art, wall murals, vintage posters, wallpapers and more. they are also pleased to offer you unique, custom art work for your home.(more…)