PAPAYA! has been pushing the design envelope since 2003 with bold, heart-centered imagery that conveys a gently philosophy that is all their own. They pride themselves in mixing patterns and materials to create inspiring works of art that range from greeting cards, art prints, and lifestyle goods. This love of pattern instantly bonded both PAPAYA’s and Royal Design Studio’s mission to “patternize” the world. To help reflect their eclectic pattern style, we’ve uber thrilled that PAPAYA has covered their showroom walls, floors, and ceilings with our Royal Design Studio stencil patterns.
We caught up with Papaya founder and creative force Anahata Katkin to learn some secrets about her work, inspirations, design style, and more. Let’s see if we can dive a bit into her super creative brain…
Artist Anahata Katkin, of PAPAYA!
- How did you start on this journey?
I have used the arts for personal outlet and passions most of my adult life. But I became increasingly interested in art journaling and honing my skills 15 years ago. My mom and I started out with just 20 greeting cards based on my journals in 2003. Little by little we have grown both our collections and product lines but my artistic style and creative expression has grown over the years as well. Today we are proud to have a thriving, independent and family owned and operated company. We make over 700 products that are distributed in over a dozen countries and have two boutique retail locations. The whole experience has been one in trusting our instincts, following our heart, and the determination to answer one question at a time.
Our Herringbone Pattern Stencil is painted on these stair risers and accent wall.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from/describe your creative process?
I have tried to retain my original artistic impulses. Meaning the ones I had before I began the journey building a company with my Mother. I strive to be in the creative process organically and see where it takes me. Often I will paint or draw by hand and then do manipulations digitally to make the pieces more universal. But ultimately my goal is to create artwork for myself personally and then take it from there into the world.
I am inspired by the plant world and love organic shapes, textures, weeds and blooms. I love the place where pretty and gritty run together. I am inspired by textiles, travel and faces. Faces are often the center of my work. I trust my gut and follow the creative bread crumb trail. For me, that ends up having threads that join the pieces together naturally. Artistic style is something that emerges the more you play with yourself and the canvas. I think this is true for all artists.
Mixed with PAPAYA’s pretty patterns is our Persian Garden Damask Wall Stencil.
- What’s next for PAPAYA!?
Good question! We are working internally on our list of wishes. Our design team and I are behind the scenes doing some visual bonding and gelling our ideas to bring them forward. We are also opening a second retail store next month, JUPITER ROW. However this store will be more of a curated space, and will not carry the PAPAYA! range. But it’s coming from all of us at PAPAYA!
We just opened TWO showrooms in which we used Royal Design Studio Stencils again! And we are looking forward to spending some quality time in the showrooms in the coming seasons. One is in Atlanta Americas Mart. The other is in Las Vegas World Market Center, LV.
Our Camel Bone Weave Moroccan Stencil is on the ceiling on their showroom.
- What draws you to stenciling?
What I love about stenciling is that Royal Design Studio stencils have a very layered but modern impact! They help create instant interest in the spaces we have made. And there is so much creative flexibility with them. We have used on booth walls, ceilings, floors and furniture! Wherever we use them we get amazing feedback and fan fair over them. I think that’s because the designs you offer are so thoughtful. Most people don’t know they are stencils because most people have never seen such contemporary use of stenciling!
Our Braided Herringbone Stencil pretties up the showroom’s concrete floors.
- How have stencils helped convey and enhance the PAPAYA! brand in your stores, tradeshows, and showrooms?
The stencils from Royal Design Studios have helped us tie our vision for design together. Our brand is very colorful and vivid. So the product tends to take over. We want to create visual interest in our showrooms, stores, booths etc. But we cannot do things that compete with the product we are sharing. The stencils you make have made it possible to do some very interesting things to offset what we are doing but not overpower our own vision. Also because they are hand applied there is a depth and warmth that they bring to our spaces. And our customers always notice and celebrate those decorative aspects.
Want more PAPAYA!? You can stay up to date on Anahata’s latest designs, artwork, and lifestyle products through the PAPAYA! Art website.