Artist Profile - Sasha Takata

Sasha Takata

Meet Sasha Takata, the artist behind the Mystic Mandala collection

Sasha grew up in Half Moon Bay, California, attended Loyola Marymount University in LA, and currently resides at the base of the mystical Mount Shasta in Northern California. When she’s not making art or working diligently with the Planet Joy team on other projects, Sasha dedicates her time to her yoga and meditation practices, cooking (mostly) plant-based meals, writing poetry, and soaking up the exquisite beauty of our Mother Earth. Sasha is passionate about finding joy in her everyday life through gratitude, humor, and creativity in its many forms.

Sasha reignited a lifetimes’ old passion for creating mandalas back in the spring of 2020 when life took an unexpected turn, and she found herself finishing up her Bachelor’s degree from her childhood bedroom. Inspired by the sidewalk chalk left behind by the neighborhood kids, she decided to get her hands on some of her own. On her first day out on the blacktop with her new chalk, a colorful mandala came to life. Sasha’s chalk mandalas became a very important and therapeutic outlet for her while pushing through her final semester of business school via zoom at LMU.

Sasha crouching over large chalk mandala

She was delighted to discover that her art made the rest of the neighborhood happy too; neighbors would thank her for her work as they passed by on their daily strolls, and she often saw kids riding their bikes all around her mandalas long after she had finished. Ranging from two to twelve feet in diameter, these bright installations brought color and joy to the once monotone parking lot of the condo complex. “It was really sweet seeing people light up when they saw my art, I especially loved seeing how much the kids enjoyed my work.”

Neighbors would often ask about her creative process; they wanted to know if she sketched out ideas before coming outside with the chalk, or even if she had an image in her head before she began. Her answer to the question was not what most passersby would expect; “When I sit down to create a mandala, I just flow. I tune into a specific energy, whether it be a person or something less tangible, then the geometry speaks for itself. I don’t have to think much, I just feel and move.” 

chalk mandalas by sasha takata

On days when she couldn’t go outside to create, due to weather or sore muscles from crouching over her creations for hours, Sasha began experimenting with other mediums. Scaled way down from what she had been doing in the parking lot, she took a liking to making mini mandalas, no more than 3 inches across using fine-tipped pens and filling them in with acrylic paint. “I’ve always loved tiny things. Precision and symmetry also hold a special place in my heart, so making these small mandalas made me happy in a lot of ways.” Sasha began creating them for specific people and gifting them on special occasions, or even just to brighten their spirits during the lock-down. “The way people responded to my work made me want to share this magic with everyone.”

With two such different mediums, we were curious to know if our young artist had a preference for one over the other. To those who know her, the answer to that question would not come as a surprise. True to her Gemini sun sign, and Libra ascendant, Sasha explained that they both fulfill something different in her, and that she couldn’t possibly choose a favorite. We loved what she had to say about chalk:

 “One of the things I love about chalk is the freedom: the way it glides so easily across the blacktop, and how surprisingly forgiving it is. My absolute favorite part about working with chalk is the impermanence. I never feel the pressure of perfection when creating using this medium because I know it will quickly fade or be washed away by the next rain. I didn’t mind when the kids rode their bikes through my mandalas leaving tire tracks in their wake, because the joy for me is found in the creation, and if they find enjoyment riding all around and on them, then that’s beautiful too!” 

Sasha went on to tell us about how very different her process is when creating on paper. These days, she likes to start with a fresh piece of paper measuring 9x9 inches. Although it is still very much about the creation flowing through her, there are a lot more precise measurements involved than there are when working on a large scale with chalk. She tells us that she intends to continue to experiment with different sizing, mediums and techniques, and that she would love to have the opportunity to create murals out of her designs. 

Sasha’s creations and technique have evolved quickly. “I’m honestly astonished at the advancement of my skill level in such a short amount of time,” she tells us, “it feels like I’ve done this before, but not during this lifetime. I took art classes all throughout high school, but I never found my style or felt like I was good enough to make it a part of my living… but here we are! It just goes to show how much we don’t know about what the future holds, and that simply creating for the joy of it can lead us down some wonderfully unexpected paths.” 

We are over-the-moon to have Sasha creating special art pieces just for Planet Joy. 


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