As both an artist and a yogi, there isn’t much I love more than the intersection of art and yoga. Art and yoga speak to my soul, so I’m sure you can imagine how delighted I was when I discovered these absolutely gorgeous yoga drawings by Bulgarian-born artist Boryana Korcheva.
Boryana was born an artist but has been dedicated solely to her art career since 2008. Her latest series of drawings is focused on yoga and seeks to capture the beauty of the human body as it oscillates between static and dynamic.
I talked to Boryana about her artwork and yoga.
Ysmay: Do you do yoga yourself? If so, how does your yoga practice influence your art, and how does your art influence your yoga practice?
Boryana: I have been practicing yoga for more than 20 years, so I can say that it is a part of my life now. I went to a class for a few months and since then I have been practicing on my own – I find that yoga is an inward activity and the solitude of it is what I really enjoy. Obviously yoga has on me its usual effects – it helps me relax and allows me to withdraw into my own mind.
But there is something else that yoga does to me: it makes me feel the beauty of the human form in my own body. Through my effort to perform a certain position I feel its grace and precision becoming my own and I embrace this beauty – my beauty, with gratitude. I believe that this is how yoga influences my art practice – I externalize the feeling that I just described in my art.
How art influences yoga? This is such a difficult question! Part of me thinks that yoga is so much older, deeper and wiser than my art, that it can hardly give anything back to it. But then there is the other part which believes in the continuum of all things. The least I can say is that as an artist I am always seeking the state of mind that yoga puts me in, therefore I give my yoga practice all the mindfulness I possibly can.
How long have you been an artist?
My definition of an artist is not someone who has a natural facility to draw or paint or sculpt, but rather someone who has the natural inclination to see the world differently and feels the urge to express her or his ideas. By this definition, I must have been an artist since I was born. I happen to have a talent for drawing, which helps of course. Speaking of being an artist as an occupation – I have been dedicated exclusively to art since 2008.
Why are you drawing about yoga?
It dawned on me, as I was doodling in the studio, that the human body, bent and twisted and turned upside down in a yoga position, turns into a very simple abstract shape. A good, clear cut abstract shape or combination of shapes is the basis of a successful composition.
So I started drawing and I was instantly “in the zone” – the place where your hand goes without you being aware how. The style of the drawings came almost by itself. In retrospect, I found that the conflict between the stasis of the pose and the dynamism of the technique – the loose brush strokes and drip line – creates the vibrancy of the images and can lead to deeper meanings – the duality of motion and stillness, doing and being, visceral and spiritual etc..