I always knew that we would have to expand beyond pocket squares into other menswear accessories. Neckties are, of course, a natural complement in the classic menswear wardrobe. But how do you make an artwork necktie without losing classic appeal and drifting into the realm of tackiness? This was a question that I couldn’t answer for a while. That is, until I saw a message from Ana Moreira in my inbox.
The message contained over a dozen mandala drawings and ended with a question – “Would you be interested in a collaboration?”
“That’s it!” I thought. “That’s how we will create a line of neckties!”
Everyone is familiar with the common geometric shapes (or “neats”) that you can find on neckties from the best makers around the world. They are beautiful in their own right but, at least to me, there isn’t anything that distinguishes them from one another. I own many of these ties. I love them, but I wanted something different, more distinct.
Enter Ana Moreira.
How about designing a necktie containing a new kind of pattern – one created from hand-drawn mandalas. Each tie is an original, inspired artwork but is still decidedly ‘classic’ in its aesthetic. Finding that balance would not have been possible without Ana’s talent, patience, and attention to detail.
Therefore, before introducing our collection of Mandala neckties, I would like to introduce Ana Moreira.
“A piece of music is composed of a mixture of forms, rhymes, melodies, and instruments. Each individual component can seem so distinct from the other yet they unite perfectly into a coherent whole. As with music, the arrangement of the various shapes and details in this design results in a piece that is deeper and more complex than the sum of its parts.”
– Ana Moreira
How did you get started in designing and creating mandalas? Were you always creatively-inclined or is this talent something that you had to work on?
I’ve been designing and drawing mandalas since I can remember. I was drawing mandalas before I even knew they were called mandalas. When I was a student, my notebooks had mandala drawings all over them. It’s like therapy for me. Nowadays, since I sell my artwork, I do a lot more research into each design and I’m always learning and developing new techniques for my work.
You also have a passion for classical music. Do you make music as well? What is the relationship between music and your artwork?
I studied piano since I was 6 years old. Music has always been a part of me. Being able to combine classical music with mandalas isn’t an easy job but it helps inspire much of my work. The classical music is often my soundtrack as I’m working.
What other artists, past or present, have been your biggest inspirations?
Every day I search for new inspiration. I love the works of Asmahan A. Mosleh and Zai Hafiz. Besides that, I follow a few pages that publish mandalas from several artists spread around the world. For example – www.facebook.com/Mandalas-from-around-the-world-1400200873615447/
You prefer to create your work by hand on paper rather than digitally. What, to you, are the advantages of this medium?
I have always been more interested in hand-drawn than in digital. The fact that the appearance itself shows that it was done by hand and the small imperfections of the work really inspire me.
What other mediums/art-forms are you interested in trying?
I would like to be able to develop mandalas digitally as this opens up new opportunities to put them onto umbrellas, dinnerware, glass, etc.
You work in Porto, a city with a rich history and some of the most beautiful architecture in the world. What are some of your favorite places in Porto?
Porto is a city in constant growth. Every day there are new cafes, restaurants, and businesses. Even I don’t know everything! Of course, there are some essential places that must be visited, such as the Casa da Música, the Clérigos, the gardens of Palácio de Cristal, the Serralves Museum, and everything along the Rio Douro. I could spend all day suggesting places to visit in Porto!
You designed R. Culturi’s first collection of neckties, for which you created a series of mandalas and arranged them into patterns. How was this project different from your others? What were the challenges?
The work developed with R. Culturi was a great challenge for me, since it was the first time I took a hand-drawn work and arranged it into a pattern digitally. My biggest challenge was learning to work with the program. Luckily, there are hundreds of tutorials on the internet today, which helped me a lot in the development of this project.
What advice would you give to other aspiring artists?
My advice is that no matter how hard it may seem, do not give up because everything is solved with willpower. It was a great challenge for me to be able to make my hobby into a real job.
More of Ana’s work can be found on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/a.ana.darte