Hello From The Himalayas!

I have spent the last few days trekking in what I feel is one of the most beautiful parts of the world – the Himalayas. You literally feel like you are on top of the world amongst these mountains! 

I first visited the Himalayas when I was 14 and then and loved it so much I ended up living in Nepal for 6 months in 2014! 

Here are some photos me and my  boyfriend have taken over the past few days…

 

Watch this space for some India-nspired artwork coming soon!

Have you been to the Himalayas before? Comment below with your pics or thoughts, I’d love to hear from you! 

Love, 

Natasha x

 

 

Review: Norbulingka Institute in Tibet

I have just visited the most amazing art institute in Tibet! Norbulingka is a unique institute dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan arts and culture. A self-sustaining community located in Dharamsala, India, they are dedicated to ensuring that the integrity of Tibetan artistic traditions is maintained for generations to come.  It was such an inspiring place to visit and I would thoroughly recommend that you visit Norbulingka while in Tibet! Here are some photos from my recent visit.


Find out more about Norbulingka here and leave a comment if you’re been there before, I’d love to hear about what you thought! 

Love, 
Natasha Jade x

My Thought for the Week: Social Media and the Next Generation

Something that has been troubling me recently is social media. In particular, the role models that our children look up to on social media. When I look at some of these popular ‘public figures’ with over 3 million followers, I can’t help but ask myself – what is the message that is being put out there?

Now I am not saying by any means that these influential people are not wonderful, lovely people. What I am saying is that in a lot of cases the only side that is being presented on their pages is the beautiful, narcissistic and showy version of themselves. Endless pictures of women in bikinis with perfect bodies often wearing very little. These people have a lot of influence and I wonder what effect their feeds have on the young children who follow them.

If for one second I put myself in the shoes of my 15-year-old self; scrolling through pictures on Instagram, I imagine that I may feel unworthy and inadequate.

In my opinion, these perfect, beautiful sides of individuals that are being presented on Instagram provide a false idea of what it means to be successful and a warped inspiration to young children.

I think as people who use social media we have an amazing opportunity to present a side that will inspire people in the right way and not contribute to the insecurities and anxieties of children and young people. That way we may be able to maintain a balanced source of inspiration for the next generation!

Love,
Natasha Jade

Sourcing inspiration for artwork

I am starting to realise more and more that a really important aspect of my career as an artist is inspiration. Sourcing inspiration and ideas is often easier said than done. I realise now that as an artist it’s important to grow and develop your skills continuously. Pushing myself to new levels and areas that may seem a little risky but it is a vital part of this ever expanding journey!

In order to do this, I need to be inspired. I need to feel my heart leap out of my body when I look at a photo of something beautiful, see an amazing art piece at a gallery or hear a sensational piece of music. 

I am creating a new painting at the moment and I realise that, to get the desired outcome I need to dig a little deeper and really research some beautiful photography that inspires me. This process has been really instrumental in shaping the piece!

So, here are some pictures from my current mood board:

How do you source inspiration for your work? Comment below, I’d love to gain an insight into your process!

Love, 

Natasha Jade x

Why I created my Words to Inspire collection

I have just released a new collection of cards which has been in the pipeline for a while. For a long time, I have been intending to create a collection of cards which would link my philosophy of the world with yoga (if you’ve been following this blog then you’ll know that yoga is a big part of my life!).

When I am at places like trade shows, I sometimes struggle with the idea that I am bringing more stuff into the world. Where let’s face it, there is a lot of stuff already. So I wanted to design a collection that I felt could also have a positive impact on the world. The words I have used are phrases that inspire me on a daily basis and keep me moving forward towards my goals when I feel down, unmotivated or simply fed up with the world. These simple but beautiful words have helped me immensely. I wanted to share them alongside some simple illustrations. If they cause someone to smile, laugh or simply be inspired, for me that is a job done!

As a further point, last year I did a series of courses in Waterloo. Every lunchtime I would go to the station to pick up my lunch but I would end up having my lunch almost in tears. This is because I would encounter so many homeless people on my way into the station and I would feel helpless. It wasn’t just the mere fact that there were homeless people there, it was that I would watch hundreds of people walk past and just ignore each person like they aren’t even people. I then made a commitment to myself that for my next collection of cards, I would donate a percentage of sales to a homeless charity and do what I could in my own small way to help this crisis. I feel that if we can’t even look after our own what hope is there?

So I am donating 10% of all sales from my new ‘Words to Inspire’ collection to Shelter homeless charity.

Here are the four designs: 

You can find out more and purchase the new collection here!

Love, 

Natasha Jade x

Simple tips to improve productivity!

I am always striving to improve the way I do things and to make my life more harmonious. This for me means living my life in a way where the boundaries between my work and my life are slightly more blurred.

I have to remember to remind myself that my work is my life and that I should conduct myself in a way that is in harmony with my ethos and day-to-day morals.

Because of this deep striving within myself, I am constantly looking for ways to improve the rhythm of my work to create a more harmonious and calmer day-to-day life. 

Here are a few things that have really helped me in recent weeks. For me, the beauty of some of these points is that they are so simple that it’s almost laughable. However, implementing some of these simple changes has created tremendous results for me. 

I have recently started a new routine where I sweep the studio every morning when I arrive and every evening when I leave. I know it sounds extremely obvious, but actually, there are many days when I arrive with so much to do and I just get going on my laptop straight away or get on with a drawing. Or other times when I just have to get out of the studio, I leave as quickly as possible without tidying up the space. 

When I give the room a really good sweep as I leave, it’s like I am providing a sense of closure for the day. I am sweeping the energy of the space away and creating a clear space to come into in the morning. It helps me to arrive with a clear mind free from any problems or anxieties from the previous day. Obviously, it is very good practice to keep your working space clean physically but also the act of energetically cleaning the space morning and evening I have found to have a very profound effect on my mood and my intentions for the next day. 

I have also started a routine where I have been wrapping up my studio days by setting an intention for the next day.  Normally I set an intention along the lines of the space being filled with inspiration, joy, abundance, and creativity for the next day.  

The next thing I have been doing which is literally revolutionary is timetabling my week. Now I know this sounds obvious but this practice has literally changed my life.  I now have a set day I do all my financial work, a set day I do all my product related work, a set morning I work on the blog and set times when I work on everything creative. By just having this allocated time I feel like my mind is so much clearer. Because I focus on one practical thing each morning/afternoon/day, I am able to get so much more done than when I am flitting between things and doing whatever I think is the most important at the time.  

Ok, I may not be able to do everything in one session but at least I am constantly giving time to the different aspects of my business. That way everything gets attention and everything is able to grow in a steady way. 

It’s funny how the simplest of things can make such a difference. But for me, they really do. Giving small things the right amount of attention really helps my mind to be more organized and frees us space in my life for me to be more open to creativity and growth. 

Do you have any routines that really make a difference to your week? I’d love to hear from you if so! Leave a comment or get in touch here: natasha@artbynatashajade.com.

Love, 

Natasha Jade x

Remembering the why

I don’t know what it’s like for other creatives with their own businesses, but for me, I find that it’s easy to become so immersed in what you’re doing that you forget why you even started.

I am sure like me, when other creative business owners set out on their journeys, they had the best of intentions. I wanted to create a business that was different from the standard 9 -5 grind. I wanted to do something that I loved which hopefully would then inspire other people to go and pursue their passions and dreams aswell!

However, the sad reality is that as time drags on, things happen which seem to draw me away from my original starting point. Even though I might not work the classic 9-5 hours, I know I am probably working or at least thinking about work for many more hours than that each day. 

So sometimes I think it’s important for me to step back, remind myself of my business morals and touch base with my ‘why.’ To re-connect with the reason I do what I do, and the reasons I started my business in the first place and how I intended to implement it on a day-to-day basis. 

I  studied Mathematics at the University of Sussex and completed a degree which I found to be quite boring at the best of times! I was adamant to live a life where I could combine the skills one might classically find in business with a creative lifestyle. I knew that if I was just painting all the time my head would be up in the sky and I would be extremely ungrounded. At the same time if I was just doing business tasks I would be bored and creatively deprived. For me, it is very important to find a balance where these two skills can work harmoniously together.

I also felt very strongly that I wanted to work with people that were also pursuing their creative dreams. I have been very lucky to have two wonderful ladies work with me. Jess, who manages our social media is an amazing singer-songwriter, and Leanna (when she is not selling our greeting cards to shops around London) is an inspirational actress. It was important for me to have people around me who are also pursuing their dreams. I do believe when people are doing what they love they are happier and when people are happier they do a better job in whatever it is they are doing!

I also firmly believe the philosophy that one happier person makes the world a better place. I have felt in the past and still feel very strongly that if I create a beautiful painting that brightens up someone’s room and makes them feel happier and uplifted in their spirits, then my job is done. Likewise, if someone buys one of my greeting cards with an image that makes them feel inspired and puts a smile on their face, I feel I have made a difference!

Essentially I do believe that it’s the little things that we do which make a difference in this world. I believe that every time we share a beautiful art piece, an inspirational song, a smile or anything else, we are doing our bit to help to lift up the spirits of those around us. In our own way, this helps to change the world a little bit at a time.

Love,
Natasha Jade  x