How to Turn Artwork into a Product Design

Many people have asked me how I get artwork ready to use as a design for my products. This was not something I knew how to do when I started my business. But through trial and error, and practice and experimentation with different programs I have discovered a few tricks along the way.

Here are some tips which might save you using a graphic designer!

Photography colour

Despite using some really good quality cameras, I’ve found that the colour is most true when I use my iPhone. Of course the quality is better with a good digital camera, so I use those images for print but I edit them in a way so that the colours match the reference picture taken on my iPhone. And voila my design ends up looking like the original artwork!

Taking photos in the light

I know this sounds pretty obvious, but there have been many times when I have been working to a tight deadline, and I have taken a photo in the late afternoon when it’s still light but not at optimum brightness. I now know when it comes to photographing my artwork – no shortcuts should be taken. The photo must be taken in the daylight and in a place where the light is most even.

Getting rid of grey patches

Often when I take a photo of my artwork areas of white appear grey in places. It can be really useful if you have photoshop to use the dodge tool to lighten these areas. I find this makes a huge difference.

Don’t be afraid to zoom in

Through experience – I know that it’s not always necessary or appropriate to use the whole artwork for a greeting card or print. So I now experiment with zooming in. Sometimes simply capturing a section of the artwork works really well for a specific product.

Not all images work for every product

Sometimes my artwork works really well as a greeting card but not so well as other products.  So when I’ve tried to replicate the design as a print or on my gift wrap and  mugs, I’ve been quite suspired when the mugs haven’t been as popular as other designs. I’ve now learnt the lesson that each product should be treated individually and assessed before launch.  I am learning that this is OK and if something doesn’t work, I can try zooming in to create a different image all together!

Autumn Leaves 4 and my gift wrap and greeting card designs

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips! Feel free to comment below if you have any questions or would like to share your designs. Click here if you’d like to see an example of a painting and all the product designs it’s featured on. Good luck!

Natasha Jade x

 

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What Sustainability in Business Means to Me

When I started my business a few years ago, I was driven by the idea that I wanted to work for myself in a way that was different to a normal 9–5 job. I wanted to be inspired, continuously learning in every aspect of my work and at the same time keep my peace of mind and retain a good work-life balance.

As my business grew I lost track of this original vision. I found myself working all hours of the day, with barely any time to spend with my boyfriend. I often found myself stressing about little things which brought down my mood.

After taking a step back, I could see that this is exactly what I had tried to move away from when I set up as an artist and businesswoman. I realised this was not a sustainable way to run my business. I couldn’t keep up with it forever. It wouldn’t encourage longevity and success. In fact, by conducting myself in that manner, I realised I was sending a message out to the universe that I couldn’t cope. That was the wrong message to project: it wouldn’t attract positivity and success into my business. In fact, it only attracted stress and more worry.

For me, creating a sustainable business is not only about having a positive impact on the Earth — although this is of course important too. It means conducting my business in a way that’s sustainable for myself and my team. A way that doesn’t pollute my own mind with stress, worry or frustration. It should inspire me, fill me with joy, challenge me to grow as a person and ultimately put a smile on my face.

To me, having a sustainable business is having time to restore myself, so that when I come back to the task in hand I have clarity of mind and clear focus. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I think the key to a successful business is longevity. I now know this happens little by little, day by day with every little success achieved along the way.

For many years I pushed on with my business without thinking about developing my creative side. In the last few weeks, I have made a commitment to myself to go to a life-drawing class once a week. This for me is living sustainably. I am giving myself energy and inspiration to move on with my business. Feeding myself with creativity and learning.

Ultimately, my hope is that this positive approach in creating a sustainable business shines through in my artwork and the products my artwork is featured on.

Natasha Jade x

Our Country Living Fair 2017 Diary!

We had such a great time kicking off the Christmas season at Country Living Fair – meeting new faces and discovering new exciting brands! 

Here are some of our favourite stands and brands from the show….

Artifactually

Artifactually create these beautiful glass baubles made to treasure. We just couldn’t stop staring at them when we spotted them hanging at their stand. We want some for our tree! 

 

 

 

 

Coco & Kinney 

It’s hard to get a sense of just how fabulous Coco & Kinney‘s stand was from a still image! The fairy lights were flashing on all sides which drew our attention to their gorgeous jewellery instantly. We love their use of vibrant colours in their tassel earrings. 

 

 

 

 

Bom Bom Morocco 

Another brand that caught our eye is Bom Bom Morocco who add vibrant pom moms to basket bags. They can even create a personalised one for you! 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven Seventeen

 

It was the beautiful scent drifting from Seven Seventeen‘s stand that caught our attention this time! Their plant-based candles are poured in England, have long burn times, smell gorgeous and are much cleaner than standard paraffin candles. Need we say more?

 

 

 

Freddie’s Flowers 

Flowers – if you follow us on Instagram or have seen our Spring Flowers collectionthen you’ll know how much we love them! So when we spotted all these bunches of beautiful flowers at Freddie’s Flowers we had to stop by. And when we learned that they deliver flowers straight from the farm meaning their flowers last up to 2 weeks, we were pretty much sold! 

 

 

Phoebe Jewellery 

 

We loved the way jewellery brand Phoebe displayed their beautiful jewellery using tree-like stands and moss. Beautiful! Jewellery designer Phoebe Sherwood creates playful, nature inspired collections handmade in silver and gold vermeil, and we liked her jewellery so much we ended up buying some ourselves! 

 

 

Little Leaf

How lovely is Little Leaf‘s stand!? We adored our neighbour’s display, complete with a magical window which was actually a painting created by a family member! They create 100% organic cotton baby wear in eye-catching designs and organic cotton sheets and pillowcases in a luxurious 300 thread count. Perfect presents for any new babies in the family!

 

 

Pop up Cards

Pop up Cards create amazingly intricate origami and kirigami pop up cards. Perfect if you want to make a big impression this Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed our Country Living 2017 diary, and we hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. See you next year!

Natasha Jade Team x

 

Our Top Drawer AW17 Diary

Last month, at Top Drawer AW17 we launched our Autumn Leaves collection of greeting cards and gift wrap and met some amazing new faces and brands from around the world.

Tatty Devine 

Tatty Devine create playful laser cut bold jewellery.. and we want it it all! It was great to see their new collections including their amazing lobster necklace

Mowgs 

Mowgs create beautiful and unique accessories inspired by beach, urban living, bohemia & festival culture from around the world. We loved meeting the team behind the designs!

Artcuts

Artcuts design and make decorative gifts using hand silk screened papers wooden laser cut shapes, wooden cut shapes. They can make pretty much anything you like so get creative and get in touch to see what’s possible! 

Land

Land use the world’s finest cacao in their chocolate with the whole process of chocolate making takes place in their  workshop on the backstreets of E2. Trust us, it’s yummy!! 

It was great to meet so many exciting brands and we look forward to seeing you again at future trade shows! Thanks to everyone who checked out our stand, you can view our latest collection on our shop. See you next year! 

Natasha Jade Team x

From the Team: Lovely & British in Bermondsey

By Leanna Wigginton – Head of Sales at Natasha Jade


I have just visited Bermondsey for the first time in a decade to drop off some Natasha Jade greeting cards at our brand new stockist, and I am in awe at how much the area has to offer. I have rapidly reverted back to a goggle eyed tourist, delighted by the buzzing street and all it has to offer.

If you, like me, haven’t visited this part of town for a while, then you simply must go!

Here’s a roundup of my day in Bermondsey:


I walk past delicious bakeries, funky restaurants, artisan coffee houses and the enticing Fashion and Textile museum, calculating in my head when I can come back and spend some time here. 

I reach my destination. Lorna and John are our fabulous new stockists at The Lovely and British shop and the name represents exactly what you find inside.
 
As you walk through the door your senses are awakened with candles upcycled in wine bottles perfectly placed as I’m greeted by a smiling Lorna, who sits on her throne surrounded by a Pandora’s box of everything to make the perfect gift!

The shop is a catwalk of British delights including  stunning butterfly artwork, key rings with coins from every era and beautiful bespoke mirrors to name just a few. The card selection is fantastic and we are excited to sit amongst the designs they already have in stock, adding a splash of colour.

To add to my excitement Lorna tells me that this Saturday 16th September they have a free festival with music, food and a fancy dress dog show! I know what I’m doing this weekend! What about you?

Have fun!
Leanna x
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Taking Inspiration from Nature

Please often ask me how I find my inspiration. As you may have gathered, travel is very important to me. Going to new places, meeting new people, seeing different shapes and smelling new scents really inspires me to create new works.

My recent short trip reminded me how important travelling is. Just having a few weeks to be in the space where I am receptive to everything around me was invaluable. Having the time to notices the lines of bark on the tree and the shapes leaves form when they touch the ground. Or how different fruit fomes different shapes when bulked together in the markets. Here are a few images of nature and buildings that caught my eye while I was away.

Welcome to my visual scrapbook!

 

 

Why commission a painting of your local area?

I am often asked to create paintings of clients’ local areas in my signature style. People often ask why this is so common? They ask me why it works so well, especially for office spaces? So here are a few reasons why I think commissioned corporate art is so effective.
 
1) It shows an appreciation of the surroundings for everyone in the office! 
 
Personally, I think it’s really important to show an appreciation of the surroundings within office spaces. Employees come and work in the same space every day. They see the surrounding buildings day in day out and yet sometimes the architecture can go completely unnoticed. I know in London the architecture can often be quite underappreciated but I find if I raise my eye line slightly there is a beauty to be found in the buildings all around. A painting of the local area can draw attention to some of these hidden wonders and bring a sense of appreciation to the area you see every day!
 
 
 
2) It provides a sense of community
 
Displaying a painting of the local area is a wonderful way to bring a sense of community to a workspace. It’s a great way to appreciate and portray the area surrounding your office. I find it brings a sense of pride about the area. This can be very useful for certain businesses, such as estate agents because it can encourage the client to have an added sense of excitement about the area they will be buying in. A painting can highlight some of the gems of the area, for example, nearby markets, leafy streets, special sights and other various attributes specific to the area.
 

3) It adds brightness and colour to the workspace.
 
I have noticed that many office spaces have empty white walls. In my experience, having a bright vibrant painting of the local area adds colour, capturing the attention of passers-by.  Much more endearing and welcoming than a big blank space of nothingness, don’t you think?!
 
 
 
 
4) Supporting local artists 
 
I have noticed more and more everyone is obsessed with buying things locally (especially me!). People love to buy locally sourced bread, fruit, cheese and so on from farmer’s markets and independent retailers. I have found that also extends to artists and artisans. Art that has been made by an artist in the same town or area can bring a sense of community and pride to the local community.  The fact that we have people around us with the useful skills and trades we might need is worth highlighting. Looking close to home can be very appealing when commissioning art.
 

5) Can enhance the office or company branding. 

 
I really enjoy working on commissions for offices because as an artist, I can incorporate colours already present in the interior of the office and/or the company branding within the artwork. This results in artwork that’s in harmony with the overall look of the office environment.
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you are interested in commissioning artwork for your business or home or you would simply like to find out more about my commission process, then please visit my website or contact me at natasha@artbynatashajade.com.