Moving Backwards To Go Forwards 

Many times in my life I have looked back and thought – ‘yes, in retrospect I had to go through that’. Or ‘I can see now I had to go through that difficult time to progress forward in my work and life, to get to new places and learn the lessons I needed to learn to move forwards’. 

But in truth knowing this doesn’t make it any easier when we are experiencing turbulent times in our lives. Whether that is in our businesses or personal lives. 

I am a firm believer that what is going on in the inside is a reflection of what is happening outside and vice versa. In the same way, I believe that what is going on in my personal life mirrors how I run my business and conduct my day to day working affairs (and vice versa). For example, and I know this is obvious but if my house is tidy and, my clothes are neatly ironed and clean, as well as of course helping my personal life, it also reflects in my business productivity of the day. 

So when I find myself facing challenges and maybe it seems like I am going backwards, I remind myself to look at patterns from the past. When I do this I see that often when I thought I was going backwards and digressing, these phases actually enabled me to progress and get to the next stage in my business.  If I learn to stay balanced and not react then I can simply trust the process and acknowledge the ways the challenge is helping me grow. 

Similarly when I am painting,  my creative process follows a pattern a bit like this: ‘I really enjoy creating a piece,’ I love making it’, ‘I thought it was better before,’ ‘I hate it and can’t bear it’ and then finally ‘I literally have no idea if it’s good or not’.

I know now that if I don’t go through the stage of hating the painting then it’s not that good a piece. With all the best paintings I have created, I distinctly remember thinking how much I disliked each piece. Similarly, I would like to see the painting get better with every brush stroke. When this doesn’t happen, I wonder if I am going backwards and if it was better without the latest step? I ask myself ‘am I just going back on myself and ruining it?’ Now I know that these steps are VITAL. I have to go through them, I have to question my artwork and push through the difficult phases of each piece. And every piece has them. 

As I mentioned before I do think that my work is a reflection of myself. When I work through these difficult challenges in my creative life, it makes me more aware of these thought processes in my personal life and I am able to handle the challenges so much more effectively. 

Love, 

Natasha Jade x

Review: Anni Albers at the Tate Modern

 

Last week a friend of mine recommended that I go and see the Anni Albers exhibition at the Tate Modern. Originally I had planned to see the clock (which is also amazing) and thought I would pop into the Annie Albers exhibition at the same time.

Unexpectedly I was totally blown away. I admit maybe it was a little ignorant of me but I had not heard of Annie Albers, but I totally should have known about her as her work is amazing. She is essentially a weaver, and though her prolific work she has produced a large amount of sensational work.

What was really profound for me was the amount of detail she put into the studies of her work. She would create multiple watercolour paintings detailing how her tapestries would look. Most of her work was quite mathematical. As someone who probably needs to plan her work more, this was really inspiring. 

One of the pieces that stood out for me was a tapestry that she wove with only three seperate colours. However, it gives an optical illusion of many more colours. It’s really amazing!

Looking around the exhibition I noticed shapes that reminded me of modern day fashion crazes. For examples knots, I remember when that was the craze and almost every item bought  at Topshop had knots of chains on it. 

She also created some big work for high profile clients. As a Jewish woman in the war life wasn’t easy but she still managed to be incredibly prolific. A fascinating fact I learned about her is that she taught at the Black Mountain College (in retrospect this is probably unsurprising!). This was a sort of experimental college which focused on creative learning and communal living. Paul Klee also taught there and the school was attended by many other famous artists. The school was only open for just over 20 years but produced some extremely famous and some of my favourite artists, namely Anni Albers, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Willem and Elaine de Kooning and many more.

I cannot recommend the exhibition highly enough. I haven’t been able to get her work out of my mind and I am definitely going to go again before it closes on 27 January 2019. Find out more here.

Love,

Natasha Jade x

How Words Shape Our World

For this blog I wanted to share my recent thoughts and experiences with the hope that others may find my sharing useful or inspiring. Something that has been very present in my life lately is the extent to which my words shape my reality. Recently I have been conducting a little experiment. I have been consciously aware of times I’ve been extremely anxious about something and have tried two things: 

1) I have acted in a very normal way to myself, in that I spoke about the issue and voiced my worries and  concerns.

2) I haven’t said a word about it to anyone or if I did I tried to share my thoughts very carefully so that they were portrayed in a positive way without explicitly saying I was worried, nervous, anxious or stressed about something.

So, analysing the results of my little experiment amazes me every time. What I found was that when I voiced my opinion and acted in a way that satisfied my inner angst of course my concerns almost always surfaced. However, when I chose to keep my anxieties to myself and didn’t even let the words leave my mouth, the issue I was concerned about almost always never even happened.

Now, I am not saying I wasn’t worried about it on the inside. I still was, but I didn’t let the words leave my mouth or put any unnecessary manifestations into the world. I resisted planting my anxieties into the heads of anyone else that cares about me, such as the people I would usually speak to first – my mother, boyfriend or the wonderful girls I work with. This way I didn’t infect anyone else with my anxieties which means they had less power to manifest as less people were able to brew on a potential negative outcome which unfortunately is often the case when I plant the initial seed of worry.

I do believe that words have a very powerful energy and this energy vibrates out every time a word is spoken. Therefore I am trying to be more careful with my words. I try to only let things out that have a positive reverberation and manifest exactly that! It’s a very hard thing to do but I realize now more than ever that just being aware is the first step and a very powerful step at that!

Love,
Natasha Jade x

Review: My Thoughts on the Frida Kahlo exhibition at The V&A

Last Saturday night I finally made it to the Frida Kahlo Exhibition at the V&A.  It’s nearly finished so do try and go if you can get last minute tickets.

For me, what was so fascinating about this exhibition was learning about the history of Frida’s life, and how it influenced her work and shaped her artistic creativity. 

The exhibition features photos, clothes, letters and her other possessions which were all found in Frida Kahlo’s house, the Casa Azul (blue house) when it was opened in 2004 – 50 years after her death. 

It was fascinating to learn about her family history. Her father was a photographer who took lots of photos of Frida in positions that she later used as references for her self-portraits. Maybe these early years of being a sort of muse for her father had a deeper lasting effect on her than I had previously thought. 

I also learned that she suffered from an illness from the age or 6 which causes a lot of issues in the physical body. At the age of 18, she was involved in a really bad bus crash which ultimately contributed to her having to spend most of her years bound to her bed or wheelchair from which  painted some of her most well-known work. 

Walking about the exhibition it was extremely fascinating to see how she used her illness to improve her creativity. For example, even though it was heartbreaking, it was also inspiring to see how she painted on all of her upper body casts and body braces she had to wear to support her spine. 

What also really shone through was how beautiful she was, inside and out. Some of the photos that were found in her house which were taken by other photographers were just sensational and really showcased her inner and outer beauty. 

Frida Kahlo died when she was 47 years old. Walking around the exhibition I thought to myself – if I could live my life with even half the determination, creativity and love she had I know I will have been on the right track! 

Love,

Tasha x

The Frida Kalho: Making Herself Up exhibition at the V&A is open until 18 November. The show is sold out but limited tickets are available every morning from 10am. Find out more here

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 Dharamshala

I have just visited the most amazing art institute in Dharamshala! 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 Dharamshala! 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