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

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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.

Some personal thoughts on events of the past week

Following the horrific fire in West London that happened last week, I was left feeling extremely sad. In fact, I was so upset that I couldn’t even concentrate on my work. So last Thursday morning, I got on the overground and headed over to Notting Hill where I endeavored to see what help was needed
 
I had read online that there were plenty of volunteers and that nothing else was needed.  So I was a little unsure about going. But after going through the options, I decided to go and see if there really were plenty of volunteers. If I found that to be the case then I would just come back, but at least I would have tried. As it happened, I am glad I ignored the information online because help was most definitely needed. 
 
I went straight to a donation center in a local church and immediately I got stuck into a job, as it was very apparent that plenty of volunteers were needed. 
 
But what I really want to highlight in this blog is how amazing it was to see everyone working together. Despite the most awful of circumstances, I felt I was witnessing the very best of humanity. 
 
While I was quickly packing up food boxes for the victims of the fire, I noticed that I was surrounded by people from different ethnic backgrounds and ages. It seemed that they felt like me – like they couldn’t just look at images on TV and do nothing. Even just being there, with people from all walks of life, was a way of showing the victims that we cared. It was really soothing for the local people who were just unbelievably sad. 

Being there that day, I felt in my heart that humans are fundamentally good. The sheer number of people who had come to volunteer at various centers, highlighted to me that most people just want to help and care for other people. This is a thought I endeavor to hold onto whenever I next hear about a horrific event or a selfish individual – only interested in themselves and their own gains. This isn’t what most people are like. Most people care, are kind and want to do the right thing! 

During my time volunteering in West London, I witnessed how just giving someone a hug or a smile, can make them feel happier. And I do believe that one happier person does make the world a better place. 

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Things to consider when commissioning a painting.

People often ask me what needs to be considered before commissioning a painting. I realise I speak about this all the time but I don’t think I have ever written it down in an article! So here it is. Here are some things I think it’s important to think about when looking to buy or commission a piece of bespoke art. 

Photo taken by Estila Magazine

1) The location of the painting. It’s important to take note of the colour scheme in the room where the painting will hang. I like to look at the colour of the cushions, curtains, floorboards and any other features.  If it’s in an office, then I like to look at the office colours and company branding. I also check with the client to see if they would like me to highlight any particular colours that feature in the room. 

2) Where the light is. As I use a lot of mirrors, gold and other light-catching mediums, it’s important to look at the places where the light enters the room. This helps to highlight certain aspects of the painting and use light to my advantage. 

3) The size of the painting. It’s important with big paintings not to overcrowd the space. The painting needs space to breathe. With my standard painting size of 100 x 150 cm, quite a bit of space is required. But I would rather a painting be slightly too small for space than the other way round. When paintings hang in cluttered spaces, it’s hard for the eye to isolate the paintings from the surroundings. 

Some people have quite a large space but do not necessarily want a really big painting. In these situations, the use of Triptychs and diptychs can be important. Personally, I love to work in a triptych. I find it exciting and very pleasing to work in threes. Plus I love the continuation of a piece from one canvas to the next. I find it interesting looking at the space in between the canvases and using this to my advantage.

4) Use of sentimental material. Often in my pieces, I like to use material that means something to the person I am to create the work for. For example, I once had a client who loved the metro. So in his painting of a Tuscan village,  I used bits of old vintage metro maps for the basis of the windows. I then painted over them. The effect was very subtle but profound for the client. See the finished piece here!

If you would like to see more examples of my work and find out more about the process, please visit my commission page. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this guide, and please do get in touch if you have any questions! 

Natasha Jade x

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4 simple things that will make your day a little better!

Recently I introduced a few different elements into my day. They are all quite simple, requiring not too much effort. A few weeks ago I tore the ligaments in my ankle, so I had to find other ways to help me feel good in my body and energized – something I usually gain from my morning yoga practice.

So, here are 5 things that generally make me feel better!

1) Water therapy. My boyfriend recently visited a medicinal mushroom doctor out in Hong Kong a few months ago. The doctor said that one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies is to drink a litre of water as soon as we wake up in the morning. I have been doing this for a few weeks and I have noticed a big difference.  I feel less dehydrated, I feel clearer, more focused and more energised.

2) No processed sugar. On days when I don’t eat any processed sugar, I feel so much better. I really notice that I have more energy during the day and feel much more tired when I go to bed (which is a good thing because then I sleep better!) My skin feels clearer and I often receive compliments from people on how well I look! All from not eating processed sugar which is amazing!

3) No TV in the evening. When I stop myself from looking at any screens for at least the last few hours before I go to bed, my sleep is much better. This actually makes my whole day better as I am more rested and my brain has had a chance to properly switch off. That way I am more inclined to read a book and nurture my imagination more! Which makes me feel more inspired and uplifted. 

4) Have a mantra. Sometimes when I need to shift my way of thinking, I find it very helpful to have a mantra which I repeat to myself as often as I can during the day. If I am feeling a bit down about work maybe I choose the words: ‘I am a successful artist.’ If I am worried about money I choose the words: ‘I am abundant’. Repeating these little phrases over and over again actually changes they way I think and makes me feel much more relaxed about things. This then changes our vibration and allows us to attract more positivity into our life. It’s such a simple little thing but it works so so well for me almost instantly. 

So, there are my tips to improve your day! I hope you find them helpful. Feel free to comment if you have any more tips!

Natasha x