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!

 

 

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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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My thoughts for today…

I can’t exactly say I have had the best week this week. I’ve had tough decisions to make, had to deal with fussy clients, creative doubt, the list goes on! But then I got a WhatsApp message from a friend of mine bringing my attention to what is happening in Chechnya. Now, I am not highly political and very rarely write anything political on my blog, but today I just couldn’t help but think about the situation out there and how little it is being reported about on mainstream news. 

I have been so frustrated this week – beating myself up about work, stressing out about clients… the works!  This got me thinking. Is it worth it? Are all the little daily stresses and upsets really worth getting so worked up about? I realise now how lucky I am to be able to live in a place where I am able to be who I want to be, eat food on a daily basis and have a loving family who care for and support me, to be allowed to thrive as a woman!  

I think sometimes I take it for granted that I live in a place of relative freedom compared to many others and actually there are so many people out there that do not have these luxuries. So today on the way home from yoga, I managed to put everything back into perspective a little. Deep down, I really felt very grateful for the people around me – the people who help on a daily basis, my family who are forever behind me,  picking me up when I feel low or upset. My business team who are always there driving us on with their positive and upbeat outlook. SO I guess what I am trying to say is that when things get too much and the little things are driving me down, maybe  I just need to remember how lucky I am and keep that in my heart! 

How I have learned to trust my Business and Creative instincts

I have had to remind myself recently to have faith in the way things are, with the knowledge that everything happens for a reason.

In business and creativity, I find myself asking questions like – why am I doing this? Should I have made that decision? Is this piece of work good enough? The list goes on! These questions come up time and time again for me in my business and creative life. But the real question is – how do I deal with them? I believe the answer is to trust in the way things are.

When creating a painting I am slowly learning to trust the decisions I make. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to use a certain colour, or to use a certain technique in a painting. But within my creative process, I realize it’s important to trust my instincts and do what feels right, not what my mind is telling me I should do. This is when I create my best work.

This also applies to times when I have to make a decision. I know that when I make a decision I endeavor to make the best move that I can in that moment. Things may change but in that moment I make the best possible decision I can. Again this is where I need to hold onto everything I have learned in the last few years and come to trust in myself and believe in my decisions.

Sometimes in my business and creative life, undesirable situations inevitably arise. These situations can be tricky, unplanned or just massively inconvenient! I realise now that we never really know why we are presented with certain situations in life, but we can look positively at the situation at hand and trust that everything happens for a reason. And in hindsight, what seems like a big problem at the time can turn out to be a blessing in disguise. This serves as a reminder to trust that everything will turn out to be OK in the end.

5 Tips for dealing with Rejection in Business

Something that I have been thinking about a lot recently is rejection.  Especially relating to the product side of what we do here at Natasha Jade.  Here a few things I have come to realise which have helped me turn rejection into something positive. Just a heads up – this blog is more focused on the products side of what we do! 

It’s inevitable, to begin with. 
I realise now that rejection is inevitable at the beginning. After talking to a lot of people around me, the general consensus is that – quite often when one starts a creative business,  the first few years are really about sussing out which retailers are a good match for your brand. I realise now that there is a type of shop/person that likes my products more than others. And I realise now that it is quite common in the first three years to get a lot of rejection. This is just because you are trying to figure out what works. Once you start to get to know your own brand better and the type of stock that works,  you can be more targeted in your search and therefore get rejected less. 

Rejection makes you learn.
I am really starting to believe that all the great things in life come with a little bit of hard work.  When things come too easily we don’t learn and don’t always reach the full potential of what we are capable of.  Now when I am rejected from a stockist I can actually look at the experience with a little bit of gratitude as I can see how I could maybe improve on my approach for next time. I always strive to do better and improve my business so every bit of feedback I receive, I view as positive now. I must admit sometimes this is easier said than done sometimes!

Rejection makes me want to improve.
If a shop doesn’t want to stock our products, in a strange way this fuels my ambition and drive to do even better, so that one day the people that have not wanted to stock the products may think they have missed out!! Instead of deflating me, it now makes me work harder and double up on my efforts!

Look at JK Rowling – she was rejected so many of times before getting Harry Potter published. I’m sure each rejection gave her the drive and ambition to improve and improve her story. And look where she is now!!

Rejection can be a blessing.
I am learning now that not everyone is easy to work with. Quite a lot of the time I look back at the people we have approached and I think – thank god we don’t work together. Sometimes a job that I want so much might seem like the be all and end all but actually in hindsight I realise it might be more trouble than it’s worth.  So maybe sometimes there is a hidden reason as to why we don’t get something. But I keep reminding myself to trust the situation. There is a blessing in disguise here somewhere! After all – everything happens for a reason. 

You are not alone! 
I think every successful person has had a dose of rejection. I think it’s what makes us who we are and what helps us to learn and strive to be better. As creatives, it is extremely hard to put ourselves in a position where someone has the chance to be critical of our creative work. But if maybe we change the way we look at it slightly then we might be able to take a positive from the experience. 

So many famous musicians, authors, and brand owners have had to deal with so much rejection in order to get to where they are now. What makes a person successful is the fact that they have persevered. So perseverance is key! 

To take a look at my products including greeting cards, gift wrap and mugs, please visit my shop and for a sneak peak behind the scenes visit my Instagram