Photo blog: Visual inspiration from texture and nature

I always draw inspiration for my artwork from things around me, such as natural textures, shapes and patterns. Here is a scrapbook of recent imagery that has inspired me. I’ve also included close-ups of my paintings to illustrate the way I approach and build up texture within my work. 

For more examples of my inspiration, and for a glimpse behind the scenes at my studio, please visit my instagram.

Photo credits: Photos by Natasha Jade, Leanna Wigginton and Diana Scrimgeour.

Advertisements

Thought for the new year

Every new year, I find myself reflecting on the year that has passed, looking at how I can change my situation in the year ahead.  For me, this starts with looking at my patterns of behaviour and identifying the things that aren’t serving me anymore.

In 2017, I found myself worrying a lot about all sorts of things surrounding my business and life in general. I think these worries were useful for me because they motivated me to take extra care in everything I did so that I made the best possible decisions at the time. Now, however, as I step into 2018, I feel I can really hold onto and encompass a deeper confidence. A confidence in myself to know that I am doing the right thing. To believe in myself and my abilities as an artist and a businesswoman. To trust my judgment and my gut feeling and allow myself the space to step my life and business up a level in 2018!

Quote found in ‘Inspiration for artists’ by Emily Darcy

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

 

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

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. 

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave